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Thursday, Apr 23, 2015

UFC 186’s John Makdessi Weighs-In on Opponent Change, Facing K-1 Vet Shane Campbell

John Makdessi (left) kicking Kyle Watson (photo via UFC.com)

By Kelsey Mowatt

John Makdessi may have been thrown a curveball, just a few weeks out from UFC 186, but the lightweight doesn’t seem phased by the late change as the event draws near.

Originally, Makdessi was scheduled to fight Abel Trujillo on April 25th, but then, earlier this month, it was announced he had pulled out due to injury. Stepping in for Trujillo is Shane Campbell, who will be making his UFC debut.

While some UFC fans may not be overly familiar with Campbell at this juncture, his training and martial arts background is different than Trujillo’s. The latter is an accomplished, collegiate wrestler, who has scored memorable stoppage wins over the likes of Roger Bowling and Jamie Varner during his UFC run.

Campbell, on the other hand, is a decorated striker, who in addition to posting a 62-9 record in kickboxing, has gone 11-2 in MMA. The 27 year-old has also competed for K-1 several times.

“I take every fight serious,” Makdessi relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “Every opponent has his dangerous points. At the end of the day, any fighter that steps into the cage, regardless of his background, whatever it is, is dangerous…”

While Makdessi may not have the same Muay Thai accolades as Campbell, he’s also an experienced kickboxer and his stand-up has drawn widespread praise. “The Bull” also likes to remind folks that he’s more than just a highlight reel striker.

“A lot of people underestimate my ground game, they underestimate my wrestling, but they also have to understand that I’m also an entertainer,” said the 29 year-old. “I’m also trying to make the fight exciting. It’s not only to get the W, it’s also to get the W in a spectacular fashion…I’m always trying to make it an exciting fight for the fans. I’m well rounded. I work with wrestlers, I work with grapplers, I work with strikers. Everyday I push my body to the limits and I work very hard.”

“This is MMA. It’s very unpredictable. Injuries happen because of the intensity of the sport,” Makdessi furthered. “The sport is, in my opinion, the hardest sport in the world, because of the different aspects of the game. There’s multiple skills that you have to master…”

While Makdessi didn’t find out about the change until fairly recently, the Tristar fighter did make some changes to his camp, after Trujillo withdrew.

“I right away called all my trainers up, told everybody this is the guy I’m fighting now, I’ve got to get good sparring partners,” Makdessi said. “He’s a six foot, big tall guy, but I’m very fortunate. The good thing with Tristar gym there’s so many bodies, so many different body types, so many different looks. I’ve got strikers, I’ve got wrestlers, I’ve got boxers, I’ve got Thai fighters, so I’m very fortunate there’s a lot of big, tall guys with a Thai style.”

UFC 186 will be hosted by the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec on April 25th.

posted by FCF Staff @ 8:00 am
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