Frank CaraballoAfter a disappointing 2010 that saw him go 1-2, current NAAFS featherweight champion Frank “The Tank” Caraballo made changes to his training routine and has since won five fights in a row.

“A lot of my ground and wrestling is where I really had a lot of problems with, so I’ve really been working a lot on that,” Caraballo said of his training changes. “That’s been helping me a lot in my victories lately.”

The additions to Caraballo’s game comes after an extensive amateur career where he learned how to be a fighter first, which he feels has been invaluable to him in his nearly 30 combined fights.

“I think it’s important for these young guys to do a lot of amateur fights because you learn a lot of stuff fighting as an amateur,” he said. “You learn to relax, how to deal with losses and how to learn from your wins.

“You learn a lot and become a better pro, I think. That’s been a big part of my fighting, getting that experience.”

Caraballo is looking to use his experience and remain on his winning streak when he defends his NAAFS title on Saturday at Caged Vengeance 11 in Eastlake, Ohio, against up-and-comer Jeremy Czarnecki.

“As far as I know, he’s a wrestler, so I’m going to try to keep it standing, but if it goes to the ground, I’ll be comfortable there, too,” said Caraballo of Czarnecki. “It doesn’t really matter where it goes; I’m comfortable everywhere.

“As long as I work my game, there’s nothing he can do about it.”

Having been in the title picture for some time, Caraballo told MMAWeekly.com that he wouldn’t be the one feeling any added pressure Saturday night.

“I’m defending my title. It ain’t my first time, so I’m ready,” said Caraballo. “I look at it as he’s training to whoop on me, and I’m training to do the same thing (to him). I plan on finishing him by knocking him out or tapping him out quick.”

Currently 10-4 as a pro, Caraballo could be on the cusp of making a name for himself on the national stage. He feels the timing is right to step up, but still, he isn’t looking past Czarnecki on Saturday night.

“I feel I’m reaching my peak,” said Caraballo. “I’m hoping to get two or three more fights in this year and try to stay busy.

“I’ll just take it one fight at a time and not look ahead of the opponent that’s right in front of me. He’s going to have to knock me out or finish me to come get (my title if he wants it).”

(Photo courtesy of Frank Caraballo)

E-mail Mick Hammond
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