The Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC) will finally have an end to the Canada versus Australia TUF Nations season; while headlining middleweight contenders Tim Kennedy and Michael Bisping, finally settle a grudge match that has been boiling over for quite a while. The organization will be making their first official stop in Quebec City, Canada, this Wednesday with the main card kicking off at 7 pm(EST). Catch the first round of preliminaries for the card at 3:15 pm(EST).
Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy are both top 10 middleweights jockeying for contender-ship status. With all the gibberish, videos, and trash talking aside, both fighters excel in their different styles of fighting. With all the words being exchanged between the two, expect fireworks as the main event will not fail to disappoint. Kyle Noke and Patrick Cote coached opposite of one another on the UFC TUF Nations Canada vs Australia season; which was capped off by the Canadians sweeping all four finalist positions under Cote. Kyle Noke will look to end the momentum of the boys from up north and bring a win back home to his fellow Aussies. Sheldon Westcott will take on Elias Theodorou for the middleweight Nations TUF six figure contract, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier battles Chad Laprise for the welterweight TUF contract. Other notable fights on the card are: Dustin Poirier vs Akira Corassani, Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout vs KJ Noons; and women’s bout, Sarah Kaufman vs Leslie Smith.
#5 Michael Bisping (25-5) versus #8 Tim Kennedy (17-4)- Middleweight Bout
Coming off a year long lay off due to an eye injury, it looks like No. 5 middleweight contender, Michael Bisping, is ready to exchange some blows. Fellow UFC middleweight fighter Tim Kennedy may oblige early, mixing in on a combination of grappling and wrestling. Kennedy will want to get in on Bisping early and often, trying to wear on Michael’s body and test his cardio after his year off. Kennedy’s game plan is nothing new to the trash talking Brit. Bisping will look to stick to the outside and use his boxing, specifically his jab, to keep Kennedy at bay. Look for Bisping to instill his game plan in the first round, circling away and punching his way through the first round and possibly the second; decisively using his take down defense. The prediction though, is that Kennedy will finally press the action the following rounds. Kennedy will hold Bisping against the cage at numerous points during the fight; while landing a few take downs along the way. A year is a long time to hop right into a five round fight, Kennedy will prove that with a Unanimous Decision victory.
Patrick Cote (20-8) versus Kyle Noke (20-6-1)- Welterweight Bout
A match up of two coaches who both decided to make the move down to the 170 lbs. division, with both being 1-0 since making the move. Cote was already known for having heavy hands, and now fighting at a lighter weight, he could have some of the hardest hitting hands in the division. Cote is known for pressing the action early and swinging violently until his opponents fall to the mat. The issue here is that Noke is possibly the more athletic and nimble fighter of the two. The Aussie fighter is more well versed in each facet of the sport then Cote is, and should be able to find a way to avoid Cote’s ultra aggressive style. The prediction here is that Cote at some point in the 2nd or 3rd round is going to slip up and get caught. Noke will press the action and look to finish by submission, possibly a choke. The Aussie’s finally get their win to top off the series with Noke’s submission victory.
Elias Theodorou (8-0) versus Sheldon Westcott (8-1-1)- Middleweight Bout
The wrestler and grinder versus the all around prospect, It’s tough to distinguish who’s style will overcome the other. Theodorou has rode out his grinding style to an undefeated record and making his way to be a finalist from the show. Westcott is an all around gamer who can capitalize on any mishap Elias may have. In this case, the more well polished fighter doesn’t win, Theodorou will use the same game plan as day one, and coast on to win a Unanimous Decision and become the TUF Nations Finale Middleweight winner.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (4-0) versus Chad Laprise (7-0)- Welterweight Bout
Aubin-Mercier has been impressive. During the show he easily worked his way through to the finals for the most part, and has finished all of his pro fights by first round rear naked choke submission. Laprise is a better technician on the feet and his aspect of the striking is levels ahead of Aubin-Mercier. It all depends on who can keep the fight in their confort zone. Laprise wants the fight standing so he can pick Mercier apart; Mercier wants to take him down as quickly as possible and finish him. This fight is somewhat a toss up to determine the UFC welterweight TUF Nations Finale winner, but for the sake of the fight; Olivier Aubin-Mercier wins by submission.
In a few other fights to note, the MMA Spotlight has Dustin Poirier submitting Akira Corasanni, Sam Stout picking up a Unanimous Decision victory over KJ Noons; and in a potential ‘Performance of the Night’ fight, Sarah Kaufman knocks out Leslie Smith in the 3rd round. For any other further coverage of the preliminary bouts taking place on the card, check in on the following post fight review when the event concludes at the Guardian Liberty Voice.
This event kicks off the first of two events this week as Fabrico Werdum takes on Travis Browne in a heavyweight match up that has number one contender status written all over it. We settle the score here first, with Bisping and Kennedy while also gaining season ending conclusions for the TUF Nations Finalists, enjoy your UFC fight week.
Commentary by Justin Huffman