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UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson Preview

Vinny Craig

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It’s the calm before the storm of the UFC’s biggest weekend of all time. The last event before International Fight Week and four event in seven days, the capital of Canada gets its first event in Ottawa. Canadian talents Rory MacDonald, Patrick Cote, Steve Bosse, Randa Markos, and much more give a great home crowd feel. The main event is likely a title eliminator in the Welterweight division between number one contender Rory MacDonald and surging Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

Main Card- Fox Sports 1 (10:30 PM EDT, 7:30 PM PDT, 3:30 AM GMT)

Welterweight- Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson

Welterweight- Donald Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote

Light Heavyweight- Steve Bosse vs. Sean O’Connell

Lightweight- Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Thibault Gouti

Women’s Flyweight- Valerie Letourneau vs. Joanne Calderwood

 

Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 2 (8:30 PM EDT, 5:30 PDT, 1:30 GMT)

Lightweight- Jason Saggo vs. Leandro Silva

Light Heavyweight- Misha Cirkunov vs. Ion Cutelaba

Middleweight- Tamdan McCrory vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Bantamweight- Chris Beal vs. Joe Soto

 

Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6:45 PM EDT, 3:45 PM PDT, 11:45 GMT)

Middleweight- Elias Theodorou vs. Sam Alvey

Women’s Strawweight- Randa Markos vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger

Welterweight- Colby Covington vs. Jonathan Miller

Flyweight- Ali Bagautinov vs. Geane Herrera

 

Elias Theodorou vs. Sam Alvey

The Middleweight division just got a new champion when Michael Bisping beat Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. The very next fight for the division is between Elias Theodorou (11-1 MMA; 3-1 UFC) and Sam Alvey (26-7, 1 NC; 3-2) as they are the feature fight on UFC Fight Pass.

Theodorou was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Nations Middleweight tournament. He picked up two decision wins over Zein Saliba and Tyler Manawora to meet Sheldon Westcott in the finale. He picked up a second round TKO win in the finale to start his UFC career. He returned to his home country of Canada at UFC Fight Night 54 with a win over Bruno Santos. At UFC 185, ‘Spartan’ beat Roger Narvaez by TKO in the second round to earn his third straight win in the UFC. His first loss came in his last fight against Thiago Santos where Theodorou hung on to drag the fight to a decision. Theodorou has rounded out his game, but still relies on his heavy wrestling and pressure from the top. He comes in with 2.77 Takedowns per 15 min. and uses the ground advantage for his 3.75 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM).

Alvey fought on The Ultimate Fighter season 16 as a Welterweight. After getting a quick first round KO to get into the house, he fought Joey Rivera and lost by majority decision. He returned to the UFC at UFC Fight Night 47 where he lost to Tom Watson by decision. His next three fights all ended with first round finishes as with knockouts over Dylan Andrews and Cezar Ferreira and a TKO over Dan Kelly. ‘Smile’ N’ last fought at UFC Fight Night 73 in October to face Derek Brunson. The fight lasted just over two minutes before Brunson landed a series of punches to earn a TKO win. Alvey comes in with two career Knockdowns and 4.34 SLpM which is good for fourth in the active division.

 

Valerie Letourneau vs. Joanne Calderwood

The first ever women’s Flyweight bout will take place between two current Strawweight competitors in Valerie Letourneau (8-4; 3-1) and Joanna Calderwood (10-1; 2-1). The bout will start off the main card on Fox Sports 1.

Letourneau was the last women to fight for the Strawweight belt in November at the famed UFC 193 event in Melbourne. Leading up to the title fight, Letourneau won three straight fights in the UFC and seven of her last eight overall with wins over Elizabeth Phillips (Split Decision), Jessica Rakoczy (Unanimous Decision), and Maryna Moroz (Unanimous Decision) and the lone loss coming to Claudia Gadelha outside of the UFC. In the fight, she took everything the champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk had when she absorbed 220 Significant Strikes to Letourneau’s 103. ‘Trouble’ has looked good in the UFC with 4.49 SLpM, 60% Striking Defense, and 87% Striking Defense.

Calderwood was on The Ultimate Fighter 20 which created the Strawweight division in the UFC. She picked up a win over Emily Kagan in her first fight to set up a bout with Rose Namajunas. ‘Jojo’ was finished by a Kimura in the second round to eventual finalist Namajunas. At the finale, Calderwood was paired with UFC newcomer Seohee Hamn where she won the fight by decision. She was heavily favored in her next fight to Maryna Moroz in Poland. Calderwood couldn’t make it out of the first round when she lost by Armbar. She returned against Cortney Casey in her home country of Scotland at UFC Fight Night 72 with a decision win. She has looked good in the UFC despite a loss as she steps in with 6.67 SLpM, 54% Striking Accuracy, and has yet to be taken down in the UFC.

 

Donald Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote

The co-main event also happens in the Welterweight division between Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (29-7, 1 NC; 16-4) and Patrick Cote (23-9; 11-8).

Cerrone came to the UFC in the merger after ten fights in the WEC. He made his debut at UFC 126 with a win over Paul Kelly, one of four in a row to get him to a fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 141. In a somewhat title eliminator fight, he got brutalized by Nate Diaz for three rounds and lost the fight by decision. After a loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 27, ‘Cowboy’ won his next eight fights to earn his shot at the dos Anjos again, this time for a title. The fight lasted just 66 seconds as Cerrone was hit with a body shot and the ensuing punches to lose by TKO. He returned in his last fight against fellow ‘Cowboy’ Alex Oliveira in a Welterweight debut with a first round Triangle. Currently in the Lightweight division, Cerrone is top 5 in Knockdowns Landed (8), Significant Strikes Landed (824), Takedown Defense (88%).

Cote is a long-time veteran of the sport, making his UFC debut at UFC 50 against superstar Tito Ortiz. He lost the fight, but his UFC career was jumpstarted. He returned on The Ultimate Season 4, a season where previous UFC fighters returned. He made it to the finale against Travis Lutter where he lost by Armbar. He went on a five fight win streak, earning a title shot at Middleweight Kingpin Anderson Silva. After the loss to Silva and two more following it, he was cut by the UFC and went back to local promotions. He returned in 2012 to a loss to Cung Le but went on a three-fight win streak. His last loss came to Stephen Thompson at UFC 178 where he lost by decision. He sits on a three-fight win streak with wins over Joe Riggs, Josh Burkman, and Ben Saunders.

Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson

The co-main event is a Welterweight title eliminator between Rory MacDonald (18-3; 9-3) and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (12-1; 6-1).

MacDonald fought champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 in the 2015 Fight of the Year as they went five back-and-forth rounds ending in a TKO for Lawler. That came after three straight wins over Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley, and Tarec Saffiedine. His last loss before the title shot was also to Lawler coming off of five straight wins. At just 26 years old, MacDonald is still very young in the sport and is getting better with each fight. ‘Red King’ is the number one contender in the division and comes in at 3.96 SLpM, 63% Striking Defense, 2.06 Takedowns per 15 min., and 88% Takedown Defense.

Thompson is a winner of six straight fights over the last three years. ‘Wonderboy’ last tasted defeat against Matt Brown at UFC 145. In his next six, Thompson picked up wins over Nah-Shon Burrell, Chris Clements, Robert Whittaker, Patrick Cote, Demian Maia, Jake Ellenberger, and Johny Hendricks. Thompson has looked better with each fight, getting bigger and bigger wins. His stats are impressive with 4.79 SLpM, 50% Striking Accuracy, and 58% Striking Defense as one of the best strikers in the entire UFC.

 

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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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)

Main Card:

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)

Preliminary Card:

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)

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