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He also knew that he had to take some risks to deliver the kind of exciting fight that would entertain the fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
That required a delicate balance that Makdessi (16-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC) might not have been capable of a few years ago, he admitted, but these days things are different.
“I consider myself a smart fighter,” Makdessi, who won a unanimous decision victory in a spirited, bloody battle, told MMAjunkie after the bout. “I consider myself a defensive fighter who takes his time. But also, I had to put myself in a very uncomfortable situation today. Because today, people saw the maturity of John Makdessi. I’m more mature, I’m 33. Unfortunately, it took me some time. It took me eight years to grow. It’s not an easy to figure things out. I don’t come from a fighting family. It was a lot of trial and error.”
One thing that’s helped Makdessi recently is a move to Duke Roufus’ Roufusport gym in Milwaukee. There, he said, he found a coach who understand his style and his approach to the fight game, as well as one who believes really cares about him.
“It makes things much easier for me, because they understand,” Makdessi said. “A lot of coaches don’t really understand the fighter. Duke, he’s very passionate, and he really loves you. He really shows it, and I feel it too. Fighters, it’s all about emotions. We feel things. We’re not stupid. We’re like animal instincts. We know when someone’s faking and we know when someone’s really genuine. And Duke is very genuine. He does everything from the heart.”
Now Makdessi is riding a two-fight winning streak in the UFC, and his performance again Pearson (20-15 MMA, 12-12 UFC) was a memorable one with strong showings from both fighters.
“It takes two people to dance, and Ross Pearson, he’s a top competitor,” Makdessi said. “He fought the best in my division, and I’m very grateful to share the octagon with him.”
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