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EXCLUSIVE MMABay interview with John Makdessi ahead of his UFC 145 showdown with Anthony Njokuani

March 29, 2012 All MMA News, Exclusives, Interviews, UFC  Comments 

MMABay sat down with ultra-talented Canadian striker, John Makdessi ahead of his UFC 145 clash with Anthony Njokuani set for April 21st in Atlanta, Georgia. We asked him about his first career defeat, how he plans on dealing with the Nigerian striker’s devastating onslaught and his hopes for the future. To find out what he had to say check out the interview on the other side…

Hi John,

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with MMABay.co.uk and answer a few of our questions.

Makdessi – Great to speak to you.

MMABay – You were last seen in action on the UFC 140 card event in December, losing out to Dennis Hallman via submission in the first round. What were you able to take from this loss, the first of your mixed martial arts career?

Makdessi – Going into the fight I knew he was a steroid user and he was a bigger guy than me and he had three times my experience and I believed I could of beat him. He just overwhelmed me with his size and the fact that I wanted to touch gloves and he rushed me and I wasn’t mentally prepared for that.

MMABay – Two things that were noted during the fight was firstly the gulf in grappling experience between the two of you and secondly the size difference. Have you done anything during the last four months to improve the wrestling aspect of your game and also have you ever considered dropping to the featherweight division perhaps?

Makdessi – I’ve been in MMA for three yrs and he’s been in it for over fifteen years he obviously has more experience than me. I’m always trying to improve in my wrestling if there was one thing I had abandoned was my striking I always try to work on my weaknesses. I haven’t considered dropping to featherweight division.

MMABay – Prior to that fight you’d sat out for almost eight months following your UFC 129 win over Kyle Watson, partly due to the injury you picked up over the summer months. Do you think this interruption/spell out adversely affected you in the cage that night?

Makdessi – The injury was on my mind but didn’t really have time to focus on that.

MMABay – Your next fight inside the octagon comes at UFC 145 on April 21st in Atlanta, Georgia where you’ll take on fellow striker, Anthony Njokuani. What are your thoughts on Njokuani as an opponent as you look to bounce back from the first defeat of your career?

Makdessi – I think it’s going to be a great fight I’m happy UFC is giving me a tough opponent so I can prove myself, my goal is to hopefully fight the best guys so i can eventually get a shot at the belt.

MMABay – All fighters have different ways to deal with preparing for an opponent. Some choose to focus on their own strengths, some will concentrate on their opponents strengths and other a combination of the two. Which do you fall into when it comes to your fight with Njokuani and why?

Makdessi – I focus on different things, I try to build on my strengths and I try to improve on my weaknesses.

MMABay – Njokuani is known as a striker, much like yourself, and has struggled with the ground aspect of the game earlier on in his career. After studying his tapes and knowing your own skill set, and where you’ve improved over the past few months, where do you see your biggest advantage over your opponent, on the feet or on the ground and why?

Makdessi – I don’t look at it like that i look at it like any other fight, I believe it’s going to be more of a conditioning fight, and the best man that is more conditioned will win this fight.

MMABay – You’re a very exciting and unique fighter when it comes to your stand-up game and to go nine fights undefeated to open your career is testament to that. At just 26-years of age what are your long-term career goals as a mixed martial artist?

Makdessi – My biggest dream and goal is to achieve greatness, to be known as one of the most exciting fighters in the world and to hopefully get a shot at the title one day.

MMABay – Just in case some of our readers haven’t seen you fight before can you sum up in a few words what they can expect to see out of you come April 21st inside the octagon?

Makdessi – I always try to make it into an exciting fight, and I always try to entertain the crowd.

MMABay – Before we go are there any sponsors, trainers or training partners you’d like to mention?

Makdessi – I would like to thank tri star gym, all my coaches that help me, my new conditioning coach Luca Brazzi, my sponsors Weider and Headrush.

MMABay – Thanks for taking the time to speak to MMABay.co.uk.

Makdessi – Thank you, appreciate your time.

(An exclusive interview for MMABay.co.uk)

By Michael Pepper. (Follow me on Twitter)

Why not tell us what you think about this story and get your thoughts featured in this week’s edition of MMABay Radio? Email Mailbag@mmabay.co.uk, start the subject with the word ‘RADIO MAILBAG’ and we’ll talk about our favourites on the next show.

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