Give Zach Makovsky The Next Flyweight Title Shot

Zach-Makovsky After earning his second-straight win in the UFC this past Saturday night at UFC 170, I believe Zach Makovsky deserves the next crack at the UFC flyweight title. The former Bellator bantamweight champion has won four-straight fights at 125 pounds since being released from Bellator MMA, including winning the RFA flyweight championship against Mike Manzanares and then defeating top-ranked 125lbers Scott Jorgensen and Josh Sampo in the UFC Octagon. His overall career record now stands at a crisp 18-4. Many thought that Makovsky’s desire to move to flyweight was a last-ditch effort to revive his fighting career after he lost two-straight fights in Bellator. But not only has Makovsky revived his MMA career, he’s taken it to the next level. At age 31, Makovsky is right smack dab in the prime of his mixed martial arts career, and I believe he’s ready to fight for the title. We all knew Makovsky was a solid wrestler, but so are Jorgensen and Sampo and he was able to edge out both in the grappling department. And not only has he shown solid wrestling at 125, but he’s shown excellent standup as well and the improvements he showed in the striking department in his wins over Jorgensen and Sampo has been nothing short of extraordinary. Makvosky have turned into a complete fighter, and I believe he’s ready to fight for the UFC title next. Some will say that Demetrious Johnson’s next opponent should be Ali Bagautinov, and two weeks ago I probably would have said the same thing. Bagautinov, the 28-year-old Russian contender, is 3-0 in the Octagon with wins over Marcos Vinicius, Tim Elliott and John Lineker. He has been impressive in all three victories, and with the UFC looking to expand their reach into Russia this year, I understand why so many people want to see Bagautinov fight for the title next. Personally, though, after watching all their UFC fights closely, I believe Makovsky matches up better against Johnson than Bagautinov does and since I think he’s more of a challenge at this moment in time I think he should be the next guy in line for a title shot. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Bagautinov taking one more fight and gaining more experience, and since the UFC hasn’t yet announced when they are going to Russia it might make sense to hold Bagautinov out until then for his title shot. In the meantime, Bagautinov can fight someone like John Moraga, a former title challenger, just so we can see how he really stacks up against a top flyweight without cardio issues like Lineker. With Makovsky, we already know how he stacks up against the top fighters at 125 and 135 pounds, because he’s been fighting them for years. Don’t forget he went 6-2 overall in Bellator while winning their bantamweight tournament against some decent competition. Yes, he did lose to Eduardo Dantas and Anthony Leone, but those are both solid fighters in their own right (and both are fighting for the title this upcoming Bellator season). And since then, he’s obviously shown that he should have been at 125 pounds this whole time, because he’s looked nothing short of fantastic after dropping those extra 10 pounds. When Makovsky was signed to the UFC late last year, I thought he’d win a few fights and maybe contend for a spot in the top 10. But I was wrong. Now only has he already won a few fights, but he’s looked new and improved in both his outings, and now, not only he is firmly entrenched in the top 10, but he’s a legitimate title contender. Not bad for a guy who started off on the undercard in Elite XC all those years ago. Not bad at all.

Written by Adam Martin.

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