John Makdessi plans on flowing like water for his upcoming lightweight battle at UFC 154 with Sam Stout.
Makdessi (9-2) came into the UFC riding a 7-0 winning streak, and followed those by winning his first two fights in the Octagon against Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani. Unfortunately, “The Bull” has gone 0-2 since the hot start and is hoping to avoid the dreaded three fight losing streak.
“No fighter really wants to lose. I focus on the present and every day for me I live like it’s my last day. I look at every fight like it’s a world championship fight and every fight like it’s my last fight.”
Stout (19-7-1) being a veteran of the sport will look to bring it to Makdessi early in the fight, but the Montreal based fighter is prepared to ‘go with the flow’.
“I focus on the stuff I worked on with my coaches and I’m expecting a tough fight. I’m going to go with the flow, as I’m more of a flow fighter. I don’t try to stick to a strategy; I don’t try to focus on stuff. I just try to be as prepared as possible. Wherever the fight goes, it goes. If it’s standing or if it goes to the ground, at the end of the day I’m ready for wherever it goes. I’ve done everything possible that I can do and now we’re going to find out on November 17 what’s going to happen.”
This fight camp has been different for Makdessi, as he was able to travel to New Jersey to work with the likes of Frankie Edgar, as well as Marcelo Garcia.
“I got to head down to New Jersey and train with Frankie Edgar and the whole Almeida team. I also got to go train with Marcelo Garcia and that was amazing. It was tough, but it was worth it. It was a great time for me to see different types of training, because at the end of the day there are so many different ways to train. That’s the beauty about it; there is not one right way. At the end of the day you really have to believe in your coach and believe in your training.”
In the past, Makdessi listened to a lot of different people who gave him the wrong advice. He has now hired a mental conditioning coach in Brian Cain, who his Head Coach Firas Zahabi suggested. Cain has worked with many MMA superstars including Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin and David Loiseau. The Tri-Star fighter believes that not enough fighters do mental training, as in the end it all comes down to who has the stronger mentality.
“I am training with a guy named Brian Cain who is a mental conditioning coach. He’s helped me a lot and given me good advice with pressure and stress. It’s a great opportunity. After my last couple of fights, I realized it’s more important than the physical training. At the end of the day it’s the mental training that kicks in and not many fighters train.”
In his last fight against Njokuani, the mental side of things also caused him to come into the fight overweight. Another item he has added to his arsenal is a dietician – Ben from In Motion Meals has taught Makdessi how to properly cut weight which makes him feel better overall throughout his training camp.
“I didn’t have any knowledge of how to cut weight in the past. I would do it the wrong way, so I was very grouchy and I had a lot of attitude. I am now working with a guy named Ben from In Motion Meals – day and night I feel much better. He’s helped me with the whole week and training. I think at the end of the day its all a learning process and enjoying the journey. It makes you more mature and that’s what martial arts was for me, it’s always teaching me new things and makes me a better man inside and outside the cage.”
With all the added work Makdessi has added to his training regimen, we could see a whole new fighter come November 17 at UFC 154.
Make sure you catch the Stout vs. Makdessi fight live on FX in the States and Sportsnet in Canada at 5pm PT/8pm et.
Follow “The Bull” on Twitter at @JohnMakdessiMMA and ‘like’ his Facebook page here.