10 Questions with Megan Olivi: Bellator Bantamweight Champ Zach Makovsky

Zach Makovsky (Bellator Fighting Championships)

‘Fun Size’ talks title defense, bad stoppages and that classic nickname

HeavyMMA’s “10 Questions” feature is back. This week, Megan Olivi talks with Bellator Fighting Championships’ bantamweight champion, Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky.

Makovsky won the promotion’s 135-pound title in October 2010 in a five-round battle against Ed West. Since then, he’s picked up a pair of stoppages in non-title fights while waiting for Bellator’s next bantamweight tournament winner to be crowned. That was Eduardo Dantas in November, and the two now will square off April 13 in Makovsky’s first title defense, which will take place at Bellator 65 in Atlantic City, N.J.

1. How is training for your first title defense going?
Training is going good – the usual bumps and bruises. I got a sick a couple weeks ago, just little kind of pains, but overall it’s going good. Last couple weeks, I started to feel really good – I’m ready.

2. You train out of Philadelphia, but we’ve seen on Twitter you’re working with guys like Ricardo Almeida and Frankie Edgar. How long have you been working with them?
I’ve only started to do that before my last fight. I kind of took advantage of Eddie Alvarez and Frankie Edgar’s relationship. Eddie brought me there a few times, and I developed a good relationship with all those guys. I go here and there in spots when it fits into my weekly schedule. They have definitely been an asset.

3. Are you still working out with the Drexel University wrestling team?
I was working out with the team a lot, but the season ended (recently), so they are kind of done training. I haven’t worked out with the team in about two weeks, but I’m still getting my wrestling work in elsewhere.

4. Your opponent on April 13 is Eduardo Dantas. Where do you feel Dantas is most dangerous?
I think he’s a well-rounded fighter. He’s got very good standup and he’s a black belt (in jiu-jitsu) from Nova União (in Brazil). He’s a very well-rounded fighter and I think that’s his biggest thing, not that he’s a good striker and not that he’s a good jiu-jitsu guy. As maybe the better wrestler, no matter where I choose to take the fight, it’s going to be difficult everywhere it goes.

5. Bellator’s system is a little different then other organizations with the tournaments and how their champions fight. Is it difficult to wait such a long time between fights?
It can be. What’s weird is that I fought six times in 2010 and only twice in 2011. When I was in the tournament, I fought three times in 6 weeks. And then having two fights over a whole year is kind of a little bit different. I don’t mind the rest. I’m always training. If I had my choice, I’d like to fight three times a year, and I think Bellator is working on that.

6. So since you haven’t fought since October, what have you been doing with your free time?
I would like to think I have some other things in my life, but my girlfriend tells me I’m obsessed and it’s not just a passion. I like to read a lot and I like to go relax on little vacations.

7. Joe Warren, a fellow Bellator fighter, was involved in a horrible stoppage (against Pat Curran earlier this month). What is your reaction to situations like that when the ref is so late to step in?
I thought it was pretty late. He took some unnecessary shots. I thought the fight was over maybe a couple shots before. I don’t think he had to take that many shots. I thought he was doing well in the fight. The problem with the wrestlers is that if you’re not well-rounded enough, you can control the fight with takedowns but you can’t really finish it. He got a ton of takedowns but couldn’t keep him down. He did better then I thought he was going to do, but I did not like to see him take that much punishment.

8. Warren now said he will be dropping to 135 pounds. Is that a fight that interests you?
I am always interested to fight guys who are high-caliber wrestlers. He’s a much better wrestler then me. I don’t think I have ever fought a wrestler of his caliber. It would force me to see how well-rounded I have become.

9. Where did the nickname “Fun Size” come from?
It came from one of my training partners, Tara LaRosa. When she first started training at our gym, she either couldn’t or just didn’t want to learn peoples’ name. So she kind of just had a name for everybody. We were the same weight and we were training together a lot and obviously I’m pretty short and I move pretty quick so we got into a lot of crazy scrambles. She was always laughing a lot during training because I was in one spot then another and she could never keep up. And she just started calling me fun size. I liked it; I thought it was pretty atypical. I kind of played to my personality – I try not to take anything too serious.

10. What is one thing your fans would be surprised to know about you?
I’m kind of a nerd, I guess. I read a lot, I watch a lot of science shows. I’m really into psychics and outer space. If I were better at math I probably would have gone to school for some kind of astronomy or physicist kind of thing but the math kind of got me.