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UFC 186 fight card: John Makdessi vs Shane Campbell fight preview

John Makdessi and Shane Campbell will collide this Saturday (April 25, 2015) at UFC 186 inside Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In a battle of up-and-coming lightweight strikers, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights John Makdessi and Shane Campbell will battle this Saturday (April 25, 2015) at UFC 186 inside Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

It's been little more than one year since Makdessi was in the Octagon, losing an arguable decision to Alan Patrick. Prior to that loss, Makdessi was on a quality three-fight win streak over some decent competition.

Campbell has put together a solid record on the regional scene, including a victory via HADOUKEN! in World Series of Fighting (WSOF). For his debut, the 27-year-old is filling in for Abel Trujillo and has been given a major opportunity to shine here.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both fighters:

John Makdessi
Record: 12-3
Key Wins: Daron Cruickshank (UFC 158), Sam Stout (UFC 154)
Key Losses: Alan Patrick (UFC 169)
Keys to Victory: Makdessi is a technical striker with a lengthy background in Karate. However, most of his recent performances have been more reliant on his improved boxing -- highlighted by that Tristar jab -- with some kicks mixed in for good measure.

Makdessi's comfort in the pocket and tight punches should be his path to victory for this fight. Thanks to his movement, Makdessi should be able to stay at his range and box with his opponent, where "The Bull's" cleaner punches will be an advantage.

That said, Makdessi probably doesn't have to worry about being taken down in this match. Without the threat of the takedown limiting his offense, Makdessi should feel free to let loose with any flashy kicks or spinning techniques in his arsenal.

So while staying in the pocket should be Makdessi's primary goal, he could also be quite effective at range.

It's also important for Makdessi to stay active. In his last fight, he was the more effective striker overall, but he never really put his mark on any of the rounds. After his long layoff, he can't afford another close lose like that.


Shane Campbell
Record: 11-2
Key Wins: Derek Boyle (WSOF 18), Marcus Edwards (MFC 41)
Key Losses: Jesse Ronson (AFC 19)
Keys to Victory: Campbell is an experienced Muay Thai fighter and former professional kickboxer. The Canadian striker has finished five of his opponents via knockout, including his last three opponents.

The striker from "Shaolin" should look to replicate Anthony Njokuani's success. Like Njokuani, Campbell is a lanky fighter with a background in Muay Thai, who should have the footwork and kicking skills to keep his opponent at range.

By staying out of the punching range, Campbell should be able to take advantage of his more powerful kicks. Plus, if Makdessi is reaching for him with punches, counter punching opportunities could open up.

If Makdessi gets over-aggressive in trying to pursue his opponent, Campbell can turn to the other part of his Muay Thai, clinch work. While he shouldn't try too hard to take Makdessi down -- the Karate fighter is a pretty decent defensive wrestler -- but if he scores with some hard knee strikes, it could really deter his opponent and keep him at a distance.

Bottom Line: This should be an entertaining kickboxing battle between two men looking to make a name for themselves in the UFC's most crowded division.

Makdessi has been in the UFC since 2010, but he's yet to really accomplish anything significant. Part of this is due to inactivity -- he only averages a couple fights per year -- but his decision loss to Patrick derailed the first bit of momentum he had built up. If he loses here as well, it may be time to consider a drop to featherweight.

Alternatively, a rebound victory is precisely what Makdessi needs after his layoff. If it comes in the form of a striking battle or perhaps a knockout, even better. "The Bull" should be in the prime of his career, so it's time for him to make something happen.

Campbell has been matched with a pretty tough UFC veteran for his debut, but it's not an unfavorable style match up. The Canadian is a striker after all, and Makdessi is a perfect opponent for him to demonstrate his skill set.

If Campbell earns the victory, it's a big way to introduce himself to the lightweight division on a major event, which is an excellent way to introduce himself to the UFC fan base. If he does lose, his stock won't fall much, as he was unknown and facing a tough opponent.

At UFC 187, John Makdessi and Shane Campbell will hunt for the knockout. Which striker will earn the victory?

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