For Quebec’s Yohan Lainesse (3-0), the COVID-19 pandemic can’t end soon enough. The “White Lion” will make his return to the cage after 16 months without competition.
Lainesse, 27, will face Connor Dixon (2-0) in a 180-pound catchweight fight this Wednesday. The bout will be on the CFFC 82 fight card, where fans can tune in via UFC Fight Pass.
“I’ve been training every day [for] four years,” Lainesse said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I am more than ready.”
Home fight for Dixon
Wednesday’s fight card will be Cage Fury FC’s first event since Feb. 1, and features six fights. CFFC 83 will take place Thursday with two title fights, and will also be held at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
Dixon, 24, who grew up about an hour away from Philadelphia, is especially excited for the matchup as well.
“I feel confident and I feel good,” Dixon said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I think this is a bad matchup for [Yohan] to be honest. I keep running the fight over and over in my mind, and I just can’t see a universe where he’s able to bludgeon me before I’m able to get a hold of him.”
Dixon holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a solid wrestling background. Conversely, Lainesse has a solid boxing foundation, winning two of his three fights by KO.
“I can take a bunch of clean punches and be fine, but he can’t survive one single takedown,” Dixon said.
“I just think it’s a terrible matchup for him. I think he probably feels that way too; I’m not sure what he’s telling himself to help him sleep at night.”
When questioned about the matchup, the Lainesse begged to differ with his opponent, saying he’s a more well-rounded fighter than Dixon believes.
“I don’t consider myself a striker, I’m a mixed martial artist,” Lainesse said.
“Connor Dixon always had easy matchups before this fight; I wouldn’t be surprised if I submit him. I’m excited to fight a black belt with a large ego.”
Both athletes prepare for catchweight weigh-in
Walking around at 200 pounds, Dixon, normally a welterweight fighter, will get a chance to see how he performs at a bigger weight.
“I’m by no means a small man,” Dixon said.
“I can definitely see [myself] moving up to 185 in a few years.”
At 6’2” and 24 years old, the New Jersey native acknowledged that he’s getting bigger as he gets older, and may look to make a weight division change in the near future.
Cutting weight is nothing new to Dixon—he regularly cuts 20 – 40 pounds for a fight—so he’s willing and able to experiment with different divisions as he progresses in his MMA career.
“The jump between 155 and 170 is so big, and the jump between 170 and 185 is harsh,” Dixon said.
“I’ll tell you what, there was a lot of talk about that 165 weight class. I was really hoping for that.”
Like his opponent, Lainesse is comfortable fighting at catchweight this week. The 6’1” Canadian may also move up a weight class soon, so he has no qualms trying a new weight.
“I feel great not [having to] cut weight for this fight,” Lainesse said.
“My goal is to fight at 185 professionally, since I’m a big [welterweight].”
Lainesse said he hopes to get a title shot at welterweight or middleweight in Cage Fury FC soon after his fight against Dixon.
Follow Lainesse on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM