25 year-old John ‘The Bull’ Makdessi made his UFC in the opening prelim of last weekend’s UFC 124: GSP Vs Koscheck event and put on a show that left everyone who witnessed it convinced that they had just seen something special.
Makdessi showed no sign of ‘octagon jitters’ as he took the fight to Pat Audinwood from the opening bell, and let fly with a series of eye-catching tae-kwon-do moves that are rarely seen being executed in mixed martial arts.
From side-kicks to spinning back kicks, hook kicks to axe kicks, Makdessi kept everyone on the edge of their seats wondering what he was going to do next. What was most impressive was how fluidly he was using these techniques, and how frequently he was landing with them.
Not only that, but he was backing it up with some solid punches, in particular a stiff jab, and showed a good feel for both distance and timing, crucial against a fighter like Audinwood who had a definitive height and reach advantage.
The only thing the Canadian didn’t manage to do was finish his opponent inside the distance, but still he clearly left his mark on the evening as he took his MMA record to 8-0.
“Makdessi – that guy is an exciting new fighter in the UFC,” Joe Rogan stated when the final bell rang after having praised him throughout all three rounds.
Meanwhile commentator Mike Goldberg was also dazzled by his versatility, admitting he couldn’t recall the last time he saw a fighter utilizing so many different techniques in the octagon.
Even UFC President Dana White had taken notice.
“It happens to everybody, you get those jitters or whatever the thing is that shakes guys up in their first fight in the UFC…except for the kid [Makdessi] that fought in the undercard tonight, he didn’t get it!” White noted with a chuckle after the event.
It remains to see how he’ll do against the tougher opposition he’s undoubtedly going to be facing sooner rather than later in the UFC’s lightweight division, but for now we can safely say that John Makdessi is a name to be on the lookout for in 2011.