UFC 169’s John Makdessi: “When I do Reach my Full Potential It’s Going to be a Great Thing to Witness”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although John Makdessi may not be capturing as many headlines lately as other surging lightweights, like say, Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Tristar fighter could narrow that gap if he scores another big win Saturday. Heading into his UFC 169 scrap against Alan Patrick, not only has Makdessi won three straight, but the noted striker is coming off a memorable KO win over Renee Forte at UFC 165. In other words, “The Bull” has been on quite a roll since he dropped bouts to Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani.
“My thing is that I try to constantly work on my mind, you know?” Makdessi noted recently on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing his victory over Forte in September. “Physically I know I have skills. I’ve got skills not too many guys have ever had, because they never went through my life experience…my background, with my diversity of martial arts.”
“My biggest thing was to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” added Makdessi, who was a decorated Karate competitor and kickboxer before transitioning into MMA. “I just found that I put too much pressure on myself and I started to take it too serious, and I forgot to have fun. I lost that in the past.”
After the 28 year-old lost by unanimous decision to Njokuani in 2011, Makdessi went on to score decision wins over vaunted strikers in Sam Stout and Daron Cruickshank. Although Makdessi had impressed in his previous UFC wins over Pat Audinwood and Kyle Watson, the victories over Stout and Cruickshank seemed to mark a turning point.
“I found fighting Sam Stout was just to prove to myself that I belong in the big leagues and that I am one of the best fighters,” Makdessi said. “Sam Stout, I’m not taking anything away from him; all the guys I’ve fought are great fighters. At the end of the day it’s a sport. I’m an entertainer, I’m a professional fighter, so I need to be smart, it’s all about fighting your fight.”
“I truly believe I still haven’t reached my full potential,” the Quebec fighter furthered. “I think that when I do reach my full potential it’s going to be a great thing to witness.”
While Patrick may not be as familiar a name to North American fans as Makdessi, the Brazilian has won 11 straight bouts and is coming off a stoppage win over Garrett Whitely in his UFC debut.
“At the end of the day, if I focus too much on what he’s going to do then I’m going to just waste my game,” Makdessi said, while discussing Patrick and his resume, which includes multiple grappling awards. “What I’ve learned through my losses and experiences is that I can’t focus on what he’s going to do, I’m going to focus on what I’m going to do.”
“In MMA, people come with jiu-jitsu, some guys are better in wrestling, some guys are better in stand-up; at the end of the day, I truly believe I’m one of a kind…I’ve been doing martial arts since I was six years old; not too many guys can say that. Not only doing it, but competing at a high level.”
UFC 169 will be hosted by Newark’s Prudential Center, and will feature bantamweight champion Renan Barao taking on Urijah Faber and featherweight champ Jose Aldo versus Ricardo Lamas.