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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 

Andrew Sanchez vs Marc-Andre Barriault

Brad Katona vs Merab Dvalishvili 

Cub Swanson vs Shane Burgos 

Walt Harris vs Sergey Spivak

 

ESPN+ PRELIMS
Aiemann Zahabi vs Vince Morales 

Nordine Taleb vs Siyar Bahadurzada 

Kyle Nelson vs Matt Sayles 

Mitch Gagnon vs Cole Smith 

Arjan Bhullar vs Juan Adams 

Macy Chiasson vs Sarah Moras 
 

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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