Adam Gabel Takes on Charlie Zak for KOTC Lightweight Title
KOTC promoter John Cooper just released to Top MMA News the completed card for KOTC UPRISING II taking place in Nanaimo, BC. The main event will feature Adam Gabel (1-1) fighting out of Zuma Martial Arts in Victoria, BC against Charlie Zak (3-2) from Revolution MMA in Vancouver, BC for the KOTC Canadian Lightweight title.
Although Adam Gabel’s 1-1 record does not appear to be title material, he began his 6-0 amateur career at the age of 21 winning all of his fights with a mix of KO’s and TKO’s. Gabel began fighting at 185lbs, he then moved to 170 before his first pro fight where he lost to Aaron Bruce by Rear Naked Choke in the first round.
When asked about the loss to Bruce, Gabel responded, “I took that fight very prematurely! He is a very good wrestler and at the time I underestimated the ground game a lot. I was dominating the fight on our feet, but he fought through it and put me on my back where I panicked and gave up my back; it won’t happen again.”
Gabel then moved down to 155lbs where he battled his way to a win by doctors’ stoppage in the second round. Gabel commented on his dropping in weight, “I fought my first couple [fights] at 185, then the rest at 170. I went down to American Top Team and saw the size of the guys fighting at 170 and knew that I needed to be at 155 to be competitive.” Gabel has proved he is ready to take on any contender KOTC will offer him to hold the title. His comments on the title shot, “I’m excited about it, anyone who has seen me fight knows I can rise to the occasion.”
The other half of the KOTC Lightweight title fight, Charlie Zak, has his own story of his road to the title shot. Charlie Zak, born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, began fighting Muay Thai at the age of 16. Zak is replacing Impact MMA fighter Darcy James, after James suffered three broken ribs during a grappling session last week.
After his first pro win, Zak was defeated in his second two fights – both by submission. Charlie addressed these losses with Top MMA News,
“The losses happened, because they [my opponents] were better then me at that point. I learned a lot from those fights, how to train properly and to listen to my body. But what I learned the most was how to be mentally there. I know and see that there is much more to learn, and I’m open for it.”
When asked about receiving a shot at the title at this point in his career, Zac responded, “It’s really nice to get the opportunity; it’s at the right time.”
Clearly both of these fighters are ready and willing to battle it out for this great opportunity of being the Canadian KOTC Lightweight Title holder, a title that was previously held by the UFC’s Rory MacDonald. The hype is building for this bout, as the full card was released today. John Cooper, who is excited about seeing a new title holder coming up in March, had this to say to Top MMA News about the fighters,
“Adam Gabel has been tearing up the amateur fight scene on Vancouver Island and his only loss is to Aaron Bruce at 170lb. Since making the drop to 155, [Gabel] won a battle in our last show against Adjin Nezic out of Revolution. Gabel now faces off against another Revolution stand out, Charlie Zak. Both of these fighters will give any of the Canadian 155lb’ers a run for their money and this is their chance.”
Stay tuned into Top MMA News for all your Canadian MMA updates and anything else from KOTC UPRISING II.