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Zach Makovsky: 'I study Lyoto Machida a lot'

BE's Connor Ruebusch brings you an episode of his podcast Heavy Hands, and a technique-focused interview with UFC flyweight and former Bellator bantamweight champ Zach Makovsky.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I recently sat down to an interview with Zach Makovsky, whose UFC debut was an impressively and unexpectedly dominant performance over notorious tough out Scott Jorgensen in Jorgensen's first flyweight bout. Makovsky was kind enough to discuss his training philosophies with me, including the fact that he regularly studies tape of various fighters to learn techniques and strategies.

I watch a ton of fight footage... I watch fights every day. Sometimes it's boxing, sometimes it's Muay Thai, sometimes it's just jiu jitsu matches, or MMA. I try to really focus on guys who--if I see something I like then I try to pick it up.

Makovsky said that he rarely watches fights for enjoyment anymore. Rather, it's become a part of his training regimen. This includes footage of his upcoming opponents, for whom he designs specific gameplans.

When asked about his thoughts on his next opponent, Josh Sampo, Makovsky had this to say: "He's a good mix of skills--very well rounded. He's a lot like me in a lot of ways, but I don't think he blends his wrestling with his mixed martial arts quite as well." Zach believes that his technical wrestling and movement will be the keys to his victory.

Makovsky decided to make the cut to flyweight when he was cut from Bellator after suffering consecutive losses in the promotion, one of those a highly controversial split decision against current Bellator title challenger Anthony Leone. In an interview for MMA Sentinel with Steph Daniels and Iain Kidd, Makovsky had some choice words about his former home.

[After the loss to Leone] Bjorn came back and told me, 'This is a surprise but we'll get through it, no problems,' and then two weeks later or something I got an email that said I was being released. So you know, it's kind of tough, and no one wants to get cut or fired so... it wasn't something I was happy with but overall, it was kind of the result I wanted... just maybe not in the manner I wanted it to happen.

Speaking of his debut performance against Jorgensen, Makovsky admitted that he could have perhaps been a bit more aggressive after having hurt Jorgensen on the feet, but he knew Scott's reputation as a durable fighter. "I know my striking's been good and capable of hurting people standing for a while," Zach said. "It's just a matter of having the confidence to step in and do it."

Check out the interview below to hear more of Zach's thoughts on MMA technique, and how he plans to outwork Sampo this Saturday.

You can also download the episode directly here.