In the UFC’s first trip back to Toronto since UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson in September 2013, the Canadian fans were expecting another gem of a fight card with UFC 206 on Saturday evening. There were a number of bumps in the road before this card began, which caused many fans to question the likelihood that the event would produce memorable fights. However, for those that tuned in, and even more for those fans in attendance at the sold-out Air Canda Centre, UFC 206 was home to some of the most memorable moments of the year.
Daniel Cormier suffered a groin injury just weeks away from the scheduled championship matchup against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, which caused the scheduled main event to fall off and left the UFC scrambling for a way to keep interest high for its first Pay-Per-View since the historic UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. The original co-main event between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway was elevated to main event status, which for true fans of the sport, is a hell of a matchup, but perhaps not one that could carry a Pay-Per-View. That is, unless you make it a title fight of some sort, which is exactly what the UFC did to appeal to the casual fan. After stripping Conor McGregor of his title and promoting then-interim champ Jose Aldo to undisputed, the promotion billed the new main event as an interim title matchup with a promise of a shot at Jose Aldo for the winner. For some, stripping McGregor of his belt in order to salvage PPV buys was a little off-base. Even if you thought McGregor was never fighting at 145 again, the double-champ was only able to sport dual belts for two weeks before “the army” came to take one away. Like it or not, it created a conversation about the new main event at UFC 206, and ultimately, that was the goal.
Then…Anthony Pettis missed weight by three pounds.
For the former UFC Lightweight Champion who was seeking his second win at featherweight to continue his career resurgence after losing three fights in a row at 155, missing weight in this spot was a huge disappointment for everyone. Not only would Pettis lose 20% of his purse, he would also be ineligible to become the interim champ if he were to win on Saturday night, which would have created all sorts of chaos. What would happen to the interim belt? If Pettis wins, does he still face Aldo next? What if he beats Holloway, and then tells Joe Rogan in the cage he can’t make 145 and will be returning to the lightweight division? Well, the second portion of the previous question was exactly what happened after the main event on Saturday, although, “Showtime” did not emerge victorious over the “Blessed” one. Not only did Max Holloway beat Anthony Pettis, he stopped him. It was the first time Pettis has ever been stopped throughout his incredible career. The featherweight title crisis was averted, and Max Holloway took home a new gold belt to match his gold tie. The hashtag “WheresJoseWaldo” was born.
A kick to the dome took a bonus home…
Flashback to July 13, 2016. Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson needed a dancing partner once Mike Chiesa was forced to pull out of their matchup due to a back injury. Enter undefeated Jackson-Wink product, Lando Vannata. Ferguson has cruising through the lightweight division with relative ease. All of a sudden, a short notice replacement shocked the world with his performance, and everyone came to understand why Vannata was called in to take the fight against a fighter on the verge of a title shot. Although he lost the bout, Lando displayed incredible heart and striking ability, seemingly pushing Ferguson to his limits. In his second Octagon appearance, a lot of attention was on Vannata to prove that his initial showing was not a fluke. With his big smile and ultra-relaxed attitude, “Groovy” put the world on notice once again in the Fight Pass feature bout against John Makdessi. Lando landed a self-taught spinning heel kick to the jaw of Makdessi which sent him crashing to the canvas. Remember Edson Barboza’s wheel kick to Terry Etim? How Makdessi locked up and timbered over, was similar to that. What made it even more interesting is after the fight, Vannata said when Edson landed that kick in 2012, he couldn’t throw any spinning attacks, much less a perfect spinning heel kick. Hours and hours of repetition in the gym working on the technique paid off on Saturday as he took home a $50,000 bonus for the hostilities.
…but for another, no love was shown.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone landed a vicious head kick of his own to end the fight against Matt Brown in the co-main event, yet surprisingly to some, did not earn a bonus. Brown attempted to get in Cerrone’s head all week long by attempting to create tension, yet that didn’t stop Cerrone from landing a head kick from hell in the third round of their war. If you consider all of the incredible moments on the card, it was inevitable that someone would be snubbed on the extra paycheck, but that did not stop the internet from creating their own conspiracy theories. Cerrone is on the board of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), the latest fighter movement towards a union for fighters, which was a move that did not sit well with UFC boss Dana White. Throughout fight week, Cerrone said he would have a sit down with Dana to discuss things and talk things out like friends. During the post-fight presser, Cerrone said everything between him and Dana were ironed out and they now see eye-to-eye. However, that didn’t stop some people from believing Cerrone was bonus-snubbed due to his involvement with the MMAAA.
The People’s Main Event was Fight of the Year
In a matchup between two fan favorite fighters that could easily headline a smaller UFC event, Cub Swanson was set to face against Korean sensation, Dooho Choi on the main card of UFC 206. The fight was highly anticipated by fans and fighters alike because both men bring incredibly exciting styles to the cage. We know what Cub Swanson can do against the top competition in the featherweight division. He’s been in wars throughout his career that garnered his loyal following. Choi, on the other hand, while destroying everyone up to this point in his career was still unproven against the top tier at 145. Both men left everything they had inside the cage over the course of three rounds in what was an incredible back and forth battle. Swanson’s unorthodox striking created openings that Choi simply wasn’t ready for. To his credit, his iron chin and heart wouldn’t allow him to fall early. As a result, “Superboy” found home for his own powerful strikes that nearly spelled the end of the fight a handful of times over fifteen minutes. Bombs, lasers, haymakers, and whatever other metaphor you would like to use were landed repeatedly, ultimately resulting in fireworks for the fans. Cub Swanson would win the day on the judges’ scorecards, but there was no loser in this bout as both fighter’s stock rose in this lock for Fight of the Year.
There were a lot of people sleeping on UFC 206, citing a lack of a true Pay-Per-View main event. Yes, the new main event was manufactured in a frenzy to save face, those people missed out on one of the most incredible events of the year. To say that in December, on a year that was home to UFC 198, UFC 200, UFC 205, UFC 206, and others, is saying a lot. No, it wasn’t the McGregor show, but all competitors involved proved why you should tune in to these events. The incredible atmosphere created by the Canadian fans cheering on their country’s own fighters made it extra special. It will be tough to top this event before the year is over, but the “Rowdy” one will make her return on December 30 to close the book on 2016. Who knows what kind of excitement could be in store over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results
The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.
Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.
Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.
MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST
- Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
- Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
- Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Oskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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