USA TODAY Sports
The first televised fight of UFC 148 was a good lightweight striking battle, and it was John Makdessi who came out on top over Daron Cruickshank by unanimous decision.
John Makdessi and Daron Cruickshank were expected to put on an exciting striking battle in their UFC 158 lightweight bout. It took a while for it to get going, but they delivered. Makdessi overcame a semi-slow start to take over the final two rounds, peppering Cruickshank with jabs and lefts while mixing in a bevy of kicks. In the end, Makdessi took a unanimous decision victory with three 29-28 scores.
The two men threw feints for the first 30 seconds of the fight before finally throwing kicks. Both guys really had a bit of trouble establishing their timing though. Cruinckshank probably landed more strikes over the first three minutes, but neither man landed anything all that effective. Cruickshank complained of a groin kick, but it looked like it landed clean to the inside of the leg. Cruinkshank looked for a late takedown but was rebuffed.
Cruickshank landed a good head kick early in round two. They traded leg kicks, and Cruickshank landed a step-in uppercut. Makdessi caught Daron with a big punch while he was spinning. The pace picked up with a few spinning picks and more throwing of hands. Makdessi landed some nice counters and combinations over the last two minutes.
Makdessi was landing more early in the third, but Cruickshank was probably landing the heavier shots. Makdessi's jab finally started to look like it did in the Stout fight and he was on point with it. Makdessi stuffed a takedown and clubbed Cruickshank with a punch. The Canadian really started to take over in the middle of the round while Cruickshank looked a tad apprehensive. Cruickshank poked Makdessi in the eye quite badly, but the fight continued quickly. That seemed to anger Makdessi who closed strong and aggressive.