John Makdessi took punishment so that he could give it out Saturday night at UFC 186.
Makdessi ate some nasty kicks to the leg from Shane Campbell, but dropped the Octagon newcomer three times inside of the first round, scoring a TKO victory in his native country of Canada.
“Every fight is like life or death for me,” Makdessi said. “In my head, I was fighting a world champion. I respect him a lot; Shane Campbell is a tough competitor.”
Campbell (11-3) was stepping in on short notice for Abel Trujillo, who suffered an injury and was forced to pull out of the bout.
Makdessi, nicknamed “The Bull,” credited his Tristar Gym teammates with helping prepare him for a new opponent.
“Tristar has a lot of variations and diversity, and that’s why it’s the best gym,” he said. “I had a lot of last minute sparring partners to mimic his style.”
Makdessi (13-3) landed 85 of 120 strikes, including 77 significant ones at 69-percent. Neither fighter converted on a takedown, as they attempted five combined.