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wandshogun09

UFC Ottawa: Iaquinta vs Cowboy - May 4 🇨🇦

Who wins and how?   

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Back in Canada on Saturday 4th May. It’s Raging Al vs Cowboy. 

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Al Iaquinta vs Donald Cerrone 

Derek Brunson vs Elias Theodorou 

Cub Swanson vs Shane Burgos 

Brad Katona vs Merab Dvalishvili 

Walt Harris vs Sergey Spivak

Andrew Sanchez vs Marc-Andre Barriault  

 

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Macy Chiasson vs Sarah Moras 

Aiemann Zahabi vs Vince Morales 

Nordine Taleb vs Kyle Prepolec 

Kyle Nelson vs Matt Sayles 

Arjan Bhullar vs Juan Adams 

Mitch Gagnon vs Cole Smith
 

Some good stuff on this one. Love the main event, co-main not so much but the undercard, while not ‘must-see’, looks pretty decent to me. 

 

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Al Iaquinta vs Donald Cerrone is one of those fights that you hear is announced and you just know it can’t be anything short of at least entertaining, with the possibility to be incredible. I realise I’m probably jinxing it now but I genuinely can’t see any way this isn’t a great fight. They both love a scrap. Both are in a good place in their careers at the moment as well. Iaquinta pretty much schooled Kevin Lee in their rematch in December, going 2-0 over the ‘Motown Phenom’. And Cerrone stopped Alexander Hernandez in an excellent fight in January. Obviously there was a lot of talk about a Cerrone vs McGregor fight but balls to that now. This is a brilliant piece of matchmaking. I know the 155 division is logjammed to fuck but this could be somewhat of a title eliminator if circumstances work out. You never know in the crazy world of MMA. Especially in a division that the likes of Khabib, McGregor and Ferguson are in. It’s wide open really. If the Holloway vs Poirier winner comes out of that fight hurt or Khabib sits out longer or McGregor gets done for rape or found killed by Muslims with a bottle of Proper Twelve stuffed up his arse...you get the point. One big name falling out could see the winner of this fight slide in and nab the title shot.

All that aside, it’s just a fantastic fight. Big fan of both but I’ve got to admit I’m pulling for Raging Al here. In an era where everyone’s become a gimmick or a parody of McGregor, Iaquinta talking shit yet being himself, and backing it up, has been a breath of fresh air. That’s another thing I really love about this fight actually. These two are both guys who are entertaining but always come across authentic and haven’t become the cringey Conor/Floyd ‘I’m rich, you’re broke’ boring rip-offs so many have over the last few years.

 

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Derek Brunson vs Elias Theodorou might be alright but I’m not into it really. I don’t mind Brunson, to be fair. He’s generally decent to watch, finishes most of his wins and was on a real strong run not that long ago. Not quite sure why he warrants a co-main spot though, after getting stopped in his last 2 fights. But it’s only a Fight Night so whatever. Theodorou can piss off though. Smarmy, pouting div. It’s like he bought the Luke Rockhold starter kit but forgot to finish. In fairness, I do get why he’s here. He’s coming off 3 wins and he’s Canadian so he’s going to get high-ish billing on a Canadian card. Fine. He’s dull as fuck though. He won TUF Nations back in 2014, has fought 9 times in the UFC since and I couldn’t tell you one time he was exciting to watch or had a standout performance. He nearly always goes to lacklustre decisions but wins enough of them that he’ll stick around forever. The worst kind of white noise ham and egger. So yeah, I’m hoping Brunson knocks this twat out. 

 

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Andrew Sanchez vs Marc-Andre Barriault is here for the purposes of highlighting the debut of Barriault. He’s 29 years old, from Quebec, 11-1 record with 8 stoppages and he avenged the loss. He was also the champion at both 205 and 185 for the TKO promotion in Canada where the likes of GSP, Patrick Cote, David Loiseau and Mark Hominick fought early in their careers. He’ll be fighting at 185 here. Sanchez is no world beater but could provide a solid test for Barriault. He’s 10-4 with UFC wins over Khalil Rountree and Markus Perez. He was also giving Anthony Smith some bother before Smith rallied for a comeback KO. Definitely worth a look, this fight. 

