A promising lightweight battle arrived on the UFC 293 preliminary card, with the potential for either an explosive finish, or perhaps a Fight of the Night showing, as Jamie Mullarkey faced off with John Makdessi.
Veteran Makdessi had been with the company well over a decade by the time Saturday night rolled around, while Australia’s Mullarkey had three bonuses under his belt since joining the UFC in 2019.
The two looked hesitant to begin the fight as Makdessi looked to cut the cage off from Mullarkey. Just under a minute into the fight, the only strike having been thrown was a leg kick from Mullarkey. Despite that, Makdessi continued to try and put on some cage pressure, but it was to no avail as he couldn’t land any meaningful strikes. Again Mullarkey landed an inside leg kick as Makdessi continued to push forward. With two minutes left of the opening round, the leg kicks of Mullarkey seemed to be the theme. Makdessi landed a big right cross towards the end of the round, with the first five minutes being close.
Coming into round two Mullarkey was showing some claret, with Makdessi’s strikes showing. Mullarkey didn’t let the blood deter him though as he continued to fire out his fast and powerful kicks. The outside leg kick from the 29-year-old began to pay dividends as Makdessi’s forward pressure began to slow down. From there, Mullarkey began to take over from a pressure point of view, whilst also becoming the more active striker. With just two minutes left of the round, the action was halted as Makdessi landed a big groin shot to the home country fighter. Mullarkey didn’t want to sit around though and the fight continued very shortly after. After landed the groin shot, it seemed to give Makdessi a bit of a second wind as he looked to once again put on some forward pressure. Despite him putting on the forward pressure, he wasn’t able to out strike Mullarkey, until the final moments when he landed a huge right hand that dropped Mullarkey.
Mullarkey had the round interval to try and recover from that big shot, and in the opening moments it seemed as though he’d done just that. Again he looked to land big leg kicks both inside and outside. As well as that, it opened up “The Bull’s” striking and he continued to land combinations. Mullarkey caught the Canadian with a knee that seemed to do a lot of damage. Makdessi recovered well though and continued to put on the pressure. Round three began to look like a dog fight with both fighters feeling the pressure and the damage. They both continued to push on though and both had their moments of success in the pocket exchanges.
Mullarkey’s nose continued to leak as he continued to try and land his counter shots. Makdessi’s forward pressure began to peek back into the fight and seemed to allow him to take over the second half of the final round. The 15 minutes culminated with both fighters wearing the damage and no one knowing how it could’ve possibly been scored. In the end, the judges sided with Jamie Mullarkey, leaving Makdessi to go back to the drawing board.
Official Result: Jamie Mullarkey def. John Makdessi by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)