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wandshogun09

UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs Thompson - Sat Jun 18th

Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 18th June for this one and it's the UFC's debut in Ottawa, Canada.

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FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD

Rory MacDonald vs Stephen Thompson

Donald Cerrone vs Patrick C么te

Steve Bosse vs Sean O'Connell

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs Thibault Gouti

Valerie Letourneau vs Joanne Calderwood

Misha Cirkunov vs Ion Cutelaba

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS

Tamdan McCrory vs Krzysztof Jotko

Chris Beal vs Joe Soto

Elias Theodorou vs Sam Alvey

Randa Markos vs Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

Alex Garcia vs Colby Covington

Ali Bagautinov vs Geane Herrera

Leandro Silva vs Jason Saggo

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MacDonald vs Wonderboy is legitimately one of the fights I'm most excited about this year. When they did that Unstoppable press conference a few months ago, even alongside huge fights like Jones vs Cormier 2, Rockhold vs Weidman etc, this one still stood out to me as a fight I couldn't wait for. And it's not even a hype thing. These two don't go in for shit talking. It's just purely a tremendous matchup of styles and the timing of it makes it all very interesting.

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Rory hasn't fought since that war with Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 last July. It tells you just what an incredible fight it was that Rory came out of it looking like that, lost the fight and it doesn't feel like his stock has dropped at all really. It was one of the best fights in MMA history and he was probably ahead on the cards before Lawler broke his face apart in the fourth and fifth rounds, forcing the stoppage. It was the kind of brutal fight though which makes you question if a fighter will ever be the same again. Lawler went and had another crazy war in his next fight with Condit in January. But that's Robbie Lawler. Hopefully this eleven months away from the Octagon will have freshened up Rory and allowed him to come back rejuvenated.

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Wonderboy Thompson's last fight saw him destroy former UFC champion Johny Hendricks inside a round. Just crushed him like a jobber. It was lovely. 3:31 is all it took Thompson to put Hendricks away. To put that in perspective, it took Robbie Lawler 2 fights/10 rounds/50 minutes to get the title off Hendricks and even then it was razor close and he couldn't finish him. And Wonderboy goes and wrecks him in under four minutes?! Could be a case of the Lawler fights softening Hendricks up though, Hendricks hasn't looked great since. And that mightn't bode well for Rory. If Wonderboy batters Rory easily here, we might have to start asking is he really that good, or is he getting easy pickings left from Robbie Lawler's path of destruction?

Seriously, if Wonderboy wins this, especially if he's able to stop Rory, it's going to be difficult to deny him a crack at the title.

The crowd will be heavily with Rory, being in Canada, but this is one of those fights where I'm not massively arsed who wins, I just want to see a good fight. I guess I'd slightly prefer a Thompson win purely for the fact he'd be a fresh face in the title mix and if it ends up Lawler vs Wonderboy for the title...fasten your bastard seatbelts!

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Cowboy vs Cote co-headlines. Love this fight. Again, I like both so I'm not rooting hard for either result here but I love watching Cerrone. His fighting style is so much fun to watch. Killer striking, great combinations and uses every limb, plus if it hits the ground he's looking for the sub immediately. He's all offence, all the time. And that's worked against him at times but MMA needs fighters like Cowboy. He's badass. And outside the cage he's MMA's version of Stone Cold Steve Austin, minus the wife beating. Drinking Budweiser, hunting, kicking arse. That's basically Cerrone's life in a nutshell.

You're not going to get a boring fight out of these two because C么te loves to throw down as well and he'll be amped up fighting in Canada again. C么te's granite hard and durable as fuck. He won't go away easily and now Cerrone's at 170, this could be a right task for him. C么te was hard to put away at 185 and even 205, for fuck's sake. Cerrone's a true finisher but he'll have his work cut out in this one. Should be good.

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"CUT THE FUCKING MUSIC!"

Looks like Steve Bosse is fighting Shane Douglas. Bosse is another Canadian so he'll no doubt get a warm reception. He is 1-1 in the UFC so far. A knockout loss to Thiago Santos and a knockout win over James Te Huna.

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Letourneau vs Calderwood will be the first ever women's flyweight (125lbs) fight in UFC history. Not sure what the deal is with that but I'd assume they're looking at eventually bringing that division in. I like this matchup a lot actually. Two of the better strikers in the women's game at this early stage in its evolution. Letourneau has more of a boxing style, Calderwood is a Muay Thai specialist.

Letourneau came up short in her title fight last time out, losing on points to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She lost clearly but it was a fight everyone and their nan expected her to get completely slaughtered in and she didn't do too bad. She was way more competitive than I thought she'd be. Calderwood has been up and down in the UFC but she's coming off a win over Cortney Casey in a good fight in her hometown of Glasgow last July.

I like Letourneau but I'm hoping Dr Kneevil pulls this one off and goes on a bit of a run at flyweight.

Elsewhere on the card...

Tamdan McCrory is back. Always enjoy watching the 'Barn Cat' do his thing. Weird nerdy fuck that he is.

