LETHBRIDGE – Canmore MMA fighter Adam Zekry showed off his punishing punching power last weekend with a violent finish over his opponent inside two rounds.
Zekry defeated Derek Khosa by second round TKO (punches) in the welterweight bout (170 lbs.) at Fight Night 12, Saturday (Jan. 25) in Lethbridge, Alta., improving his amateur record to 2-0.
The local fighter was zoned in and ready to “smash him” during Friday’s weigh-ins and faceoff, and made no mistake inside the cage 24 hours later.
“We’re gonna fight the next day – I’m not there to shake hands [and] laugh, I’m there to win,” said the 31-year-old Zekry, who trains locally out of Bow Valley Jiu Jitsu (BVJJ).
A “chaotic” first round kicked things off in the bout, where the Mission, B.C. fighter “came out hot” in the opening seconds and head-hunted Zekry, wildly swinging fists and looking for a knockout blow. Zekry stayed cool under fire, however, and things eventually slowed down with the local fighter wrestling Khosa to the mat until the horn sounded.Travis Erlam, one of Zekry’s corner coaches, said between the first and second rounds he told Zekry to refocus on the task at hand.
“He knew exactly what he had to do, he got off the stool and executed it perfectly,” said Erlam, BVJJ head instructor.
“He was definitely meant to be in that cage, he just needed to know it. That’s what you seen going into the second, him knowing he belonged there and he put in the work.”
Using a boxing base learned at the defunct Canmore Fight Club, Zekry entered the second round and immediately landed a stiff jab that set the tone.
“I hit him hard with a stiff shot in the face and got him with a really good straight kick to the body. I did exactly the game plan I came up with my coaches and put pressure on him and put his back against the cage, and then I went for the double leg takedown and got it perfectly. From there, I mounted [Khosa] and ground and pounded until the ref stopped it," Zekry said.
The ref officially called off the fight 65 seconds into the round.
“I was super happy, really happy, [and] thankful to eat food normally again."
Zekry and members from BVJJ celebrated the win with pancakes the next morning.
One of the biggest tests a fighter faces leading up to a bout is cutting weight, in which they’ll punish their bodies – missing/reducing meals, intense training and sauna sessions to lose water weight, and using IV bags to remove blood, as examples – in order to make the agreed upon weight.
In Zekry’s debut in October, where he won a unanimous decision, it was fought at 185 lbs., so losing the extra 15 pounds a few months later was challenging, he admitted, especially during January's cold snap.
“There was times when I felt depleted or tired and working outside when it’s -40 C is not easy to do when you’re working on 800-900 calories a day,” he said.
However, the weight cut ended up being another part of the surgical game plan that worked for him.
Zekry added he plans on stepping back into the cage again later this year.
"I'm taking it one step at a time," he said. "I'm going to do a few grappling tournaments and wait a few months before I go again."