Ed “Wild” West: “Zach Makovsky fights like fire, I fight like water”

West speaks about upcoming Bellator Bantamweight Championship clash with Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky

Thoughts on Makovsky…

I like Zach! He’s a really cool dude. I try not to like my opponents, but I almost can’t help it with this guy. I hung out with him a little bit in San Antonio and I hung out with him a bit in Louisville, and he’s just a really good guy. A classy dude. But I think that he’s the least dangerous guy that I’ve faced in this tournament. I don’t think that he’s capable of stopping me with strikes or with a submission. However, his style does present a threat to me. He has incredible wrestling ability which I consider to be world class. He probably has the best single leg takedown in the sport (laughs). I don’t know anybody that has a single leg takedown like him.

On his advantages over Makovsky…

I think I’m more well rounded than he is. Of course, he has that world class wrestling that I can’t really touch, but that doesn’t really concern me. If we go to the ground I’m not going to let him pass my guard, so the fight will either get stood up, or I will end up being effective from my guard. He’s too short to ground-and-pound me without basing up, in which case he will open up opportunities for myself. I will have a bit of a reach advantage on him as well, but I think me being more well rounded will be the biggest factor in the fight.

On the allowed use of elbows in the championship fight…

I definitely expect the use of elbows to become a factor in this fight. Mostly because both of us are very good on the ground, and both of us have looked for elbows in our previous tournament fights but couldn’t because we weren’t able to use them. His elbows will come into play only if he’s able to pass my guard, but I think he’s going to be too short to elbow me from my guard. But I can elbow from anywhere. I have longer limbs than he does. It’s going to be a 25-minute fight so we’re going to be trying to cut each other up. It’s definitely something I’m going to be looking for. I’m going to be elbowing him every chance I get. I’m going to tie him up and elbow his head, his shoulders, and all over the place. I’m just going to elbow whatever I can.

On who a 5 round fight favors…

I think the 5 round fight favors my style. Zach has a very explosive, powerful style that requires him to use a lot of energy when he’s wrestling his opponents, and I think that’s going to be tough for him to maintain over the space of 25 minutes. I feel like my style of fighting is more fluid and mobile. He fights like fire, I fight like water. I think it will be difficult for him to keep up that explosive pace over 5 rounds.

Odds this fight goes the distance….

I think there’s a really good chance that the fight goes the distance. I’m going to be trying to do damage the entire time. When we stand up and going to be throwing hard shots and trying to beat the crap out of him, and when we’re on the ground I’m going to be staying extremely busy, throwing up a lot of submission attempts and striking from my back. I think there’s about an 80% chance this fight goes the distance, and if it does, I hope the judges give weight to my attempts to finish the fight and the damage I’m doing in their decision. I’m trying to finish the fight, and hopefully the judges view that as more important than his takedowns. So, yeah, takedowns are important, but at the end of the day, takedowns don’t really do damage. I’m going to be doing constant damage and I’m going to be working really hard to finish the fight. I always work hard to finish my fights. It’s just very difficult when you’re fighting guys that are as high caliber as the guys that have been in this tournament. The bottom line is that I’m going to be a lot more active in this fight. On the feet I’m going to be trying to take his head off, and on the ground I’m constantly working for submissions.

Preference of victory…

I’d like to kick him in the head and knock him out or sub him. If I can catch him with something when he’s shooting in, it would be great, or if I can catch him with some sort of choke or submission, that would also be great. I think it will be really hard to submit him because he’s a short stocky dude and he has really good submission defense, but I think I have a much greater chance of submitting him than he has of submitting me. Both of his losses were by submission and I’ve never been submitted, so I don’t see him pulling anything off on me as far as submissions go. But Zach is very smart and very good on the ground. We both know where each other’s strengths are and we both know what we have to do to beat each other. he knows he can’t stand with me, and I know I can’t wrestle with him. Neither of us hold any illusions about how we’re going to win this fight.

Biggest fight of career…

Every fight of mine is the biggest. The fight I had with Bryan Goldsby in the quarterfinals was the biggest because if I didn’t win that fight I would be out of the tournament, and then the fight with Jose Vega in the semifinals was the biggest for the same reason. Every fight is the biggest. I’m not trying to put any additional pressure on myself. I’m not trying to think about winning the belt right now, I’m just thinking about beating Zach. If I beat Zach, winning the belt will take care of itself.

To become the Bellator Bantamweight Champion…

It would mean everything to me. It would be vindication of all my hard years I’ve spent training and it would make the people around me really happy, but I’m trying really hard not to think about that. I just want to focus on beating Zach right now.

Tickets for Bellator 32 are available at www.Ticketmaster.com.
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