 

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Brad Katona vs Merab Dvalishvili isn’t getting my balls tingling but it’s an OK fight. Katona is Canadian, undefeated at 8-0 and won the DC vs Stipe season of TUF. He was a likeable nerd in the house and looked good in his fights that I’ve seen. Not particularly a finisher but it’s not for lack of trying as he was always going for something if I’m remembering him right. Dvalishvili is 8-4, a Serra-Longo fighter, beat Terrion ‘Koko B’ Ware last time out and went to a split against Frankie Saenz. 

 

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Cub Swanson vs Shane Burgos is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. All the makings of FOTN here. Swanson is always a good bet to steal the show. He’s struggled of late, he’s 0-3 in his last 3. They were to Edgar, Ortega and Moicano but still, 3 consecutive losses are 3 consecutive losses. Moicano really did a job on him as well. Dropped and subbed him in a round. At 35 and after some wars, Cub might be on the slide. Or maybe he just came up against 3 killers? This could be a good fight to gauge where he’s at. Burgos isn’t well known but he’s nobody’s pushover. He’s 11-1 with 9 finishes. Armbarred Kurt Holobaugh in his last fight and also beat Godofredo Pepey and Charles Rosa. His only loss was to Calvin Kattar (who’s also a bit underrated, IMO) in a really good fight last year. Really like this fight. 
 

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Walt Harris is still on this card as far as I know. He was all set to face Alexey Oleynik but Oleynik jumped in to fight Overeem on the Russia show when Volkov dropped out. Harris got a points win over Arlovski at UFC 232 in December but it was overturned to a No Contest after USADA flagged him. It was apparently the old tainted supplements again so he’s back after a 4 month suspension. 

 

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Aiemann Zahabi vs Vince Morales is a fight I’m interested to see. Zahabi was being talked about as a big prospect when he signed with the UFC. Obviously, some of that is because his brother is Firas, trainer of GSP. But Aiemann was also 6-0 with 6 finishes so there was good reason to be optimistic. He won his UFC debut, moving to 7-0. Then he got knocked the fuck out by a Ricardo Ramos spinning elbow on the Bisping vs GSP undercard at MSG. That was November 2017. Not sure if he was injured or just wanted to focus on training for a bit but he’s back now. And I still think he has lots of potential. Don’t think I’ve seen Morales before but he’s 8-3 with 7 finishes. 

 

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Nordine Taleb vs Siyar Bahadurzada could be a right banger. Taleb loves throwing down and Siyar is known for his heavy hands. Whenever I see Siyar I immediately think of his UFC debut years ago where he fucking flattened Paulo Thiago in seconds. Proper face planted him. It never really took off for him after that but he’s had his moments. Lost his last fight to Curtis Millender but won his 3 before that. Taleb will be the crowd favourite here though. He’s lost his last 2 and he’s 37 now, so I can’t see him carrying on too much longer but he’ll be fired up for this one. 

 

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Kyle Nelson vs Matt Sayles is a fight where I have zero knowledge of either man. Looking them up now Nelson is Canadian, 12-2 with 8 finishes. Apparently he fought in the UFC in December. He got TKO’d by Carlos Diego Ferreira. Must’ve missed it. He has a win over ex-UFC/WEC fighter Jonathan Brookins. Sayles is American. 7-2 with 6 TKOs. He’s also fought in the UFC and WSOF. No recollection. 

 

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Mitch Gagnon vs Brian Kelleher could be a sleeper actually if Gagnon is up to it. He hasn’t fought since late 2016. I remember him being pretty skilled. Not elite or anything but good everywhere, especially the ground. And Kelleher has been good value so far in the UFC. Again, not elite but he’s fun to watch and he goes for it. He did manage to submit BJJ black-belt Iuri Alcantara and decision Renan Barao in the UFC. 