Beal vs Soto should be enjoyable. Beal was originally supposed to be fighting KID Yamamoto on this card but, what a surprise, KID picked up another injury! I love KID but when your time's up it's up and his time was ten years ago.

Theodorou vs Alvey is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. First of all, the pictures tell the story...

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Genetics really can be a cunt, can't they? Just look at these two. Theodorou looks like he bought the Luke Rockhold starter kit and got his money's worth. Meanwhile, Sam Alvey looks like a giant human Wotsit. Looking at these two, Theodorou would be the guy at school who's good at sports and gets all the fittest girls. Alvey would hang around with the geeks and do shit like, I don't know, get his homework in on time. A proper boff. The only time these two would interact would be when Theodorou would piss in Alvey's PE bag.

But here we are. And in all seriousness, this is a really good fight. Theodorou was impressive as fuck to me coming off winning TUF Nations a while back. He hasn't done anything that's really stuck out since but he's looked decent enough from what I've seen. Alvey though, how can you not like him? He's always smiling. Even during fights he looks happy as fuck. But he's a smiling assassin with a killer punch. He's got to be one of the least hard looking hard men walking the planet. A wolf in Wotsit clothing.

And this is Alvey's missus, by the way...

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Personality does count sometimes. Either that or he's got a massive willy and ginger nuts.

Moving on.

Randa Markos is on the card. Been a fan of hers since TUF 20 where she stood out as one of the few women on the show who had any maturity whatsoever. And she also made a fan out of me by coming in as an unknown and schooling that twat Felice Herrig. Still hoping to see that Markos vs Esparza grudge match at some point.

And Garcia vs Covington on Fight Pass could be a decent little clash of styles. Covington is a wrestler and was Jon Jones wrestling buddy and roommate in college. And Garcia is like a Poundland version of Hector Lombard.

That's your lot.

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Not a bad set of fights there.

Edited by wandshogun09

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Genuinely torn about that main. On the one hand, as you say, wand, Wonderboy winning would freshen things up, plus it's hard not to root for a guy that impressive, especially when he's taken Hendricks' head off. On the other hand, MacDonald made a fan out of me in the Lawler match, so not only do I not much want him to lose, but also would love to see him earn another title shot - despite the loss, I was left with the impression it really could have gone either way, and there's every possibility Rory's learned and evolved from that match.

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Do people still think Rory might pick up his ball and fuck off home after this?

If that's the case, I'd rather Wonderboy kicked his head off. Nothing against Rory, but I'm not that arsed about other MMA organisations, so I'd rather a result that benefitted the UFC.

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I forgot all about Rory wanting to test free agency. Is this the last fight on his current deal then?

It is pretty shit that Rory only got $59,000 (disclosed pay) for the Lawler fight. Considering it was a title fight and a co-main event on one of the biggest PPVs of 2015, that sounds low. I read that he was only the sixth highest paid fighter on that card. Sixth! With how brutal that fight was you can see why Rory wants more. He's got his first kid on the way as well.

Here's a Rory quote from the MMA Hour on the whole thing...

"I want to make the most money I can. I want to get paid for what I bring to the table. I've sacrificed a lot to get to the top, to the world title. I really sacrificed, and I took a lot of chances. I did a lot of favors, I felt like, for the UFC and I don't think it got returned. So now it's all about making money, and whoever wants to pay me the most is where I'll go."

"The experience itself, the fight was great. I loved it. It was a great thing for me and my martial arts career. But, you know, a performance like that and everything I did leading up to it in my career with the UFC, I feel like I should be left a little bit more financially stable. I still make good money, but I still feel that I was worth more. That I brought more to the table than what I really got.

"So I just have to really fight for what is right, on the business side now. And I guess getting to that point, to the world title and stuff, after a hard fight like that, it just opened my eyes to it. Okay, now it's time to get a little more business savvy rather than just do whatever just to get to the big fight."

"I'd rather not go through it (free agency). I mean, I'd rather just agree on something with the UFC and move forward. But we'll see what happens. I'm very willing to do it though, if that means making more money.

"My gut tells me... I don't know. I don't even know any more. I'm just going to do what I have to do, what I can control."

And this on why his fight with Lombard on the London card fell through...

"I'll tell you exactly what happened. We'd been in negotiations with my new contract since my last fight, but they'd offered me to fight Hector next, so I said definitely, let's do it. So I think they booked me for the last London card there, and I was like, no problem, let's get it. Right about when I was going to start training camp, they said, 鈥榦kay, we don't feel that you're ready because you haven't started sparring yet.' But I never told them that I was not ready or I wasn't healthy with my nose or whatever. Like, they just asked me if I had started sparring. I said no, I was going to wait until training camp started to get back into it. And they were like, 鈥榦kay, we're to postpone it until the Australia card.'

