UFC Fight Night MacDonald vs. Saffiedine Preview and Picks: MMA Spotlight


UFC ends the night in Halifax, Canada; as Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine headline the second Fight Night of October 4th. Both welterweights are vying for contention status in the welterweight division, and picking up a victory here would push either to their final goal. The same goes for the co main event fight, Raphael Assuncao and Bryan Caraway, as both fighters are possibly only a fight or two a way from fighting for the title. Six fights on one main card, to go along with six more on the prelims, the day will be full of non stop action. The prelims will be broadcasted on Fight Pass first, which starts at 7 pm EST. FOX Sports 2 and Fight Pass will split the remaining four bouts at 8 pm EST, then switching over to FOX Sports 1 at 10 pm EST for the main card. Follow the section tomorrow, as MMA Spotlight will be covering all the UFC action, all day.

#2 Rory MacDonald (17-2) vs. #9 Tarec Saffiedine (15-3) Welterweight Bout – MacDonald can do it all; he can out wrestle, out strike, and out grapple any opponent in the welterweight division. His game plans towards each opponent, very much similar to his teammate and mentor, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. Just go ahead and call “Ares” the 2.0 version of G.S.P. He easily worked his way through top contender Tyron Woodley, and has blistered through some of the more notable mixed martial artists in the welterweight division. His only losses coming at the hands of Carlos Condit and number one contender, Robbie Lawler. Tarec Saffiedine is a tough outing in his own right, displaying world-class striking capabilities when inside the octagon. If the fight stays standing, Saffiedine stands a slight chance, if MacDonald tries to maul him or grind him out on the ground, it will be a simple game plan execution by the Canadian. Rory MacDonald via Unanimous Decision.

#4 Raphael Assuncao (21-4) vs. #10 Bryan Caraway (19-7) Bantamweight Bout – This UFC bout is an intriguing one to predict. Caraway is one slip of the tongue away from being called a one-dimensional fighter, but it seems as if no one can stop it in the bantamweight division. Caraway likes to press forward early and often, slipping low to grab a single or double leg, and take his opponent to the ground and work from there. Submissions are the name of his game, and he accomplishes his goal at highly successful rate. Assuncao would be sure to protect his neck at all costs during this fight, as Caraway loves his chokes. Assuncao is a better and more diverse fighter then Caraway, boasting a vast arsenal of weaponry to his disposal. The Brazilian can strike and grapple with the best, and being a Jiu Jitsu black belt, he should be able to fend off Caraway’s attempts. Raphael Assuncao via Unanimous Decision.

Chad Laprise (9-0) vs. Yosdenis Cedeno (10-3) Lightweight Bout – Both rightfully strikers in their own way, Laprise and Cedeno approach the standing aspect of this UFC fight in surprisingly different ways. Cedeno is known for his power and explosiveness, timing his rushes and putting together punches in bunches with full intentions on dropping his opponent. Laprise is more technical, and likes to stick and move, providing awkward angles that prove trouble for his opponents. Beyond that, Laprise has the far superior grappling game, and will mix up his approach quite frequently to win this one. Chad Laprise via Unanimous Decision.

Elias Theodorou (9-0) vs. Bruno Santos (14-1) Middleweight Bout – Santos is a thorough breed grinder, and will take that approach going into a contest against the undefeated Theodorou. The winner of UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” series, Theodorou showed his wide array of talents, and the ability to grind himself. Santos will need to mix it up better than he did against Camozzi to beat a prospering talent like Elias Theodorou. A hunch says nothing will change though, and “The Spartan” Theodorou should walk right through his Brazilian counterpart. Elias Theodorou via Technical Knockout.

Nordine Taleb (9-2) vs. Li Jingliang (9-2) Welterweight Bout – Another product out of the successful Tristar Gym, Nordine Taleb has been groomed for this moment on the main card. Training with the likes of Georges St. Pierre, Rory MacDonald, and Francis Carmont; Taleb expectedly has a strong wrestling base, and is very well-rounded. Li is more known for his counter punching, but has been a bit inconsistent inside the UFC’s octagon, and does not really stick out in one area as a mixed martial artist. Taleb should be able to walk through his Chinese foe with ease, and move on to better match ups with the organization.

Mitch Gagnon (11-2) vs. Roman Salazar (9-2) Bantamweight Bout – This is going to be a tough one for Salazar, as he walks into a UFC bout with bantamweight prospect Mitch Gagnon in a weeks notice. Gagnon has very creditable submission skills, and has seemed to improve striking quite rapidly. The weight cut may be much, and within a weeks notice and literally no camp to prepare, Salazar is almost predictably a sitting duck for Gagnon. Mitch Gagnon via Submission.

In other notable bouts, Daron Cruickshank and Anthony Njokuani headline the prelims in what should be a fast paced, high-octane striking match up between the two of them. Also, Ireland’s own, Patrick Holohan returns to the cage against Chris Kelades. For anything and everything UFC, make sure to tune into the Guardian Liberty Voice’s MMA Spotlight section, as it covers both of tomorrow’s festivities.

Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight Section
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA

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