John Makdessi replicated crowd booing in training for UFC 293 return vs. Australia’s Jamie Mullarkey

John Makdessi is ready to fight in enemy territory and not just physically.

The UFC lightweight veteran returns to the octagon on Sept. 9, when he takes on Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 293 in Mullarkey’s home country of Australia. Makdessi (18-8 MMA, 11-8 UFC) can bank on not having the crowd in his favor, and that’s why his team at Fight Ready in Arizona simulated booing and heckling in preparation for this bout.

“I went to a complete new gym,” Makdessi told MMA Junkie Radio. “All the guys wanted to kill me at the gym and every time I went to go spar, I would have to wait. I had to wait last to do my training session and everybody in the gym would boo me. The whole training camp I was getting booed.

“Whatever. It is what it is. I cannot control the booing and all that stuff. That is not going to affect me at all. I’m mentally tough and physically ready. I’m not the biggest guy, the tallest guy or the strongest guy, but I am ‘The Bull.'”

Makdessi last competed in September 2022, losing a decision to Nasrat Haqparast. The 38-year-old is 1-2 in his past three bouts and looking to get back on a winning streak.

The seasoned veteran knows he’s got a tough task ahead, but that’s something he’s used to.

“When they announced that fight, I was watching tape and what caught my eye even more was his trainer Ross Pearson and I fought Ross Pearson,” Makdessi said. “Then I watched his fights, and he’s a little bit of a (boxer) and moves his head. He’s durable. He’s a tough, strong, durable fighter. I’ve fought so many tough, durable strikers in the UFC.

“It’s easy for me to say, ‘Oh, I saw a hole,’ but at the end of the day, anything can happen in a fight. I prepared all across the board for this fight, so I’m just ready to go out there and give the fans an exciting fight.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 293.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie