Since Georges St. Pierre took an impromptu sabbatical following his hard-fought victory over Johnny Hendricks, Canada has been crying out for a superstar. Tristar stablemate and longtime welterweight contender Rory MacDonald has long looked like the figure that would lead the charge to gold for the northern territory.
Having come up short against Robbie Lawler last July the “Red King” took a deserved break to heal up a severely broken nose. On his return on Saturday night, he jumped into the Octagon with arguably the most decorated striker in mixed martial arts today.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson made the transition to MMA in 2010 after a perfect 57-0 professional kickboxing record. Having suffered only one defeat in the UFC and boasting a six-fight win streak that was punctuated with a devastating first round finish over former champion Hendricks in February, Thompson had plenty of reasons to be confident heading into his bout with MacDonald.
The unusual karate style that Thompson employs so well has bamboozled countless fighters through the years. Rory had his work cut out in figuring out this intricate puzzle in front of a buoyant home crowd. In spite of this, a big victory over Thompson would surely place MacDonald directly in line for an unlikely third bout with Lawler or upcoming title challenger Tyron Woodley.
In the evening’s co-main event, fan favourite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone travelled north to face Canadian Patrick Cote. Having made a successful welterweight debut against Alex Oliveira in Pittsburgh, Donald faced a step up in competition as he headed into the lion’s den of Ottawa.
Cote who has competed at both middleweight and light heavyweight was a physically imposing and aggressive kickboxer who could match Cowboy in the stand-up game. Cote’s proficiency in the striking department is bolstered by strong offensive wrestling and the ability to pressure. That pressuring style is something Cerrone has historically struggled with in the past and this made their matchup very intriguing.
Although Cote posed many threats to Cowboy on paper, in reality, none of these came to fruition. Mixing up his attacks Cerrone used his wrestling early to wear Cote out and set up his fearsome striking game. Donald scored a knockdown in each round utilising the left hook to perfection. Finally, the finish came in the third round as Cowboy once again stunned Patrick before taking the mount and pummelling the Canadian with punches.
Cote opened up the round by scoring with a low kick and following fast with his right hand over the top. As Cote pressed the action he fell foul of a really well-timed takedown from Donald who ended up in full guard. Cerrone patiently worked the body with short shots as Cote used an overhook to control the American fighters posture. Cote showed his craftiness by using an omoplata attempt to get himself back to his feet. Cowboy responded with a high kick and another well-timed takedown that placed Cote back on the mat once more. Working from half guard Cerrone used an underhook to stabilise his position and began chipping away with short elbows. A scramble from Cote allowed Donald to take the back and he nearly secured the choke from this position. Cote fought valiantly and managed to fight off the rear naked choke and the body triangle and began attacking with a kimura. Cerrone, recognising the danger avoided the submission easily and got to his feet. With Cote in the open guard position in front of him, Donald slammed a hard kick to the legs before the round ended.
Greg Jackson and Brandon Gibson were certainly pleased with their man’s performance in the first round and they sent him out for the second with an instruction “Let’s have some fun.” He duly obliged and immediately began working Cote over with more strong kicks to the thigh. Three hard kicks landed before Patrick could muster a response and it came once again in the form of the overhand right. An eagerness to press temporary advantages led to Cote eating a hard jab and a knee to the body. The high percentage of kicks to the head and legs opened up the boxing combinations of Cerrone as he pressed forward backing Cote up. As Cote through his hands up to block the head Donald sunk a wonderful hook to the liver. Feinting a takedown that deceived Patrick he landed two more left hooks this time to the head. A leg kicked followed swiftly and then came the first knockdown. A straight punch from Cowboy snapped Patrick’s head back and he was soon on the canvas. Cote desperately scrambled and managed to survive. Two missed takedowns allowed Cowboy to gain confidence and he ended the round with a stabbing teep and a right high kick.
