Looking back on his unanimous decision win over David Jordan at Fight Night 11 in September, lightweight Shane Campbell is not only happy to have picked up the victory, but to have also showcased new skills he hadn't before in the fight.
Now, he hopes to close out 2019 with a victory in the Unified MMA 39 co-main event.
Though Campbell performed well in the fight against Jordan, he acknowledges that a lot of what he did in the bout came as the result of having to work around injury issues he had leading into the bout.
"I grew in a way I hadn't in any other fights," Campbell told MMAWeekly.com. "I went into that fight a little bit injured, just like most of my other fights, but it forced me to fight a certain way, and because of that I grew a massively way, really. I threw about 50 side kicks, and I've never thrown a side kick before."
Injuries are something that Campbell feels like he just has to deal with at this point because he can't afford to put his fight career on hold for any extended period of time to focus solely on recuperation.
"When you're dealing with ligament tears and stuff like that a couple of months isn't enough," said Campbell. "I really feel like I've been plagued by injuries that are lasting longer than a couple of months. It's unfortunate, but at my prime at 32 I'm not about to sit on the sidelines for a year or two years."
On Friday, Dec. 6, in Enoch, Canada, Campbell (16-8) will look to close out his 2019 on a winning streak when he faces late replacement Dawond Pickney (16-14) in the 165-pound co-main event of Unified MMA 39.
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"Just because I've had so many opponents be switched out I never really put too much energy into thinking that whoever I'm matched with is the guy that I'm actually going to be fighting," Campbell said.
"For me it's almost always the same skillset. My striking on paper should be superior than most, but MMA is a tricky game. I feel pretty well-rounded and happy wherever the fight goes, so I'm not too worried."
For Campbell, being healthy enough to fight consistently in 2020 is a goal, but if he can't do that, he'll focus on his life outside the cage in the interim.
"The older I get I find that I'm more injury prone; so that's the goal to make sure my body is healed up so I can hit 2020 head-on," said Campbell. "If I can win this fight I'm in a very good position to go into 2020, as long as my body holds up.
"If I have to take a step back and take a little bit of time off because of injury in this fight the goals will be a little more personal and try to get myself into a home and get into the real estate market a little bit. Otherwise keep travelling to some of the world's best gyms and growing my skillset, and carry it as long as my body will."