 

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Arjan Bhullar vs Juan Adams was nearly my ‘one to watch’ actually. Got to love the heavyweights and this one intrigues me. Bhullar is Canadian-Indian, 32 years old with an 8-1 record. He fights out of AKA so he’s in the gym with Cormier, Velasquez, Rockhold, Khabib etc. Cormier has known him for ages actually, going back to their wrestling days. Bhullar had success as an amateur and won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and repped Canada at the 2012 London Olympics. DC speaks highly of him. He hasn’t done anything of note really in MMA yet, and he was submitted by omaplata by Adam Wieczorek in his lone UFC loss. But we’ll see how he looks here. Juan Adams is a big old unit. He’s 6’5” and has to cut down from nearly 300lbs to make heavyweight. He’s only 27 years old, 5-0 with 5 knockouts and was on Dana’s Contender Series. Stopped Chris De La Rocha in his UFC debut in December. And he’s got a strong wrestling background as well, although he didn’t go as far as Bhullar. Looking forward to seeing how this one pans out. 

 

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Macy Chiasson vs Sarah Moras...meh. This is supposed to be a showcase for Chiasson make no mistake. She won TUF last year and she’s 4-0. Meanwhile, Moras is 5-4 and coming in off back-to-back defeats. I’m not arsed about this but I’d quite like to see Moras scupper plans and spring the upset here. She’s Canadian so the crowd will be in her corner and despite her shit win/loss ratio she’s been in with the likes of Jessica Andrade and Raquel Pennington. 

 

So there you have it, Mother Canuckers. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Yay, Aiemann Zahabi's back! Made me a fan with his debut fight via his lovely, crafted, technical style. Was disappointed with the loss to Lamas, so I hope he gets back to winning ways.

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Just a reminder that this is tomorrow night. 

Few bits and bobs. 

Al Iaquinta interview on fighting Cowboy;

Donald Cerrone interview on the Iaquinta fight and being ‘done’ chasing the McGregor fight; 

And new young heavyweight Juan Adams (who fights Arjan Bhullar on this card) bashing Greg Hardy at around 7:50ish here; 

He’s been having a pop at Hardy pretty much non-stop for a while now on Twitter and in interviews as well. He's got his hands full here with Bhullar but if he wins I’d like to see him smack Hardy in the head a few times. I like him just because he hates Hardy. His eyes are each in a different postcode though. 

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2 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

Elias Theodorou co-main eventing, eeeesh

It makes sense really, Ebb. Canadian non-PPV show, and he's currently 4-1 in his last five, and he's facing his first top ten guy after sneaking into the top fifteen himself not too long ago.

A win here on home soil probably chucks him into the top ten and a fight with a Cannonier if he gets past Anderson next week, or someone similar.

Fight has decision written all over it mind you.

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Yeah it makes sense. If Cannonier beats Anderson though I’d hope he’d get something better than Elias Theodorou. Beating David Branch and Anderson Silva only to be ‘rewarded’ with Poundland Rockhold seems a bit shit. 

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12 hours ago, David said:

It makes sense really, Ebb. Canadian non-PPV show, and he's currently 4-1 in his last five, and he's facing his first top ten guy after sneaking into the top fifteen himself not too long ago.

A win here on home soil probably chucks him into the top ten and a fight with a Cannonier if he gets past Anderson next week, or someone similar.

Fight has decision written all over it mind you.

yeh it does make sense, the guys just as dull as dishwater in the cage. Its a shame really because he obviously very marketable despite having a marmite-esque personality. If he had a more appealing in ring style he'd be a bit of a star.

edit* ive posted this after the event has ended, i bet he went on to have a FOTN performance 😄

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I know that fighters talk about being reinvigorated and so forth, but fucking hell does Cowboy look like a new fighter or what? A few short years ago he'd have been just as liable to crumble after catching a few of those heavy shots from Iaquinta. 

I always liked Cerrone, but he was a bit suspect when fights didn't go his way from the off, and we've seen him look like he loses confidence when he either can't put someone away, or if they catch him clean a few times.

Not anymore. He got cracked by some serious shots in there and his expression never changed. He dropped Al and went after what looked like a surefire finish only for Iaquinta to pop back up. Not a flicker of doubt or frustration on Cerrone's face, he just kept on going. An absolutely brilliant showing against a guy who's top five in the division.

