Coming into this year riding a three-fight winning streak, Montana-based middleweight prospect Jason Zentgraf managed to keep the ball rolling with a win in February over Clay Davidson at MFC 36, but he feels he could have done better in kicking off 2013.
“The first round was fairly boring – and I’m pretty disappointed about that – but I did implement my game and was able to work his body and hit him with quite a few liver shots, knees in the clinch and a few elbows,” said Zentgraf. “The second round I was able to take him down and was looking for the finish, and he ended up sweeping me, but I locked up that armbar.
“I was never in a spot where I felt threatened, and I felt in control the whole time, and it was a win and that’s a plus, but it wasn’t the most exciting fight for the fans.”
While his performance may not have showcased it, Zentgraf told MMAWeekly.com that he feels his game is as sharp as it has ever been, but looks to improve even more with a recent change in camps.
“My striking has always been good and my clinch has actually gotten a lot better,” he said. “I switched gyms recently and it focuses a lot more on jiu-jitsu than striking, so I’ve gotten lot more grappling in and feel a lot tighter there.”
“I think the key will be my takedown defense,” said Zentgraf. “If I’m able to stuff his takedowns and judo throws I should be good. I should be able to break him down, frustrate him and hopefully open him up for some elbows and knees and keep it standing.
“His weakness is striking, so hopefully I’ll be able to stay on my toes and put him on his butt.”
With both he and Harris having solid records in the MFC, the winner could be in line for a middleweight title shot later this year, but Zentgraf feels that it’s going to take more than just a win if that’s what he hopes to get out of the fight.
“If I go out there and I just squeak out a really boring win, I wouldn’t expect them to give me a title shot. You’ve got to put on great fights,” he said. “If you look at the latest champ, Elvis Mutapcic, he goes out there and just works guys and always has exciting fights, and that’s what I’ve got to be.
“I like being on TV, I like fighting in front of people and being entertaining. I want to put on fights that everyone talks about.”