by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy C3Fights.com)
For Zac “Red Devil” George this past Saturday’s Steele Cage Promotions IFO show was an opportunity to not only step up in competition and add a title belt to his resume, it represented an opportunity to showcase his skills and separate himself from the log-jam of young prospects in the lightweight division. And he did not waste it.
At about the halfway mark through the first round, George knocked out Midwest MMA veteran Chris Mickle to claim the vacant IFO 155-pound Championship, after working his way out of a couple precarious positions to start the match.
“I feel like I performed okay, not quite up to par,” commented Zac on his recent victory. “I felt aggressive and my striking was on, which is good, but I got a little sloppy with some of my punches, but other than that, I feel all right.”
“I didn’t show anything on the ground, other than a couple of escapes. I have a good ground game; I just didn’t get a chance to show it. Overall, I got a knockout in the first round, I mean, I can’t be too disappointed,” continued George with a chuckle.
Another reason for Zac to be happy with the way things turned out this past Saturday, is of course taking the IFO Lightweight Championship, which is just one of multiple titles the youngster has.
“I have three professional titles and this is by far the biggest organization I’ve won one in,” said George. “It was over a good opponent too – he has a lot more fights than I do, 22 wins, 20 by submission, that’s really impressive – so it was nice to not only escape his ground game, but to knock him out and take a good professional title at the same time.”
Even though, at times, Zac’s opponents have had the edge in in-ring experience, he feels his training with one of MMA’s most elite training grounds, Team Quest, has more than prepared him for what’s come his way.
“I can’t say enough good things about Team Quest,” exclaimed George. “Everyone at the gym has helped my game tremendously – Matt Lindland, ‘Suave’ [Matt Horwich], Robert Follis, Ian Loveland, and Ryan Schultz – everyone on this team is just unbelievable.”
Now that he’s claimed a title in a bigger promotion, you would think that Zac would enjoy the moment, but instead he’s already focusing on what lays ahead for the rest of 2007, and beyond.
“I really want to take at least two more fights before the end of the year,” revealed George. “I’d like to obviously stop my opponents, because I don’t like decisions, just keep on the winning track and keep upping my competition as well.”
Zac further commented, “I never want to go down in competition or show, I don’t want to be fighting for a barn show, I want to be fighting for good, name organizations. As long as there’s good competition and I get treated right, those are the organizations I want to fight for.”
With a recognizable belt around his waist, some of the best training around, and a burning desire to continue to ascend the lightweight ranks, George feels he could definitely be a fighter to be on the lookout for, whenever his next opportunity arises.
“I’d like to thank RevGear; Xtreme Sports Nutrition in Norman, Oklahoma; and I’d like to give a shout-out to C3 Fights [Caged Combat Challenge],” concluded Zac. “Check me out, I should be fighting a couple of times before the end of the year – you can definitely expect fireworks in my fights – somebody’s going to get knocked out.”