In all honesty, I'd give Cerrone the winner of Khabib and Poirier. I know that fights a while off yet, but Cerrone has fought three times in six months. There's no one else that would improve his standing in the division at the moment apart from the Conor fight. I'd give him the nod and let him sit out and prepare for that fight.

If he loses he'll likely call it a day, and it'll be a fitting end to his career. And if he wins? Then that Conor fight should happen, right? Surely!

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Fuck McGregor. Sick of hearing about the cunt and although I get why fighters call him out, I wish they wouldn’t because it boosts his pathetic ego when they do. I don’t really even want to hear about him at all until this sexual assault case is dealt with. He shouldn’t really be in the convo for me until that’s settled one way or the other. 

But yeah, Cerrone seems a different man these days and it’s almost certainly down to becoming a dad. His son coming along has clearly given him a renewed focus and a reason to really work hard and take it 100% seriously whereas before he obviously always loved fighting but I think it was probably more just a fun thing he did. Now it’s a means to provide and secure his kid’s future. He’s completely different in the way he talks about his career now. He used to go out of his way to say he wasn’t particularly arsed about titles and just wanted to get a bunch of fights in every year against whoever. And I think half the reason he went up to 170 was likely because he wouldn’t have to work as hard in camp. He seemed to just be going through the motions for a while. Now he’s a dad and he’s on about titles and big fights and seems genuinely excited about putting in the hard graft in a way he never was before. I think I first noticed the change in his attitude on Rogan’s podcast a while back and he’s been the same ever since. It probably isn’t all about his son, but his son being born seems to have been the kick up the arse he needed. That combined with him most likely nearing the end of his career is what seems to have given him a new focus to really make that extra push to fulfil whatever potential he has before it’s too late. 

It’s really cool to see. And I was rooting for Iaquinta here. But I’d love to see Cowboy end his career with a little title run that nobody expected like Bisping did. I don’t quite see him having what it takes to take that title off Khabib but who the fuck knows really? I never would’ve called Bisping KOing Rockhold in a round either. I certainly wouldn’t count this version of Cerrone out against the other top 155ers like Poirier, McGregor, Gaethje etc. They’re all either winnable or 50/50 fights for Cerrone IMO.

Ferguson is still the x-factor for me at 155. I still think he could be the one man to trouble Khabib but a lot is going to depend on how he comes back from his issues. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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What a performance that was from Cerrone. I was having a hard time predicting how this fight would play out and who would take the win in the end, but I'd have edged towards Iaquinta if pressed to make a prediction. Cerrone really pieced Al up as the fight went on though. I actually thought Iaqunita had more success early than the commentators seemed to, Cerrone landing a little more, but Iaquinta landed more heavily. Round three though Donald seemed to either kick it up a gear or else damage was beginning to affect Al more at this point. Cerrone definitely won the last three, possibly with a 10-8 in there, and probably one of the first two rounds.

Whoever won this fight was going to be adding a top class win to their resume. Cerrone deserves a Khabib or Dustin after that, but we all know that's not going to be next for him. He's never going to sit out that long. He'll likely fight again before the pair of them even meet, and hopefully he can win that next one so that he can face the winner of Nurmagomedov and Poirier (if that even happens!)

A fairly uneventful show though, other than the main event. Bronson Vs Theodorou was exactly as boring as I expected it to be. Thankfully Brunson took the decision there. 

Walt Harris set a new landspeed record with those punches in his demolition of the UFC's other Moldovan. Scarily quick for a heavyweight. 

The opener was a lot of fun, and the crowd were really into it. One of those fights were if the fight was scored overall, Barriault would have won based on the second round, but on the ten point must system, scoring round by round, Sanchez deserved the win with taking 1 and 3. 

Disappointed for Cub Swanson. The moment I saw them face to face in the cage, I get the feeling somebody should have talked Cub out of taking this fight when he desperately needed a win. Burgos looked absolutely massive. How he makes 145 I'll never know. I wouldn't be surprised if he was 175 lbs in there. The rounds were all close, so it was competitive, but Swanson was always having to take quite a bit of damage in order to get close. I'm not sure what's next for him now. He looked good here, not a shot fighter by any stretch of the imagination, but he needs a W badly. 