"It was like, well, I want to fight in London. I don't want to be flying that far to go fight this guy. So I was like, I'll tell you what, I'll fight in Australia, but give me my new contract. They apparently weren't willing to do that because the next thing that happened was they booked him (Lombard) with Neil Magny."

"I'm not fighting over there for $50,000. I'll fight in London or somewhere a little closer, or in North America, but that's a longass way to make a little money."

I'm sure he got bonuses for the Lawler fight. They got FOTN and maybe he got even more than that. But that's not the point because those bonuses aren't guaranteed and you can't rely on that money. All he can count on is that $59K. And while that's a lot of money, you'd think a top level fighter like Rory who's highly ranked in his division would be on more in 2016.

The thing is, I can't see Bellator or anywhere else paying him more than that and the UFC know it. So he's probably going to stay with the UFC in the long run anyway.

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The thing is Wand, Rory signed that contract. If he wins this fight against against Thompson then I've got no doubt that he will be given a rise. Even if he loses, he will probably be given a rise too.聽

The contract that he signed way back is probably what he was worth to the UFC at the time. He's got more value now, not massively, but he does have more value.

You could argue that there should be a tariff in place for title challengers to receive extra pay, but you've seen just how badly some title challengers (and champions for that matter) can draw for the company. There is the tariff pay for challengers on the reebok deal at least, but considering a lot of fighters made more from sponsorship it's a moot point really.聽

One thing that really should be put in place though is a minimum fee/bonus for say headlining/co headlining a fox card, FS1 card, Fight pass card etc.

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MacDonald signed his current deal whilst on a five fight winning streak, and just before he fought Lawler for the first time at UFC 167.

He'd already beaten the likes of BJ Penn, Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle and Jake Ellenberger, and it was most likely his 2nd or 3rd contract with the company.

I still find it absolutely amazing that a fighter can get locked into a deal and be held to it, whilst the company can toss you on the trash heap whenever the fuck they like without any kind of recourse.

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MacDonald signed his current deal whilst on a five fight winning streak, and just before he fought Lawler for the first time at UFC 167.

He'd already beaten the likes of BJ Penn, Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle and Jake Ellenberger, and it was most likely his 2nd or 3rd contract with the company.

I still find it absolutely amazing that a fighter can get locked into a deal and be held to it, whilst the company can toss you on the trash heap whenever the fuck they like without any kind of recourse.

If that's the case I find it absolutely astonshing. The only thing against him was that BJ Penn at the time wasn't the BJ Penn of old, and Nate Diaz's stock certainly what it is now. It was also fought at welterweight.

Regarding the last comment, the UFC have displayed in the past they also give new improved contract extentions. Holly Holm was a recent one where she had fights remaining on her first deal but they gave a big

pay rise and extension after the Rousey win.聽

I know you were specifically talking about the released part, but I feel it's fair to add the above.

Edited by lambyUK

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It's a competitive world David. Everything counts in large amounts.

Competitive or not, the point stands that UFC contracts are incredibly one-sided. Hopefully we see Bellator gain some more ground on them as far as fighter pay and talent goes, if not in TV numbers. Something needs to change in that regard.

Fuck, there's even fighters who are informed of their release on Twitter and through the media. That's shambolic.

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Yeah that is really ridiculous. I can't remember who it was now but two or three years ago there was a fighter who found out they'd been sacked on twitter or an MMA news site. Imagine that? At the time, Dana was still doing the media scrums and he was all apologetic about it but I'm sure it's happened again since then. There's no excuse for that. The fighter should always be the first to be informed if they're being let go. Not a #youresackedmate on twitter.

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It's a competitive world David. Everything counts in large amounts.

Competitive or not, the point stands that UFC contracts are incredibly one-sided. Hopefully we see Bellator gain some more ground on them as far as fighter pay and talent goes, if not in TV numbers. Something needs to change in that regard.

Fuck, there's even fighters who are informed of their release on Twitter and through the media. That's shambolic.

Agreed. The grabbing hands, will grab all they can.

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I mean, I'm not saying the fighters should be paid shitloads and given all manner of perks, but surely if you sign a three fight deal with show money of $10,000 and more if you win you should be able to rest somewhat in the knowledge that you have three fights and $30,000 coming your way, you know?

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Wonderboy on getting a title shot;

"I'm ranked No. 2. There's one guy in front of me, the No. 1 contender, which is Rory MacDonald. That's why I'm in the game: to fight the best. I want that spot and Rory MacDonald, it is!"

"If they don't give it to me, there's something wrong. I'm going to be pushing like crazy. I'm not the type of guy to really sit out and wait for anything, but I'm the no. 1 contender. They have to give it to me. I don't know why they wouldn't at that point.

"I know I can put on a good show and I know I can beat Robbie Lawler. I know I can be the welterweight champion."

Hard to argue that. If he beats Rory, he's got to be next in line for the winner of Lawler vs Woodley, hasn't he?

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If Lawler loses though, he has to get a rematch.

Not necessarily. If he gets sparked after being dominated then there's a good chance he wouldn't. If it's razor close, then possibly.

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