UFC 186 preview: John Makdessi vs. Shane Campbell

John MakdessiUFC 186 goes down this weekend at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and I’m back to take a look at a few of the fights on the card to give you an idea what to expect in some of the matchups.  First up, we had a look at Patrick Cote vs. Joe Riggs.  Next up on our list, a lightweight matchup between John Makdessi (12-3) vs. Shane Campbell (11-2).

Campbell makes his UFC debut on late notice as a replacement for Abel Trujillo while this is Makdessi’s ninth fight with the promotion (he’s currently 5-3 in the UFC).  Prior to his decision loss to Alan Patrick Silva Alves, Makdessi had put together three straight wins, including a decision win over Sam Stout.  Campbell is on a three fight win streak, finishing all three by TKO.

This is a win/win situation for Campbell; stepping in on late notice gets him a shot at the big show with likely at least a 2-3 fight contract.  However, it’s likely that the late notice is part of the reason Campbell is coming into the fight as a significant underdog at +640 while Makdessi is a solid favorite at -680.

Makdessi is primarily a standup fighter, and eight of his twelve wins come via T/KO (the other four wins are decisions).  Campbell is a standup fighter himself, and five of his eleven wins come via T/KO (he also holds two submission wins and four decision wins).  Campbell has never been T/KO’d in his career, and there’s no doubt Makdessi looks to be the first to do it.

Makdessi’s game is a mix of finesse and patience.  Despite his T/KO wins, he’s not a major power puncher, but instead relies on well-timed shots and precision to land hard strikes that put his opponents down.  He’s not well-known for particularly fast footwork (like Dominick Cruz), but has more of a stalking style, again relying on finesse and patience.

Campbell has significant Muay Thai experience (two time world champion), and a stalking style where he tries to wear down his opponents, stay in their faces landing strikes wherever he can.  He’ll likely try to push the pace early and go for broke, trying to put Makdessi out of the fight quickly.  However, provided Makdessi can avoid Campbell’s kicks and elbows early on, his patience will pay off and he’ll either land a shot that takes Campbell out about midway through the fight or wear him down for a decisive decision win.