Marius Zaromskis kicking Ross Pointon at Cage Rage 24

At one time Marius “Whitemare” Zaromskis was considered one of MMA’s best young welterweights.

Capturing Dream’s welterweight championship with a streak of highlight-reel knockouts made him feared, respected and adored by fans all at once. Since then, however, things have not gone so swimmingly.

Losses in three of his next five fights (with one no contest), including suffering back-to-back knockouts at the hands of Nick Diaz and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, derailed what had been a blossoming career.

Zaromskis decided it was time for a change. “I moved to U.S. about three years ago and joined the AKA gym and I feel that each day I got better and better.

“My wrestling and jiu-jitsu especially improved a lot, and my striking got sharper. I fight with my head more now. I think I am a different fighter than I was before.”

Four wins in a row has Zaromskis back on the right track and headed into Friday’s first round of the Bellator welterweight tournament at Bellator 74 in Atlantic City, N.J., with a full head of steam.

When asked about his first round opponent, Nordine Taleb, Zaromskis said, “I don’t know anything about him and don’t really think about him much. He is an opponent. He will try to beat me and I will try to do the same.

“Nowadays everyone is dangerous; everyone trains hard all the time to improve their skills. Taleb is taller than me, so he will have the reach advantage, but at the end of the day when you have those small gloves on, everyone is dangerous.”

Zaromskis believes his experience will be the key to the fight and he also hopes to remind people why he was one of the top ranked 170-pound fighters in the world.

“I want the win of course, but I want the fans to know me,” he said. “I want to knockout the guy and win fans the way I did in Japan.

“I believe I can knock anyone out.”

Should Zaromskis get past Taleb on Friday night, his path will be set for him as he advances through the welterweight tournament and attempts to recapture the glory he once possessed.

Surprisingly, when asked what he plans to do should he win the tournament, Zaromskis replied with a laugh, “I will go to Disneyland.”

(A special thanks to Anthony Mazzuca for his assistance with the Marius Zaromskis interview.)

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