Sourced from The Province.
Article written by E. Spencer Kyte.
It was disappointed that Max Holloway vs Charles Oliveira was
short. I would have loved to see Holloway’s striking vs
Oliveira’s jiujitsu. I was also happy to hear of Patrick Cote finishing a fight.
Hasn’t finished someone since 2008. Good for him.
While it wasn’t exactly how Max Holloway intended to push his winning streak to seven, “Blessed” still emerges from Saskatoon as one of the top featherweight contenders in the UFC and even gave matchmaker Sean Shelby a good idea for a potential fight next time out.
Just over 90 seconds into his headlining bout with Charles Oliveira, the Brazilian stood up, winced and grabbed at his collarbone region, looking to referee Herb Dean as he collapsed on the canvas and the fight was waved off much to the surprise of everyone in attendance. As of right now, there is no word on the extent of Oliveira’s injury, though the Brazilian was taken from the cage on a backboard and wearing a cervical collar for precautionary reasons.
We’ll update as more news is available.
As for Holloway, the 23-year-old suggested a match-up with fellow contender Frankie Edgar, lobbying for the UFC to bring the event to Hawaii. While an event at Aloha Stadium may not be in the cards, a date with “The Answer” is a distinct possibility, as the former lightweight champ is in need of a dance partner and Holloway is the only other top-ranked fighter currently on a healthy winning streak.
Magny Starts Again
You have to give Neil Magny credit – dude got owned by Demian Maia 22 days ago, goes home, starts training again, gets the call, jumps back into the cage and grinds out a win over Erick Silva in the co-main event of the evening. It wasn’t pretty, but it puts him back in the win column and allows him to start distancing himself from the Maia loss.
One judge was on peyote and scored the fight 29-28 for Silva, but really, the Brazilian didn’t have a ton to offer here, resembling a UFC washout taking fights on regional cards in random locations, coming in doughy and quick to tire, though the latter isn’t anything new.
None of that takes away from Magny making the most of his opportunity though. He’s fought nine times in the last 18 months and won eight of them; that’s impressive.
Cote Blisters Burkman, Calls Out Lombard
In the days leading up to Sunday’s event, Canadian veteran Patrick Cote talked about wanting a spectacular finish against Josh Burkman, joking that it had been too long since he’d finished someone in the Octagon. Well, his January 2008 TKO win over Drew McFedries is no longer the last UFC finish on his resume.
After an entering first two rounds, Cote and Burkman came out throwing smoke to start the third and it was “The Predator” that got the better of the exchanges, spinning Burkman to the canvas with a clean right hand before pounding out the finish. Now 4-1 in the welterweight division, the French-Canadian favourite took advantage of his time on the mic with Jon Anik as well, telling Hector Lombard he’ll happily welcome him back to the Octagon in January once his suspension is up.
Well done all around from Cote on Sunday.
Trinaldo Topples Laprise
Francisco Trinaldo was expected to be a step up in competition for TUF: Nations winner Chad Laprise, a litmus test for the Chatham, Ontario native and unbeaten lightweight prospect. As it turned out, “Massaranduba” was too much for the Canadian.
Trinaldo floored Laprise with a big left hand just before the midway point of the opening round. Dazed and in dire need of time to recover, Laprise pulled guard, but the Brazilian was having none of it, quickly transitioning to the back, flattening him out and pounding out the victory. That’s four straight inside the Octagon for the birthday boy (he turns 37 on Monday), who has solidified himself as a dangerous middle-of-the-pack lightweight.
Aubin-Mercier Keeps Grinding
A lot of people were highly critical of Olivier Aubin-Mercier’s grappling-heavy, grinding victory over Tony Sims where he landed a record low three significant strikes, but I’m not one of them. Not that I was overwhelmed by the performance, but it’s about perspective.
“OAM” is 26 and still just getting comfortable as a mixed martial artist, so he’s playing to his strengths and was dominant in those facets on Sunday. Getting cage time, continuing to win and continuing to develop are the most important elements for him at this stage and he’s accomplishing all three, so you won’t hear any complaints from me.
Three Straight for Trouble
Valerie Letourneau picked up her third consecutive UFC victory Sunday, earning a clean sweep of the scorecards while handing Maryna Moroz the first loss of her professional career. The Montreal native and American Top Team representative is a gritty veteran and a notoriously tough out, having only ever lost to championship contenders Claudia Gadelha, Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis.
“Trouble” dropped Moroz in the first and countered well throughout, outworking her Ukrainian counterpart and getting the nod. She struggles mightily with the weight cut and is probably best suited to compete at 125 pounds, but so far so good in the UFC.
Odds & Ends
Frankie Perez had himself a memorable night in Saskatoon. First he iced Sam Stout in under 60 seconds and then he announced his retirement from competition. The New Jersey native dropped Stout with a clean hook early just over 30 seconds in and finished him off with a sniper shot on the ground, forcing Herb Dean to step in. Afterward, Perez said he had accomplished his dream of earning a UFC victory and was ready to move on to the next chapter of his life.
Felipe Arantes should have earned himself a bonus with his slick transition into the armbar that finish Yves Jabouin. The Canadian veteran was in control early in top position, but “Sertanajo” swept from the bottom, transitioning into perfect armbar position and finished the hold shortly thereafter. Now that he feels shame and isn’t eating as much (his words, not mine), he could be an entertaining addition to an already awesome bantamweight division.
For all the talk of LHW being thin and lacking young talent – both of which are largely correct – Nikita Krylov continues to make a case for recognition. The 23-year-old Ukrainian fighter earned his third consecutive win Sunday, choking out Marcos Rogerio de Lima in the first round, and has only lost to Ovince Saint Preux at this weight.
For whatever reason, I always forget that Shane Campbell is only 28 and only committed to MMA full time after a kickboxing loss in February 2014. Showed improvements since his UFC 184 debut in Montreal and with more time working with David Lea at Toshido MMA in Kelowna, “Shaolin” could develop into a fun addition to the lightweight ranks.
If you read Keyboard Kimura this week – and really, why wouldn’t you? – you knew I was super-high on Misha Cirkunov and his performance showed why. The Latvian-Canadian dominated Daniel Jolly, showing off his grappling skills and pounding out the finish late in the first. He’s 28 years old and still a little green in some spots, but LHW is thin and he’s a physical and athletic specimen, so bigger and better should be in his future.