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John Makdessi: Fighter Profile

John Makdessi is one of Canada's best-known MMA fighters who has been starring in UFC for well over a decade.

The 38-year-old has, however, lost his last two bouts after his defeat to Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 293 in Sydney last weekend.

There are now questions over how long the Lightweight fighter, nicknamed 'The Bull', can continue to compete at the elite level.

Future uncertain

It's obvious after a long and distinguished career, Makdessi is thinking about how he will be remembered when his time is up and he hopes to be viewed as someone who had the ability to be able to more than hold his own against, at times, seemingly stronger opponents.

He recently told the official UFC website: "I'm not the biggest, I'm not the tallest, and I'm not the strongest, but I'm 'The Bull' and anyone that knows me knows I'm always going to try to make an exciting fight for the fans. 

"I want my legacy to be that I'm known as a smaller guy who stood in front of giants."

Makdessi, who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was a fine kickboxer growing up but eventually switched to focus on mixed martial arts, where he was keen to pursue a career.

After making his professional MMA debut in 2008, he excelled in the sport, recording an unblemished 7-0 record when fighting in the likes of XMMA and the Canadian Fighting Championship.

UFC debut in 2010

Joining up with UFC seemed inevitable after the fast start to his career. 

He was signed in 2010, making his promotional debut in December of that year at UFC 124 on home territory in Montreal, when he claimed a deserved unanimous decision win over Pat Audinwood.

He followed up with a victory over Kyle Watson five months later but his progress was checked by two successive defeats at UFC 140 and UFC 145, going down first to Dennis Hallmann and then Anthony Njokuani.

Undettered, Makdessi moved back up the rankings with wins over the likes of Sam Stout and Daron Cruickshank and he continued to make a name for himself despite a loss to Alan Patrick at UFC 169 in February 2014.

Stepping in for Nurmagomedov

The Canadian was called in as a replacement for the injured Khabib Nurmagomedov to go up against Donald Cerrone in May 2015 but it ended in pain as he lost the fight via TKO and suffered a broken jaw thanks to a head kick from Cerrone in the second round.

His career has continued to be a bit of a roller-coaster as Makdessi has mixed big wins over opponents like Ross Pearson with disappointing losses to others like Francisco Trinaldo but he has maintained his professionalism and attitude and his desire has never been questioned.

Durability not in doubt

He retains the respect of his rivals and fans alike and was recently described by the UFC official website as "easily the longest tenured of the bunch of active Canadian athletes on the UFC roster", underlining his durability and dogged ability to sustain himself, even though he's now clearly at the veteran stage.

Makdessi was beaten in Paris last September by Nasrat Haqparast on the bill of the Ciryl Gane versus Tai Tuivasa heavyweight match-up and, after just over a year out, he returned to take on Mullarkey, hoping to enjoy the winning feeling once again.

Fighting for the enjoyment

Speaking before the showdown, Makdessi admitted to being well aware of how long he had been part of the UFC set-up and in typical fashion, the humble fighter suggested the trappings of fame that go with being a UFC star had never particularly appealed to him.

"I'm very conscious and mindful about the duration of my time in the UFC, but I try not to think about it too much," he said. 

"I'm very grounded. I never went into this sport to be famous; the fame, the TV of it all actually stresses me out. I just wanted to do something I enjoy doing and I could make a lot of money doing it."

Despite his recent defeats, Makdessi has achieved plenty in the sport. There are questions about his future, but he can be proud of his UFC record of 18 wins, 9 losses and 0 draws.

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