If MMA fans don’t know who Zach Makovsky is, you can guarantee they’ll know the name by the end of 2014.

Makovsky introduced himself to MMA fans at UFC on Fox 9 last December. He stepped in as a late replacement to face perennial contender Scott Jorgensen. The fight was scheduled for Dec. 14, only a few weeks removed from Makovsky’s last fight on Nov. 22.

“Fighting in the UFC was a great experience,” Makovsky told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “It’s something I’ve dreamt about since the beginning of my career.”

Although it came as a surprise to most, Makovsky dominated Jorgensen en route to a unanimous decision victory. Jorgensen was the much more known fighter heading into the contest. Despite losing to Urijah Faber in his last contest, he remained the popular pick heading into the fight.

There was one man, however, who didn’t have any doubt that Makovsky would pull off the win.

“I feel my skills match up with the best in the flyweight division. I just needed the chance to prove it,” Makovsky said.

Makovsky’s next fight takes place at UFC 170 against Josh Sampo, and he now finds himself in a place where he’s the known commodity facing a newcomer. Although Sampo is an unknown to many MMA fans, Makovksy is well aware of the skills possessed by his opponent.

“He’s pretty similar to me,” Makovsky explained. “He’s a Division II All-American wrestler, has good jiu-jitsu and good stand-up. Wherever the fight goes, it’s going to be a good fight.”

Makovsky finds himself in a completely different predicament than where he stood only a few years ago. He’s on the verge of competing on an UFC pay-per-view for the first time in his career.

At the end of December 2012, Makovsky lost his second straight fight in the Bellator cage. The loss was apparently enough for Bellator to deem Makovsky’s services were no longer needed and therefore the promotion cut its first-ever bantamweight champ.

“I was pretty surprised,” Makovsky admitted. “They hadn’t given me any indication, but overall it was a good thing down the road. If you’re not in the tournaments, you’re not fighting enough. I had to beg them for a second fight that year.”

After leaving Bellator, Makovsky competed in the Cage Fury Fighting Championship promotion and made his flyweight debut. After a victory against fellow Bellator castoff Claudio Ledesma, Makovsky fought for the Resurrection Fighting Alliance promotion. Makovsky won the RFA flyweight title, and the victory set him up to make his UFC debut.

If he can pull out a victory at UFC 170, Makovsky may go from competing on the regional MMA circuit to challenging for an UFC title in less than a year.

“Outside of the top couple of guys, the flyweight division is wide open,” Makovsky said. “There’s no real pecking order right now. Anyone can get there with a couple good fights.”

Makovsky is an excellent example of just how wide open the division is at this point. Despite only competing in the UFC once, he finds himself as the No. 10-ranked flyweight in the promotion. Given that so many of the top guys in the division have already lost to champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Makovsky could very well find himself in the title picture with a win at UFC 170.

Zach would like to thank Marcelo Garcia, along with all of his teammates and coaches. He would also like to thank his sponsors, Fear the Fighter and Gamma Labs, for sticking with him the past few years. Follow Makovsky on Twitter: @ZachFunSize

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.