In the penultimate round, Cowboy once again stormed out of the gate with more punishing low kicks. Cote looked to get his boxing going by working the body and then launching attacks to the head. Cowboy swiftly countered hard and landed the left hook yet again that sent Cote to the mat once again. Cerrone switched stances and attacked the other leg of Cote before aiming high once more. Patrick Cote battled valiantly and tried to push back with his own shots but he repeatedly fell short. A sneaky lead uppercut found its way through Cote’s guard before the final blow came. Once more the left hook clipped Cote and Cerrone smelled blood. Using one hand to tie the back of Cote’s neck Donald snaked a straight right hand through that floored Cote. This time, Cerrone smoothly passed to the mount position and rained down blows to force the stoppage.
Donald Cerrone defeats Patrick Cote by TKO (2:35) Round 3
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Cover image: UFC – Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
5 Things We Learned from UFC on Fox 26: Lawler vs Dos Anjos
The UFC’s return to Winnipeg in over 4 years certainly did not disappoint the fans, as the card delivered just as it was expected with plenty of action packed fights.
Upset was in play often times for this card as on more than one occasion, the fans’ jaws dropped in shock and the predictions going into the fights were completely defied.
There are plenty of things to take away from this card, but what were the 5 biggest lessons learned here?
1. Rafael dos Anjos means business at welterweight
While Vegas odds may not have reflected it, dos Anjos had plenty of doubters coming into this fight on whether he could beat the top fighters in the welterweight division, his new found home. I’ll be the first to say, I didn’t think he’d be able to deal with Lawler’s power and size, considering that ‘Ruthless’ used to compete at middleweight, but he completely changed my perspective on what he brings to this division.
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With the mix of powerful leg kicks and crisp boxing, dos Anjos completely neutralized the former welterweight champion and took home a dominant victory, winning all five rounds of the fight.
Yes, Lawler was injured and barely moved for the last three rounds, but that should not discredit the masterful performance that dos Anjos had tonight. This only sets up a fight with the current champion Tyron Woodley now (unless Colby Covington gets it), and while Woodley is a whole different match up, it makes for an entertaining fight.
2. Robbie Lawler is still one of the toughest fighters on the roster
Despite both his legs looking like they were completely destroyed by the third round and him losing the fight, we once again saw the toughness and grit of Lawler to never give up.
While we don’t know how bad his injury was, when you see Lawler not moving much and standing still for three rounds straight, you know something is seriously hurting. He endured an unbelievable amount of punishment tonight but at the end was still standing pumping up the crowd. What a warrior.
3. Josh Emmett… the new force to be reckoned with at 145lbs?
Simply no words. It was easily the biggest shocker of the night and maybe even upset of the year. Stepping in on relatively short notice for Jose Aldo, Emmett was counted out in this fight on paper against the former title challenger Ricardo Lamas, and weighing in at 148.5lbs on the scale didn’t help convincing the fans.
But it definitely didn’t matter as he delivered a left hook from hell, sleeping Lamas at the end of the first round, sending a shock to the entire division and rising as a new threat to everyone in top 10. He said that his goal here was to shock the world, and shock the world he did. With this performance, Emmett immediately rises to a position where he now only needs one or two more significant wins from a possible title shot.
4. Mike Perry needs some time to develop into a title contender
Despite showing an unbelievable toughness in a three-round war against Santiago Ponzinibbio, Perry was unable to back up his words before the fight, losing via unanimous decision.
In a fight against a very tough opponent, Perry was once again exposed in a couple of areas as he was against Alan Jouban on his endurance, as he showed signs of fatigue as the second round came around. At the age of 26, he still has plenty of time, but Perry will need to fill that massive hole in order to continue to rise the ladder in the extremely stacked welterweight division, or else he’ll run into some trouble sooner or later.
5. Glover Teixeira isn’t done just yet
This fight was an excellent example of advantages a veteran brings compared to a young and upcoming fighter. Teixeira, coming off that tough loss in Sweden against Alexander Gustafsson, was also doubted by many as he came in as the underdog against a rising prospect in Misha Cirkunov.
Teixeira was put in immediate trouble in the first round, getting tagged by Cirkunov multiple times and getting backed up against the cage, but was able to outsmart Cirkunov by dragging him down to the ground and eventually pounding him out. Teixeira seemed to have lost all momentum against Anthony Johnson, and even more so against Gustafsson, but this fight proved that he is not done just yet, and showed the difference in level between the top 5 and top 10 of the division.
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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