The much-anticipated rematch between Shane Campbell and Stephen Beaumont has arrived.
Campbell (15-6) will defend his lightweight belt against Beaumont (9-2) in the co-main event at Unified MMA 33 Friday night in Enoch, Alta., nearly five-and-a-half years after scoring the first-round submission in their meeting at AFC 14.
Since the first affair, Campbell, 30, has fought 12 times, including five bouts in the UFC, compared to Beaumont’s four fights.
Campbell said he expects his more active schedule since the first meeting to play a factor in the rematch.
“Experience always helps,” said Campbell in an interview.
“Having more experience in this last little while will definitely always play a factor.”
Based off his elite muay thai background, Campbell has continued to improve in all areas of his game over the past five years.
But while he’s certainly made gains in all aspects of MMA, Campbell said the jiu-jitsu realm is where he feels he’s made the biggest strides.
“There’s a lot of intricate things in MMA beyond striking,” said Campbell.
“With some of the techniques, I can just completely shut someone down.”
Although he’s already shared the cage with Beaumont, Campbell said he’s fully expecting him to be much-improved, just as he is.
With that in mind and his usual approach to each fight, Campbell said he won’t enter the cage with any firm game-plan, but will instead use the wait-and-see approach.
“The first round of every fight I like to kind of feel it out and see where it’s going,” said Campbell.
“It’s always a bit of a surprise for me.”
Beaumont Deserving of Title Shot
Although the talent pool for lightweight division challengers in Western Canada is deep, Unified MMA president Sunny Sareen said Beaumont was the clear choice this time around.
“The guy’s a beast; he hits like a truck” said Sareen in an interview.
“Stephen only wants to fight the top guys in the world.”
With two local fighters battling it out for a championship belt, Sareen said he’s expecting a big following for each of them, and anticipates their styles meeting in the cage will produce an entertaining fight for the fans.
“This fight is the kind of fight that people want to see,” said Sareen.
“It’s two strikers going at it. What else could you ask for as an MMA fan?”
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