Heading into 2017, lightweight Shane Campbell was in need of a rebound, coming off of four losses in five UFC fights. Luckily, Campbell was able to bounce back in the United MMA promotion in Canada.
In three fights for United, Campbell has managed to finish all three bouts, and claim the promotion’s lightweight title in the process.
“These three wins were not the caliber of what I was fighting in 2016, but they were still all game opponents,” Campbell told MMAWeekly.com. “I didn’t take any one of them lightly.
“I really worked on gathering myself and made sure when I stepped into the cage that I was the most game fighter I could be. I really worked at dialing in my ability of getting into the zone the game day of competition.”
Perhaps most importantly for Campbell has been an ability to show that he can finish fights on the ground, having come into MMA from a striking background seven years ago.
“Almost every MMA fight I’ve done, the majority of everyone has tried to take me down or push me against the fence and take away my ability to strike,” said Campbell. “Knowing that, I haven’t had my opportunity to express my striking a lot, but my ground game has definitely shown quite a bit of improvement.
“Of my three wins this year, one was by a soccer kick to the body, one was by kneebar and one was by a choke, so as a whole I’ve definitely grown as a (complete) martial artist and am on the rise.”
On Friday in Edmonton, Canada, Campbell (13-6) will look to defend his lightweight title in the main event of Unified MMA 33 in a rematch of a bout he had five years ago against Steven Beaumont (9-2).
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“Beaumont poses a little bit of a threat with his crazy explosiveness at the beginning of a fight, but if he doesn’t knock me out in the first minute or so, I don’t see him doing any real damage to me after that,” Campbell said.
“I don’t want to get injured or hurt or even punched in the face, so every fight going in I want to make sure I’m the dominator and win ideally by flawless victory. (Flawless victories) aren’t ever the case, so I train very hard to anticipate some serious resistance.”
Having put his career back on the right track this year, Campbell is looking to accomplish some things in his private life, and possibly get back to his fighting roots in 2018.
“I have some more personal goals on my plate other than my martial arts career and fighting,” said Campbell. “Obviously, after 2016, I had to take a step back and reevaluate my life and where I’m heading.
“I’ve had a great year with Unified in Edmonton, having climbed their ranks, won a title and defended a few times, but as a martial artist who grew up in kickboxing and Muay Thai, I do miss that striking caliber. Maybe in this coming year I would like to get in some kickboxing and Muay Thai fights.”
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