by Adam Martin
The fight card for UFC 158 continues to fill up.
According to UFC Canada’s official Twitter account, Canadian John Makdessi will square off against American Daron Cruickshank at UFC 158, which takes place March 16 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The bout is likely to be a part of the preliminary card.
On paper, this is an extremely exciting fight between two of the best strikers in the UFC lightweight division.
Makdessi (10-2) most recently defeated Sam Stout at UFC 154. Utilizing a gameplan of counterstriking, Makdessi was able to thwart off any of Stout’s telegraphed takedowns and did enough on the feet to get the decision win, although the fight wasn’t as exciting as billed. Still, it was a big win for Makdessi, and moves him to 3-2 inside the UFC’s Octagon. Makdessi is most famous for his spinning back fist KO of Kyle Watson back at UFC 129, although all the momentum he gained off that win was lost when he failed to pick up wins in back-to-back fights against Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani. Still, he has talent, and training with the studs at TriStar gym in Montreal should only help him harness it.
Cruickshank (12-2) is coming off an extremely impressive performance over Henry Martinez at UFC on FOX 5, defeating Martinez via head kick KO after pounding him with an incredible amount of punishment for nearly 10 minutes. Cruickshank has now won back-to-back bouts in the UFC — he also defeated Chris Tickle via decision at the TUF 15 Finale — and looks to keep climbing the ladder by taking out Makdessi. A fantastic kickboxer and wrestler, Cruickshank was one of the favourites to win TUF 15 but lost to James Vick via surprise KO in the first round. But now, with two UFC victories in a row, he seems to be picking up the slack for his poor performance on the show and should he beat Makdessi, the sky’s the limit for him.
UFC 158 features UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defending his strap against Nick Diaz in the main event, while Johny Hendricks meets Jake Ellenberger and Carlos Condit rematches Rory MacDonald in what should be one of the most exciting cards of the year.
What are your thoughts?