What a show the UFC put on in front of the Canadian fans in Halifax, Canada. Rory MacDonald delivered a devastating blow to the fans delight, Raphael Assuncao established his place on top of the bantamweight contender-ship ladder. The event was the second of the day; as Stockholm, Sweden hosted their own venue headlined by Gunnar Nelson and Rick Story earlier in the day. The UFC will not be back in action until October 25th, when featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, will take on number one contender Chad Mendes for the title in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With title implications on the line, read down below to see how Rory MacDonald and Raphael Assuncao fared in their respective match ups.
Rory MacDonald defeats Tarec Saffiedine via TKO (Punches) rd.3 – Rory MacDonald is on a quest for UFC gold, and no man, including Tarec Saffiedine, is going to stop this man on his mission. It is not that Tarec Saffiedine is very predictable nor very good at mixing things up, MacDonald’s long-range poses issues for anyone he fights, almost forcing them to fight in a way to his liking. “Ares” stocked his foe down like he usually does in his fights, firing off a piston left jab to keep Saffiedine at bay, following it up with a straight right hand. He established the same routine through two frames, but in the third Rory decided to add a few more strikes to his arsenal, in which lead to the winning knockout blow. An uppercut during an exchange for MacDonald was all she wrote for Saffiedine, as it landed flush to the jaw, sending Tarec stumbling to the floor. Rory followed up and landed the finishing blows, forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight. Rory then demanded a UFC title shot afterwards, in which he rightfully has earned.
Raphael Assuncao defeats Bryan Caraway via Unanimous Decision – Assuncao proved once again why he should be in line for a title shot, with seven victories in a row in the bantamweight division and a victory over the current UFC champion, it is quite hard to argue whether or not he deserves his shot. Assuncao just completely outclassed a very predictable Bryan Caraway, as he was able to fend off Caraway’s feeble attempts to taking him down, and was able to counter the American at will. Assuncao stated in his post fight interview that he would like to make his eighth victory for the belt, and will not settle for anything less.
Chad Laprise defeats Yosdenis Cedeno via Unanimous Decision – Laprise surprised many with his well-defined mixture of wrestling and the striking game, as he has on most occasions, avoided the ground game at all costs. Laprise established his wrestling early, taking down an unsuspecting Cedeno in the very first round, and continued to do so throughout the fight. In the third Laprise landed a belly to back suplex for good measure to close out the fight, putting a stamp on his performance against Cedeno.
Elias Theodorou defeats Bruno Santos via Unanimous Decision – The undefeated “Spartan” brought his fast paced, high-octane action against a mauler in Bruno Santos. The mauler could not seem to keep Theodorou from rag dolling him around the cage though, as Bruno Santos had very limited success against the middleweight prospect. Santos found himself fending off cage pressure and take downs early and often, as Elias continuously dragged Santos into the deep waters with him, threatening from the back position in the third round. The victory continues this UFC prospect’s rise in the division, it would not be a surprise if Elias is able to fight a top 15 opponent in his next few bouts.
Nordine Taleb defeats Li Jingliang via Split Decision – Taleb came in the slight favorite, and had trouble early finding his range in the striking game, as Li pressed forward and was able to take down the Tristar product. Taleb answered the call in the second and third frames, finding a home for a stiff jab and some pretty precise counter punching, taking a page out of the book of his opponent Li. Li could not establish his game plan in the second and third rounds, in which lead to his demise via split decision.
Mitch Gagnon defeats Roman Salazar via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) rd.1 – This was not a fair match up in the first place. Roman Salazar had a weeks notice to step up and fight a guy who potentially will wind up in the top 15 ranks of his division after this trouncing. Gagnon set the pace early and pressured Salazar from the opening bell, catching Salazar with some heavy hands in which dropped his overwhelmed opponent in the first round. Gagnon proceeded to latch up a rear naked choke for good measure, finishing Salazar in the first round. The Canadian should see stiffer competition in his next time out in the UFC.
In other notable bouts on the prelims, Daron Cruickshank demonstrated a new part of his game that the audience has yet to see, as he used his wrestling to outgun Anthony Njokuani. Russian Albert Tumenov landed back to back head kicks for his technical knockout over Matt Dwyer, in which could possibly be one of the best finishes of the year. For the full results of the UFC Fight Night, continue reading below.
Daron Cruickshank defeats Anthony Njokuani via Unanimous Decision
Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeats Jake Lindsey via Submission (Kimura Lock) rd.2
Paul Felder defeats Jason Saggo via Split Decision
Chris Kelades defeats Patrick Holohan via Unanimous Decision
Albert Tumenov defeats Matt Dwyer via TKO (Head Kicks) rd. 1
Pedro Munhoz defeats Jerrod Sanders via Submission (Guillotine Choke) rd.1
As stated above, the UFC will not make a return until October 25th, so MMA fans will have to make due without their fix for three long weeks. Other organizations like Bellator will be in action, so rest assured there will be some sort fist a cuffs to be hand next Friday. For anything and everything UFC, stay tuned into the Guardian Liberty Voice as we cover all bases in the MMA world.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight section
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA