UFC Ottawa “Cerrone vs Iaquinta”: Recap
UFC returned to Canada where they have a faithful following and some rabid MMA fans. Once again the vest MMA promotion in the world did not disappoint and fight fans were in for one helluva night. 5 of the 6 fights on the main card went the distance and one was finished in warp speed. Let’s recap the main card and some exciting fights headlined by “Cerrone vs Iaquinta” in what turned out to be an all out war.
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
This one was very interesting. Both fighters had sparred three hard rounds against each other the day before the UFC offered them this fight. Knowledge of your opponent is always a huge factor and these two had intimate knowledge after their intense sparring session. A close fight to start the night. I had one buddy that had it a draw, one who had Barriault and one who like myself had Sanchez 29-28. Both fighters landed some big shots and showed a solid chin. At one point Barriault rocked Andrew and I thought the fight might be over but Sanchez survived. Sanchez appeared to have the better wrestling and earned a couple take downs.
Winner: Andrew Sanchez 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Walt Harris vs. Serghei Spivac
Aleksei Oleinik was originally planned to face Walt Harris on the card but that bout was scratched. Enter Serghei Spivac making his UFC debut. Exit Serghei Spivac in less than one minute as Harris let a barrage of punches dropping the UFC rookie and finished him with a flurry on the ground. Easy night for Harris as “The Big Ticket” looked sharp and sent a message to the heavyweight division.
Winner: TKO Round 1 Walt Harris
Brad Katona vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Undefeated Katona was coming in against his toughest opponent yet, and it showed in the cage. I really like Katona and was hoping for the upset but while it went the distance Dvalishvili dominated the fight from bell to bell. Both standing in the striking game and take downs and grappling Katona was simply out matched last night.
Winner: Merab Dvalishvili U Decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Cub Swanson vs. Shane Burgos
Back and forth bout that had action throughout the night. Both fighters looked solid and appeared comfortable. Swanson had to deal with the length and range of Burgos. Shane on the other hand had to figure out the speed and angles that Cub utilized during the fight. Both fighters showed the willingness and ability to stand toe to toe and throw which made for a fun fight to watch. Scoring was all over the place on this one as a conflicting scorecard, had each fighter earning a 30-27 score from different judges. A 29-28 win for Burgos ultimately was the difference maker in the fight.
Winner: Via Decision Shane Burgos 30-27, 27-30, 29-28
Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
I saw this one a little differentlythan some I talked with. Many people I know had Brunson in a one sided win and fely he controlled the entire fight. I saw a much closer bout in my eyes. Brunson was patient and stayed in control and that was great for him. However I didn’t feel that Brunson did much. He didn’t take make and bid statements with his hands and while he got a huge slam and and a couple take downs showed little more in my opinion. I felt Theodorou clearly out struck Brunson all three rounds and seemed to fight at his pace in the cage. I felt the fight was close and expected a split decision but that clearly did not happen. I don’t mind telling you guy’s that I was wrong when I am wrong.
Winner: Decision Derek Brunson 29-28, 29-28, 30-27
#4 Al Iaquinta vs. #10 Donald Cerrone
What a main event. These two warriors went at it for five intense rounds standing toe to toe and slinging big blows. Iaquinta showed his boxing skills landing some pinpoint shots that had a lot behind them and rocked Cerrone on a couple occasions last night. Cerrone had an excellent fight plan and worked some vicious leg kicks that left Iaquinta battered and bruised from a barrage of of blows from various angles. Cowboy also showed some improved boxing as he found a stiff jab finding Iaquinta in the face several times in every round. Cowboy was able to take down Raging Al in the third and fourth rounds adding some ground and pound damage. Both fighters showed heart and keep pushing forward and both kept swinging and landed some solid shots through all five rounds. Cerrone was absolutely amazing and worked his way to clear cut victory over the number 4 ranked Iaquinta.
Winner: Decision Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone 49-45, 49-45, 49-46
Helluva fight night once again as the UFC continues to bring us some fantastic match ups since the move to ESPN. Look for a couple more big fights coming in June and July as well.
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Check out a previous UFC article of mine “Between Rounds” featuring Ariane Lipski