by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Minus a small bump in the road, 2007 has been a great year for Team Quest lightweight Zac George.
Heading into the year undefeated, George managed to win five of seven bouts (including one no contest) en route to capturing the International Fighting Organization lightweight championship this past September, firmly placing himself among the sport’s best up-and-coming 155-pound fighters.
Currently sporting a 10-1 professional record, he returns to the promotion he got his start in as an amateur fighter, Sportfight, as part of one of the promotion’s featured bouts. The event will, for the first time, be broadcast live on HDNet this Saturday night from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore.
“My very first fight I had for Sportfight was an amateur bout a couple years ago, and it’s really cool to come back, fight on the main card and on HDNet,” said George about his return to the promotion.
“It’s really cool to fight for Matt (Lindland, Sportfight promoter). I appreciate him for giving me my start and helping me out with everything, so this is a good way to give back a little bit, draw a big crowd and have a great fight.”
As he explains, over the course of the three years since he last fought in the organization, things have gone both upward for him and the promotion.
“It’s changed a little bit since then,” commented George with a chuckle. “We were back in the Armory with maybe a thousand people, tops, and it’s gotten so much bigger now. It’s at the Rose Garden (Arena) with ten times the amount of people there, so it’s pretty cool.
“I feel like I’ve come a long way since then and I hope I can continue to get better. I feel I’ve doubled as a fighter, and I just want to keep that going and hopefully it’ll show in my bouts.”
At Sportfight on Saturday George will matched up with Mike Joy, a notoriously tough fighter on the Northwest circuit with over twenty total bouts to his record.
“I’ve seen some of his tapes. He’s got good stand-up, wrestling and submissions, so I think it’ll be an exciting bout,” commented George. “We both bring a lot to the table, so I think it will be a lot of fun.
“We always start standing-up, so I want to put leather on the guy’s face, knees on his face, and when it goes to the ground it will be real exciting. I have a good ground game, and it’s much better now and it’s going to keep getting better, so I think the fans will see a more well-rounded and exciting fighter as my experience gets more up there.”
Should things go well this weekend, he looks to build on his growing momentum and continue to head always upward and onward in his career.
“I want to keep getting bigger with the shows,” said George. “I have more fun the bigger it is. I do this now because it’s my job, but I also love it, enjoy it and want to be as good as I can at it.
“So I want to keep getting better and fighting on bigger and better shows against better opponents. I always try to put on a good performance and get ‘Fight of the Night,’ and I have to have a good opponent to get that, so that’s what I want.”
With an IFO title to defend and more opportunities waiting on the horizon, next year could very well be the true breakout year for George, starting with a good year-end performance at this Saturday’s Sportfight.
“Definitely come check out the show on the 22nd of December at the Rose Garden for Sportfight 21, and it’ll also be live on HDNet, so check it out,” closed out George. “Also check out RevGear.com, they sponsor me and help me out a lot; and thanks a lot to Team Quest.
“It’s going to be exciting all-around and I’m going to show them how a Team Quest fighter does it.”