“I made a little more adjustments with protecting my face when someone’s got me in a Muay Thai clinch,” said Czarnecki. “Working on my defense and getting out of that or avoiding it so I don’t take any damage or get split open again.”
And while his stand-up is an area he’d like to showcase, it was his ground game that got him back on track with a unanimous decision victory in his NAAFS return in April.
“I’d like to get a standing knockout one of these times because it’s one of the things kind of missing from my career, (but) my wrestling and ground and pound seems to be my strongpoint in my last couple fights and working to my advantage,” he said.
Czarnecki’s showing in April was good enough for him to earn a 145-pound title shot against long-reigning champion Frank “The Tank” Caraballo this Saturday night at Caged Vengeance 11 in Eastlake, Ohio.
“Frank has defended that belt in quite a few fights and has been a really good champion (because) he’s very versatile and has a really good stand-up game, so it will be a really good challenge for me,” Czarnecki told MMAWeekly.com of the match up.
“It definitely is a good measuring stick and gives me a good idea where my game is at and where it needs to go.”
Having fought MMA for two years, Czarnecki knows that he’ll be under-experienced compared to Caraballo who has nearly 30 combined fights as an amateur and a professional. Thus, Czarnecki feels he has to push the pace and not get into a prolonged war with the veteran champion.
“I tend to like to set the pace and dictate the fight most of the time and control it,” said Czarnecki. “If I set the tempo, set the mood, then it’s in my favor.
“I feel like I can push him into areas that something will open up in that he won’t feel comfortable. But I feel like also I can work stuff (in general) and something will pop open.”
Being in a main event and possibly defeating a long-time titleholder could be a turning point in Czarnecki’s career.
“I feel like it can definitely do that,” he said. “I’d like to get out west and do some fighting out there and maybe get on a promotion like Bellator or maybe even a shot at the UFC one day. I definitely feel that if I win this fight it will open a lot more doors and opportunities will come my way.”
(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Czarnecki)