You wouldn’t know it from looking at UFC lightweight John Makdessi, but he’s a very anxious guy.

It starts when he gets a call from his promoter, offering a fight, and as he puts it, “That’s when I get more intense and more concentrated and focused on the preparation.”

Makdessi (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who on Saturday meets Alan Patrick (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 169, shows up on fight week looking relaxed and confident. In reality, though, he’s been through an intense grind to get there, mainly because he never stopped preparing from his last fight.

“The thing for me is [MMA is] not a sometimes thing,” he told MMAjunkie Radio. “I don’t do any training camps. I train when I feel like it because every day I wake up tired and busted up, and I have to diet and cut weight.

“Maybe a couple days I don’t feel like training, but at the end of the day, I don’t go with how I feel. I go with my goals and what drives me. And what drives me is to leave a legacy behind.”

UFC 169 takes place at Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center. Makdessi and Patrick fight on the FOX Sports 1-televised preliminary card, which precedes the night’s pay-per-view main card.

Makdessi said he’s turned a corner in his career, and from his results inside the octagon, it’s hard to argue. After suffering back-to-back losses, he’s won his past three fights, including a first-round knockout of Renee Forte in his most recent outing.

A win over Patrick would boost his stock even more and perhaps earn him a shot at a top-10 opponent.

All that hard training appears to have paid off, but Makdessi said another type of work has brought him better results.

“I’m more comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Makdessi. “I do a lot of mental training; I find that mentality is more important than physical training.”

The main thrust of that work runs contrary to his intense nature. As it turns out, that laser-like focus and intensity is one of the main reasons he sought out someone to help him turn around his career.

“When you strive for perfection, you’re striving for excellence,” he said. “Every day, it’s a mental thing. When you strive to be the best, I’m always be my worst critic. I always want to work hard and keep pushing myself to the limits and see where I can take myself.”

Makdessi said he’s learned to let off the pressure by letting his coaches do the worrying for him. Asked about Patrick, he said he’s watched film, but not let it take over his mind in the buildup to the fight.

“I don’t really think much of any fight,” he said. “I let my trainer tell me which department he’s slacking on, and I capitalize. I let my trainers worry about what my opponent is going to do.”

The undefeated Patrick holds four wins via KO and two via submission, but has hinted he’ll take Makdessi to the ground, where he presumably is more beatable. That’s fine for Makdessi, but he’d prefer it if his opponent would engage with him.

“I think I showcased in my last two fights that it takes two guys to fight,” he said. “God willing, hopefully everything goes according to plan. My fights are very entertaining and exciting to watch.”

Whatever the outcome, Makdessi will be back in the gym if he’s uninjured. There’s more to chip away at, more perfection to chase, and only so much time to earn a flawless victory. At 28, his athletic prime is near.

The mental grind, meanwhile, keeps him running to realize it.

“People see the fight, but people don’t see the process,” Makdessi said. “Every day, I struggle with myself, and the training and the fighting is an every day thing.”

For the latest on UFC 169, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 138's Justin Lawrence credits Dominick Cruz for career resurgence, in 'best shape ever' for Sean Wilson fight

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alum and UFC veteran, Justin Lawrence, is ready to try his luck with a new promotion this weekend. And we ask him all about it in this exclusive interview. Justin Lawrence read news >>

UFC 188's Charles Rosa: Yair Rodriguez is fighting me 'too soon, too early' in career

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

Ahead of Saturday’s UFC 188 event, Charles Rosa praised UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for giving him “the perfect matchup” and opponent: fellow featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez Filed under: News, U read news >>

TKO! Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale full fight video highlights

  • 24 days ago
  • 84 views

Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto continued his unexpected resurgence last Saturday night (June 6, 2015) by steamrolling former middleweight champion Daniel Geale at boxing's newfound home: Brookly read news >>

Trading Shots: Struggling to make sense of Dan Henderson's complex career

  • 25 days ago
  • 10 views

In this week’s Trading Shots, retired UFC/WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss the long and complicated career of Dan Henderson, who simply refuses to hang up the read news >>

Despite tough UFC title fight, Joe Soto looking for first UFC win as career validation

  • 26 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC bantamweight Joe Soto has had one of the more interesting UFC careers for a fighter with only one bout in the organization. Scheduled to take on Anthony Birchak on late notice for UFC 177, he end read news >>

Kimbo-Shamrock? Bellator champ 'Pitbull' says title fights 'should always' headline

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

Patricio Freire’s accomplishments in his Bellator MMA career are in a league of their own. Yet, “Pitbull’s” next bout is in a co-main-event position below two fighters who have never fought for the o read news >>

UFC Fight Night 68: B/R Main Card Staff Predictions

  • 27 days ago
  • 22 views

Dan Henderson has had an outstanding MMA career, but his future could depend on a win over Tim Boetsch in the UFC Fight Night 68 main event this weekend. The former Pride FC champion has lost two in read news >>

VIDEO: Alexander Gustafsson Talks Title Fight Against Daniel Cormier

  • 27 days ago
  • 48 views

After suffering the biggest loss of his career, Alexander 'The Mauler' Gustafsson discusses his comeback and details how he plans to prepare for his second shot at the world title. read news >>

The TRT Legacy: UFC Legend Dan Henderson's Problematic Career

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

You'll read a lot this week about 44-year-old Dan Henderson, a throwback to a simpler time in the sport of mixed martial arts. In the days before biological passports and year-round random drug testi read news >>

Dan Henderson's age, sudden losing putting his UFC career in jeopardy (Yahoo Sports)

  • 28 days ago
  • 9 views

From Yahoo Sports: Henderson may not be mulling retirement, but his future could be decided for him if he continues to suffer defeats. read news >>