One of the UFC’s longest-standing roster members is back in action.
Canada’s John Makdessi (17-7) will welcome Chile’s Ignacio Bahamondes (11-3) to the big show on Saturday when they square off in a lightweight bout at UFC on ABC 2 in Las Vegas, Nev.
With 17 UFC fights under his belt and having fought some of the best lightweights in the world, Makdessi is set to have the upper hand in the experience department over the debuting Bahamondes.
Makdessi, 35, said his significant experience edge will allow him to control the fight in the way most beneficial to him.
“Obviously, he’s young, hungry and trying to prove something. I’m going to have to tame him and make sure I don’t let him fight his fight,” said Makdessi in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I have to make it very uncomfortable for him and fight my fight, and that’s where the experience kicks in. I can’t just let him do whatever he wants to do. I’m going to have to father him.”
Standing at 5’8″ and owning a reach of 68 inches, Makdessi is set to be at a sizable disadvantage in those departments to Bahamondes who stands 6’3″ and possesses a reach of 75.5 inches.
While he did his best to prepare for Bahamondes’ size in training camp, Makdessi said he’s preparing to make adjustments as the fight progresses.
“At the end of the day, one thing I’ve learned is what makes legendary fighters, makes legends, is the ability to adjust on the fly,” said Makdessi.
“If you look at football, sometimes the quarterback can have a lot of game plans, but sometimes you have to call an audible. On fight night, I’m going to have to make adjustments 100 per cent.”
Makdessi was last in action in March 2020 at UFC on ESPN+ 28, a unanimous decision loss to Francisco Trinaldo. Makdessi also suffered a serious knee injury in the contest, which required surgery to repair his torn ACL.
While he believes he did enough to win the fight, Makdessi said the end result showed him he simply needs to be more aggressive going forward.
“In the mixed martial arts game, this is nothing new. The judging, the way they look at a fight, when you go into someone’s hometown, you cannot play defence. I was obviously very defensive, I was playing the counter fighter, and the judges didn’t favour that. They liked the guy who’s aggressive and coming forward. Hitting and moving, moving and hitting is also an art, and I have one of the highest defensive rates in the UFC. If you look at the scorecards, the numbers don’t lie. It’s not the first time I got robbed,” said Makdessi.
“Fighting in someone’s hometown, I need to be more aggressive. Now, it’s mutual turf, so it’s going to be interesting.”
Makdessi is set to make the walk to the cage for the UFC for the eighteenth time in his career, having made his debut way back in 2010.
With the continuous turnover the UFC roster undergoes year-to-year, Makdessi said it’s an honour to have been able to compete on the sport’s biggest stage for as long as he has. And he’s not done yet.
“The UFC is a cutthroat business. It’s about performance, it’s about being a professional and being disciplined,” said Makdessi.
“It’s a sense of accomplishment, but obviously I still feel I have a lot left to accomplish in my MMA career. Being part of the UFC has been a privilege and an honour.”
“I’d like to thank everyone who supports my Bullwear merchandise and Bull Nutrition, The MMA Lab, Javier Torres for the help and support, my manager (Mitch Mayberger), the UFC for giving me another opportunity to fight, and all the fans for the continuous support.” Follow Makdessi on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM