Shane Campbell is ecstatic to finally fight again.
Campbell (19-8), from St. Catharines, Ont., hasn’t fought since Dec. 2019 where he beat Dawond Pickney for Unified MMA’s interim 165-pound title. He will now defend that belt against Mike Hill (11-6-1) at Unified MMA 41 on Friday where for the 34-year-old, he was just eager to fight and didn’t care where or who he was fighting.
“I’m the 155-pound champion there, but we couldn’t find a lightweight opponent for me, so I’ll be fighting for the 165-pound title. I’m also the 160-pound champion of Fight Night out of Lethbridge, so as soon as they put on an event I’ll be fighting over there,” Campbell explained to MMA Empire.
“It was really whoever put on a show first is where I’ll be fighting. I was also open to fighting in the States, it has been a lot of hurdles to get a fight.”
Now that he finally has a fight, Campbell says he plans to be active as possible. He wants to make up as much time as possible as he knows he lost a lot of his prime years as he didn’t fight at all in 2020.
“Between 31-34 is supposed to be your prime years for combat sports, so it took a lot out of me to not be able to fight during this time,” Campbell said.
“Losing my prime years has been very taxing on me, which is why I’m so happy to be able to fight again.”
Against Hill, Campbell says he doesn’t know much about his opponent. The two did train together for a week or two years ago Campbell says.
However, the former UFC fighter says he has gotten better in the time off and is eager to show off his skills.
“We both trained at the same gym years ago. It was only a week or two we were there together, but I don’t know much about him. I’m just focused on myself and improving my own skill set,” Campbell said.
“But it has been hard as it has just been working by yourself, but that is why I went to Las Vegas so I could work out in gyms and not by myself and improve my skillset. He does have good cardio and should be stronger, but I’m very strong myself. It’s MMA though, so you never know what will happen.”
Not only does Campbell need to win this fight, but he also says he needs to finish it if he wants to get back to the UFC.
The Canadian says this fight is do-or-die for his career as he believes a win and a stoppage win could very well earn him a second shot in the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“I know I’m on the UFC’s radar as I’m 7-2 since the release and both my losses were short notice fights in Russia against Russians where all they did was hold me down,” Campbell concluded.
“This fight is everything, it’s do-or-die. If I lose this fight I will never get back to the UFC. It’s a great platform on Fight Pass. If I win there’s a good chance I get back in the UFC, especially if I perform and get a highlight-reel finish.”