Jitters Out of the Way, Jason Zentgraf Knows He Has Ability to be the Champ

August 13, 2012

MFC LogoAt this past weekend’s MFC 34, Montana middleweight prospect Jason Zentgraf pulled off the Submission of the Night with a lightning fast rear naked choke on Cody Krahn.

As impressive as submitting your opponent just 75 seconds into a fight may sound, to Zentgraf, it wasn’t quite perfect.

“Even though I got the win, I wasn’t really as composed as I normally am,” he admitted. “I wasn’t nervous, but I wasn’t as tight as I usually am because it was my first international show on television.

“I usually do pretty good against real aggressive brawlers. I usually end up taking a shot or two, but they open themselves up a lot and I usually end up hitting them with a good punch or kick and dropping them and that’s what happened. He came out real aggressive and I landed a right that put him on his knees, then he feel to his back and a little bit of ground and pound softened him up and the choke was there and I ended up locking it up.”

Zentgraf told MMAWeekly.com that the original game plan for the fight pretty much went right out the window as soon as the bell rung.

“I was expecting him to come out a little bit slower than he was,” said Zentgraf. “I was expecting him to use kicks, but he just came out swinging, so I just had to kind of change it up a bit.

“I was planning on staying long and just using punches and kicks, and once he got close enough to land a solid elbow or get him in a clinch and use some Muay Thai knees.”

As Zentgraf admitted to earlier, the exposure of being on the biggest show of his career did take him aback a bit. He feels he’s adjusted quickly, however, and will be ready the next time.

“It seemed to affect me a little bit, but it could have been because I hadn’t fought in six months or so,” he said. “I got the big fight jitters out of the way and the next fight should be a lot smoother.”

While fans may not have been familiar with Zentgraf prior, his performance at MFC 34 is sure to open some eyes, as well as pave the way for other prospects in his area to get their shot as well.

“Nobody really thinks of Montana when they think of MMA, but we have a deep pool of extremely talented fighters,” he said. “(UFC heavyweight) Roy Nelson has fought here, Josh Barnett when he was in Pride would train here, and we have a lot of local talent here.”

The first bout of a three-fight contract under his belt, Zentgraf is eager to not only prove himself on an international stage, but also see how high he truly can rise.

“There’s a lot of negative stereotypes when it comes to fighters, and I want to show people you don’t have to be a jerk to be a good MMA fighter. You can be a good guy and have good form and stuff like that,” said Zentgraf. “That’s one of my motivating factors, but yeah, I want to see how far I can go with this.

“I know I have the ability to be the champ of anything I put my mind to, so I want to see what I can do.”