This is a familiar spot for Shane Campbell.
After defeating Tristan Connelly back in 2017 to win the belt, this will be Campbell’s third-straight title defence, and he said he’s excited to do so once again in front of so much support.
“It’s really nice having so much support in Edmonton. I have a lot of friends that come out and watch me fight,” said Campbell in an interview.
“I’ve trained at almost every gym in the city, so I have a lot of people backing me here, and that really helps.”
While Campbell, 31, feels right at home in the 155-pound weight class, his opponent will be making the drop to lightweight for the first time in his career.
With all of Abella’s previous fights coming at welterweight, Campbell believes Abella’s weight cut could play a factor in the fight.
“I’m a big man too, but I’ve done it before and I know how to do it. With it being his first time, I think it should play a factor,” said Campbell.
“I think he’s going to be in for a rude awakening of how much it really sucks.”
With 23 professional fights under his belt, including five in the UFC, Campbell does hold the experience edge.
Campbell said he’s expecting Abella to want to keep the fight standing, and is interested to see how Abella will approach him in the cage.
“He says that he’s going to make me suffer, so I’m excited for that,” said Campbell.
“The only person that’s ever made me suffer is me, so good luck with that, kid.”
Abella Knows What’s Coming
Although he has just six professional fights under his belt, Abella said he knows exactly what he’s in for when he steps in the cage with Campbell.
Despite Campbell having multiple wins by knockout and submission, Abella said he believes Campbell only has one way to beat him.
“He’s a one-dimensional kind of fighter. I know what he’s bringing, and I’m going to see everything coming,” said Abella in an interview.
“He has nothing new to show me or for me to expect.”
Before dropping his last fight in a decision, Abella rattled off five straight wins, including four stoppages, to begin his professional career, which has now led to his first title shot.
Abella said this is a massive opportunity for him in his career, and a win over Campbell will go a long way for his future in the sport.
“This would be everything I’ve been training for since my beginning,” said Abella.
“It’s very important. It’ll be a big jump for me to the bigger leagues.”
Up to this point, both Abella and Campbell have been vocal on social media regarding how they think the fight will play out.
Abella said he’s not one to initiate any trash talk or disrespect, but said he’s going to be the one to put an end to it.
“I’m usually respectful of guys, but when they open their mouth, I hope they will eat their words,” said Abella.
“I know I’m going in there with really mean intentions, and it will show on March 1.”
“I’d like to thank Apothec Naturals and Wellness Clinic, Flex Chiropractic and Performance, Careit Urban Deli, and everyone that’s ever supported me and gave me love throughout my career.”
“I’d like to thank Little Sweatshop, Shaved Bears MMA, Frank Lee’s Muay Thai, Jeff Montemurro, Keijiro Noda, Crystal Glass, Dr. Niz Saab from City Centre Health Edmonton Chiropractic, The Firm Management, and a big thank you to my wife.”