The final Facebook preliminary card bout on UFC 165 is a lightweight showdown between Canadian striker John Makdessi (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Brazil's Renee Forte (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Both men are coming off impressive performances, and Forte in particular staved off a possible UFC release with an upset win in enemy territory.
This is Makdessi's 3rd appearance on a Toronto card, and his first one provided us a memorable spinning backfist KO. It'll be interesting to see if his striking will be any bit effective against an opponent reliant on his Brazilian jiu-jitsu and takedowns. UFC 165 starts on the UFC's Facebook page at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. The remainder of the prelims air live on Fox Sports 1 from 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Makdessi: 28 years old | 5'8" | 68" reach
Forte: 26 years old | 5'7" | 71" reach
What have these two done lately?
Makdessi: W - Daron Cruickshank (UD) | W - Sam Stout (UD) | L - Anthony Njokuani (UD)
Forte: W - Terry Etim (UD) | L - Sergio Moraes (SUB) | W - Renan Santos (TKO)
How did these two get here?
John Makdessi has been involved in martial arts since the tender age of 6, and after years of Taekwondo and kickboxing competitions he made the move to MMA in 2008. He won his first 7 fights, with 6 of them coming by TKO, and the UFC brought him on board in 2010. Makdessi shined in his win over Pat Audinwood, then made the MMA highlight reel with his spinning backfist KO of Kyle Watson at UFC 129. Consecutive losses to Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani sidetracked him, but he's used his striking and improved takedown defense to score unanimous decision wins over Sam Stout and Daron Cruickshank in the past year.
Forte is a Team Nogueira fighter who was an original cast member of TUF: Brazil back in 2012. He won the preliminary fight to qualify for the house, but his stay was short-lived after Daniel Sarafian finished him with a rear-naked choke in the 2nd round. After an injury prevented him from a finale appearance, Forte fought fellow cast-mate Sergio Moraes, where he was submitted in the 3rd (again) by rear-naked choke. He put in a smothering boxing and wrestling attack against Terry Etim to pull off an upset in England, which gave him his first UFC victory.
Why should you care?
Makdessi is always worth a watch, and frankly it's a bit surprising to see this on Facebook, home of a lot of "loser gets cut" fights.