John Makdessi: 'Every Fight Is Like a New Girlfriend'
No one likes to lose. But it's up to the individual to decide whether losing is something that bends or breaks.
For UFC lightweight John Makdessi, it was a game changer.
"Losing was the best thing that ever happened to me," Makdessi told Bleacher Report. "It reminded me of who I am."
After posting a perfect 9-0 record, Makdessi found himself standing across the Octagon from longtime veteran Dennis Hallman.
Makdessi was clearly outmatched in terms of experience, as his opponent had nearly 70 MMA bouts under his belt. His undefeated streak ended when he was submitted via rear-naked choke in the very first round of action at UFC 140.
"It was very tough. I had a lot of mistakes going into the fight. You have to fight yourself before going into a fight. I was following the wrong people and when that happens, it's easy to lose yourself. It's hard to find good mentors. That's the problem with MMA," said Makdessi. "There's so many aspects of the sport, and you need someone who really knows them all.
"It was hard for me because I was listening to people who didn't know what they were talking about. I lost confidence in myself. The loss allowed me to take a step back. I'm getting back to the warrior that I was before. It's discipline and confidence. I'm 26 years old now and I've surrounded myself with all the right people," said Makdessi.
The Canadian will have the opportunity to prove he's found himself when he takes the center stage for a meeting with Anthony Njokuani at UFC 145 in Atlanta, GA.
Njokuani will also look to get back on the right track after falling short in a controversial split decision to Danny Castillo at UFC 141.
"I always try to stay positive heading into a fight. I know he's a dangerous fighter. That's why I really wanted to get stronger in this camp. I want to focus on my power. I've been working on my conditioning and my diet for this fight. I fixed myself in that way. I believe this fight will be a conditioning fight," said Makdessi.
"I've been fighting all my life. Every fight is like a new girlfriend. You never know how it's going to turn out. I can never tell how a fight is going to play out," said Makdessi. "We'll see who wants to last the longest and who can take the most punishment."
While it's difficult to predict the outcome of any fight, one could conclude that a submission finish is pretty unlikely. In fact, neither Makdessi or Njokuani have finished an opponent by way of submission thus far in their careers.
However, Makdessi said his focus won't be on Njokuani at all.
"He has his skills and I have mine. I don't focus on his weaknesses though. I focus on my weaknesses. I can't focus on him," said Makdessi.
"The whole thing is about being myself and being within myself."
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