With Unified MMA 39’s original main event scrapped due to injury to Teddy Ash, Edmonton’s Shane Campbell (18-8) and Arkansas’ Dawond Pickney (16-14) will have their fight moved into a spotlight both veterans have become familiar with.
Campbell, 31, is coming off a unanimous decision win over David Jordan at Fight Night 11 and said he’s looking to keep the ball rolling when he steps into the cage Friday night.
Recently, Campbell signed a multi-fight deal with Z-Promotions Fight Night and he feels it puts him in a great position to string some wins together and get paid.
“It’s nice to get a good progressive contract going there. I don’t really have any expectations other than with myself; I want to make sure I get a couple wins,” Campbell said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“By no means will I get cash right away. It’s a six-figure contract only if I win four fights consecutively.”
Before Campbell will have the opportunity to step back into the Fight Night cage, however, he’ll have to deal with a veteran of over 30 professional fights.
Pickney, 41, isn’t one for discussing gameplans, and said he’s more into letting his fists do the talking in the cage.
“I know he’s coming to fight and I’m coming to fight. I like his talents, and I know he’ll throw down,” Pickney said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I don’t like to make predictions; I just fight. I go in there to win, I go to war. I got one mindset, a warrior’s mindset, so I don’t ever go to lose. Warriors fight, and if we do lose, that’s a part of being a warrior.”
Both Campbell and Pickney have plenty of kickboxing experience, so the fight could very well become a stand-up battle.
And Pickney has never been shy to throw hands.
“If it stays there [on the feet], I’ll be happy because I don’t know if he wants to grapple. I don’t know if he’ll try to take me down, but I’d like to stand and bang,” Pickney said.
“My ground game has improved though. I can go to the ground with anybody. I’ve submitted black belts before, so I ain’t really worried about that either.”
Campbell is aware of Pickney’s experience, with both fighters having traveled all over to compete, and both are prepared for anything when they do battle on Friday night.
“We’re both two crafty veterans. I think it doesn’t really matter where it goes, you’re going to see a pretty scrappy fight,” Campbell said.
Once again, Campbell had to deal with an opponent change leading up to this scrap as he was originally scheduled to fight Spencer Jebb.
Campbell said he’s a veteran who knows it’s simply part of the fight game you have to deal with.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, the actual opponent itself does change the fight a little bit in terms of their skill-set, but in terms of putting stress on me, it’s not an issue,” Campbell said.
For Pickney, stepping into the cage is the best way to quickly learn what your opponent is made of.
Pickney said the focus leading up to Friday night has mainly been on his corner and what he can control.
“I haven’t watched much video on him, I think one or two fights,” Pickney said.
“It doesn’t take me too long to figure out what they’re strong at and I can go from there. At the end of the day, I like to focus on myself.”
Campbell in Prime Shape
As his career moves along, Campbell has started to take more of a focus on maintaining his body and keeping himself in the optimal shape to perform, not being the same young guy who can push to the limit everyday.
He said he’s found a way to pace himself and bring the best possible version to the cage. At 31 years old, Campbell could see himself fighting for another 10-plus years.
“In my older age, I focus more on just not getting injured rather than pushing as hard as I can. Five to six weeks out I like to push a lot harder,” Campbell said.
“I taper down closer to the fight now to prevent any injuries. I may have to take a little bit longer periods in between fights, but I believe that I’ll be fighting hopefully long into my 40s.”
With a fight already scheduled for Campbell in the new year, Pickney feels he could be getting disrespected in the sense that Campbell isn’t too worried about him.
“He’s got a fight set up after me, so I think he’s looking past me to be honest,” Pickney said.
“If he is looking past me, I want that fight he’s got lined up when I beat him. So that’s what I’m looking at next; they might need a replacement for him.”
Despite the fact that Campbell has his next date booked, by no means is he going to be making his way into the River Cree Resort and Casino on Friday night unprepared, and said he’s undefeated inside the Unified cage for a reason.
“All you can do is take one fight at a time, and I’ll let my performance speak for itself,” Campbell said.
“Shout out to everyone from Edmonton and everyone that comes out and has ever watched one of my fights. Thank you so much and on Dec. 6 come back out and I’ll be here to put on another show for you.” Follow Campbell on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
“Shout out to my entire team at Off The Chain MMA.” Follow Pickney on social media: FACEBOOK