Erion “The Albanian One” Zekthi sat down with FightBook MMA before the dynamic prospect tries to improve to 5-1 against Dillon Tolbert when they clash in the main event of Shamrock FC 329 on March 14 in St. Louis, LIVE on FITE.TV.
How did you find MMA to begin with?
It was a natural evolution from wrestling for me. My university didn’t have a wrestling team, so I got into Jui-Jitsu after my high school wrestling days were over. Eventually that led to MMA.
Did you work outside of MMA?
Yes sir. I do financial analytics for a software development company.
What do your colleagues think of your fighting career?
Nobody believes me (laughs). Nobody in MMA believes I work in finance, and nobody that I work with in finance believe that I’m a fighter (laughs). But, I will say this, once I start wearing short-sleeve shirts and my colleagues start to see my tattoos, it becomes a little bit easier to believe (laughs).
How do you balance the two jobs?
Oh, that’s easy, man. You just leave both when you leave. When I leave work to go to the gym, work is done. When I leave the gym, the gym is done, and I just go home and hang with the lady.
How far are you trying to go in MMA?
Oh, the next level. One-hundred percent, I’m trying to be the best in the world.
Is Dillon the toughest guy who you’ve fought so far?
(Laughs) No, not even close. No. I’ve fought much tougher.
What does he bring to the table?
He’s a body. Listen, he brings confidence. He just beat his last opponent, who’s a total bum, and he thinks his little win streak means something. He thinks, because he’s had a bit of success, that it’s going to continue. No. He’s going to find out that this fight just isn’t going to go how he thinks. He’s going to realize in the first 30 seconds that there are levels to this shit and he should’ve never accepted this fight. His whole team failed him, as far as I’m concerned, when they allowed him to take this fight. After he gets hurt or whatever, they can thank themselves for that.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.