 

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Theodorou really is dishwater dull, isn’t he? Brunson isn’t typically a boring fighter either. Theodorou seems to have a knack for dragging otherwise very watchable opponents to lifeless decisions. He’s like the anti-Robbie Lawler. There’s been a bunch of guys who had their best career fight against Lawler. And a growing bunch who’ve had their worst against Theodorou. There’s actually a skill to that, to be fair. He’s quite an effective neutraliser and spoiler but fuck me it’s no good to watch. Some of his standup was bloody woeful here, especially in the second round. When you’re getting booed by your home crowd it says a lot because your countrymen will generally forgive a lot. This was cack though. 

And I don’t even think he’s marketable. I keep hearing that he is but I don’t see it at all. Just being good looking isn’t going to make people want to see you fight, is it? Where’s the correlation there? He’ll look pretty on the poster but most people won’t go ‘Ooh he’s a dish. I wanna watch him fight.’ They’re either going to not know who he is or, worse, they will. And then they’ll go ‘Ah it’s that boring cunt. We going out Saturday night then love?’ All he’s got is a lovely head of hair and cheesy selfie faces. That’s it. He could be any Love Island or TOWIE wanker with that CV but nothing about him makes me want to watch him fight. He’s beige as fuck in the cage and doesn’t seem to have much of a personality out of it, good or bad. He’s just there, pouting and squinting off into the distance and shitting the place up when he fights. 

I was a bit surprised at the commentary during this fight actually. Particularly from Bisping. They seemed to be thinking Theodorou was controlling everything but I thought Brunson was doing the better work for nearly all of it.

Edited by wandshogun09

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Cowboy vs Gaethje would be delightful. Maybe as the co-main to DC vs Stipe. Give the winner of that a crack at the winner of Khabib/Poirier.

 

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15 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

 

And I don’t even think he’smarketable. I keep hearing that he is but I don’t see it at all. Just being good looking isn’t going to make people want to see you fight, is it? Where’s the correlation there? He’ll look pretty on the poster but most people won’t go ‘Ooh he’s a dish. I wanna watch him fight.’ They’re either going to not know who he is or, worse, they will. And then they’ll go ‘Ah it’s that boring cunt. We going out Saturday night then love?’ All he’s got is a lovely head of hair and cheesy selfie faces. That’s it. He could be any Love Island or TOWIE wanker with that CV but nothing about him makes me want to watch him fight. He’s beige as fuck in the cage and doesn’t seem to have much of a personality out of it, good or bad. 

Yeh its looks pretty much. That'll corner him a certain market but lacking a fight style and likeable personality halts any star quality. Sure he does local TV and stuff in Canada along with modelling, as well as being a ring boy 😄 suppose thats as far as he'll go.

Roger Huerta brought the qualities Theodorou didn't have. He was a panty dropper that came in fighting with a ridiculously fan friendly style and for a minute it made a bit of a star. It never panned out long term but thats the kind of thing i think Theodorou could have  had the potential to do.

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Yeah Huerta was the total opposite in fight style. In 2007 he looked like he was going to be a massive star. Cover of Sports Illustrated etc. Then he had that awesome FOTY with Clay Guida and it seemed a cert that he was going to be huge. Then he got the big head, thought he was going to be a movie star and started demanding BJ Penn money and they fed him to Florian and Maynard, when those two were on top form, on his way out the door. Huerta really burned out quick but he was great for that little stretch. 

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I'm struggling to remember the last time I was so impressed by a Cerrone performance like this one. I've heard Cerrone talk in the past about being in the zone and it seeming like he's in some Neo character, and this seemed like he was definitely in that place. I very much rate Raging Al as one of the very best in the division, so it was quite the surprise seeing Cerrone step up to the occasion - a man that has a rep of falling when the big fight comes around. It was equal parts beautiful as it was brutal.

Some division, this. Khabib v Poirier/T-Ferg/Cowboy are all there and not one of them is a let down.

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