U.K. MMA veteran James Zikic is all set for an exciting encounter this weekend in Poland at KSW 16, fighting tough homegrown submission stylist Michal Materla. It’s a position he has been in before and one he looks forward to again – step onto foreign soil and take care of business.
“My goals in this sport are to win a few titles in Poland and in the U.K., probably KSW and BAMMA, before getting another chance in the UFC. That’s what I really want more than anything. God willing, to get a chance to fight on the biggest stage again.”
With more and more fighters competing on European cards, there is clearly an appeal to the Polish show and Zikic is happy to explain why.
“They are one of the biggest promotions in Europe. They put on great shows, great productions, they are very professional, and look after the fighters. They have a lot to offer.”
Future plans in place, the first step in attaining them comes against a fighter who has only recently returned to action after a glut of injuries that kept him out on the sidelines.
No stranger to inactivity himself – be it through injury, personal or spiritual growth – Zikic believes that time on the sidelines won’t have affected his opponent as much as many might expect.
“I realize Materla has been inactive recently, but he is still a dangerous fighter. I think ring rust affects strikers more than grapplers, although I think it’s important to stay active to keep sharp, who knows what kind of form he will turn up in.”
Never one to leave it to chance, the veteran has plans of his own on how to sway the flow of the bout.
“It’s not how he performs, it’s about how I perform and how I assert my will and gameplan that will decide this fight.”
No stranger to the mat himself, Zikic has a tight, technical ground game that is often overlooked, especially considering that nine of his 20 career wins have come by way of submission. Most opponents think he is striking-skewed.
“It could get technical on the floor and I am ready for that. I have my favorite go-to moves that I keep sharp, but we will just have to see how the fight develops.”
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