UFC 194 Play: John Makdessi (-160) vs Yancy Medeiros (+140)

MakdessiUFC 194 Date: December 12, 2015 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Lightweight title bout: John Makdessi (-160) vs Yancy Medeiros (+140) Fight Breakdown: The Fight Pass preliminary card for UFC 194: Aldo vs McGregor will be featuring a lightweight contest between Lebanese-Canadian John “The Bull” Makdessi and the Hawaiian, Yancy Medeiros. Makdessi is a -160 ($160 to win $100) favorite to win the contest and his opponent Medeiros is the betting underdog at +140 ($100 to win $140) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. John “The Bull” Makdessi (13-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) last saw action at UFC 187 nearly seven months ago, where he took a short notice bout against current UFC lightweight title challenger Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, hoping to pick up his second Octagon victory within a month, following a first round TKO of Canadian promotional newcomer Shane Campbell nearly four weeks prior. Makdessi lost the Cerrone bout via second round TKO, when he personally halted the contest after suffering a broken jaw. After some time off, he is eager to get back in there and ultimately back into the win column. “The Bull” comes from a Tae Kwon Do, Karate and Kickboxing background and has evolved into a solid MMA striker. He works nice spinning attacks, including a great spinning back-kick and an excellent spinnig back-fist, which he used to knock out Tom Watson at UFC 129. The Nova Scotia native attempts a lot of tecniques off his front leg, largely in part due to his aforementioned background in Tae Kwon Do. He works some solid kicks, including an effective front-kick and great body-kicks, especially his front-leg side-kick to the body. The 30-year old is a talented striker who likes to finish fights, as nine of his 13 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of T/KO. He does not like to lose and is the type of fighter who will go for the kill in the third the final round, if he knows he has lost the first two. He does not just sit back and welcome the defeat. He is a fighter who has heart and does not give up. Makdessi has a great chin, solid striking defense and very good awareness on the feet. He generally has good movement, though at times he can become a bit stationary. His straight-left is solid, as is his straight-right. Makdessi uses an effective jab, and really likes to step in with it, giving it more ‘pow’ than ‘pop’. The Lebanese-Canadian’s ground-game is rudimentary, though he has drastically improved his defensive grappling skills over the years. He is not easy to take down, and when taken down, he is very hard to keep down. Training out of the famed TriStar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Makdessi is a well-conditioned athlete who will be ready for a three full rounds of action, should this striker vs striker lightweight affair see it’s way all the way to the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Yancy Medeiros (11-3-1 NC MMA, 2-3-1 UFC) saw a two-fight winning streak (that included two first round submission finishes) snapped at UFC Fight Night 68 more than six months ago at the hands of Dustin Poirier. It was a catchweight contest, as Medeiros missed weight by 3.5 pounds (weighing in at 159.5lbs). He used to be a light heavyweight and now competes all the way down in the lightweight division. He had issues cutting weight in his last bout, so with the new IV-ban in play, it will be interesting to see how he looks and performs this weekend, where he will attempt to get back into the win column against Makdessi. His cardio will certainly be a big question mark and he will likely be at a disadvantage in the department against the Nova Scotia native. The Hawaiian was a top high school wrestler in Hawaii and has a solid ground game. He works decent takedowns and is very dangerous with his chokes. His Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game has certainly improved since training with Nick and Nate Diaz at Northern California’s Team Gracie Gym founded by Cesar Gracie. As far as his defensive grappling is concerned, he has very good takedown defense, and when taken down, does an excellent job of getting back up to his feet. His submission defense is also solid, despite the fact that he was submitted by veteran Jim Miller, who is an elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black-belt who has submitted numerous fellow elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black-belts. The 28-year old comes from a kickboxing and karate background and is effective on the feet, which surprised me to see him get completely outclassed by Poirier. That could mean he is already on a decline at a young age, or it could just be that Poirier drastically improved. Possibly both. The loss to Poirier marked the first time he has been stopped via strikes, so now his chin is questionable heading into this contest against the technical precision striker Makdessi. His chin is a question mark, but one thing is clear; his striking defense is not very good, and again, not to beat a dead horse, but that is a recipe for disaster against an accurate striker like the Lebanese-Canadian. If he continues to make the mistake of moving forward with his chin up, he will likely end up paying a costly price. Medeiros has nice left hooks and straight rights. He has some decent leg kicks, as well, and a solid back-kick to the body, which he used to hurt Joe Proctor before submitting him. The Hawaiian has fast hands, puts together some solid combinations on the feet and works good body shots. He throws nice hooks, especially with his left, and he likes to double and triple up on them. He also has a nice left uppercut, which he used to knock-out veteran just over two years ago. Gabe’s Thoughts: Medeiros enters this contest holding the advantages in size and grappling, while Makdessi owns the advantages in striking and cardio. I think Makdessi has a big striking advantage over the Hawaiian heading into this 155-pound scrap and I see him capitalizing on it by recording a highlight-reel knockout. If he fails to find the finish, I think he will earn a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards following three rounds of action. I do favor the T/KO finish by the Lebanese-Canadian, and could see it coming at any point in the fight. I think Medeiros is likely get desperate after getting battered on the feet and having his takedowns defended by Makdessi. I see him making a mistake, sooner or later, and “The Bull” capitalizing on it. Game Over. Winner, John Makdessi. Gabe’s Call: Makdessi by T/KO (punches, 3:16 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Makdessi (-160) 4u to win 2.5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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