UFC on ESPN+ 9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy Full Report

On Saturday, UFC headed to Ottawa for a card crammed full of Canadians. Besides the home country fighters competing, the show also featured a ranked Lightweight clash between “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone and “Ragin’” Al Iaquinta. Let’s look through the whole evening of fights.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Mitch Gagnon (12-4) vs. Cole Smith (6-0) (Bantamweight)

Ottawa’s evening of fights started with Mitch Gagnon facing Cole Smith in a Canadian versus Canadian matchup. Early in the first round, Gagnon found himself threatened by a standing kimura attempt. Smith landed a takedown after they were against the cage for a couple of minutes. They got back up moments later and went back against the cage. When they returned to striking, Smith was trying for kicks frequently. Smith was able to bring the fight to the ground in the second and try for a rear naked choke. Gagnon stayed defensive for the rest of the round but didn’t get finished by submission. Gagnon opened the third round very aggressively, advancing on Smith quite a bit. Smith was dropped by some strikes, giving Gagnon an opening. Gagnon tried for an armbar but it didn’t work. They stood back up and then went back down when Gagnon put in a guillotine. Smith got out of the move and took back mount. Smith put in a rear naked choke in the final minute. Gagnon’s mouthpiece also came out during this. The fight went the distance, relying on the judges to choose the fate of the fighters. The judges gave Cole Smith the win unanimously (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 2: Arjan Bhullar (8-1) vs. Juan Adams (5-0) (Heavyweight)

Two up-and-coming Heavyweights in Arjan Bhullar and Juan Adams faced each other in the next bout. The first round was purely stand-up, with Adams throwing way more punches. Adams came out very aggressively in the second round. Bhullar landed a single leg takedown after a minute. Adam’s had his mouthpiece knocked out, which Bhullar’s corner noticed and repeatedly told him about. They got up shortly after, with not much happening on the ground. Bhullar landed a takedown late in the final round. Both fighters slowed their pace significantly in the third round. The judges all gave Arjan Bhullar the victory (29-28 29-28 & 30-27). Bhullar called out Andrei Arlovski after the fight.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 3: Kyle Nelson (12-2) vs. Matt Sayles (7-2) (Featherweight)

The next prelim bout was Kyle Nelson versus Matt Sayles. The first round opened with an aggressive stand-up battle between the two. Nelson was shoved down at one point and was given numerous hammer fist and normal strikes on the ground. Nelson survived the large volume of strikes, and then put Sayles in position for a leg lock. Sayles escaped the move and got into top mount where he landed even more strikes. Nelson was denied a takedown attempt early in the second. Later on however he landed more takedowns. Nelson tried for a rear naked choke for a while, and even had it in at one point but lost control. Nelson shot for tons of takedowns in the final round, not having much success. He did land one takedown but fell into a trap where Sayles took control and put in a head and arm choke to win the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 4: Nordine Taleb (14-6) vs. Kyle Prepolec (12-5) (Welterweight)

In the next fight, Nordine Taleb fought UFC newcomer Kyle Prepolec. The first round had very cautious striking from both fighters. The second round was similar but had Taleb landing some harder hitting combos. Prepolec was seemingly hurt by a kick in the final seconds of round three, as he sort of stopped and grabbed his leg. The fight went the distance with the judges giving Nordine Taleb the unanimous victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 5: Vince Morales (8-3) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (7-1) (Bantamweight)

Aiemann Zahabi, a brother of Firas Zahabi fought Vince Morales next. The first round was a slow one with Morales being the aggressor. The second was much of the same, although Zahabi did land a takedown in the final two minutes. The two fighters went all fifteen moments, not having many defining moments. The scorecards read a unanimous decision for Vince Morales (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 6: Sarah Moras (5-4) vs. Macy Chiasson (#14) (4-0) (Bantamweight)

Finishing off the preliminary part of the card was Sarah Moras and Macy Chiasson. In the fist five seconds of the bout, Moras scored a takedown. Chiasson got into a top position and started to land strikes. Moras tried for a takedown at the start of the second, but Chiasson was able to gain control on the ground. Chiasson landed a flurry of strikes from above, making referee Yves Lavigne stop the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Main Card

Bout 7: Andrew Sanchez (10-4) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (11-1) (Middleweight)

Starting the main card was Andrew Sanchez and Marc-Andre Barriault. A story was told on commentary before the fight, explaining how these two fighters sparred the day before they were offered a fight against each other. Funny coincidence. Sanchez is a Tristar Fighter but got boos when being introduced. Sanchez landed a takedown in the first minute of the bout. They traded strikes while on the ground. In the final minute of the round Sanchez landed another takedown but Barriault got up immediately. Barrialt had dominant striking in the second round, making Sanchez clinch up. Sanchez kept getting it hard but never got dropped. Barriault defended a takedown for a while but eventually got tripped and went down. Sanchez had control on the ground for a good chunk of the round. The fight went all three rounds. The judges gave Sanchez the win via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd did not approve of this.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 8: Walt Harris (12-7) vs. Sergey Spivak (9-0) (Heavyweight)

We saw a Heavyweight battle in the next bout on the card. Walt Harris fought Sergey Spivak. Early on, Harris was landing strong punches and knees. Spivak completely covered up and fell, getting hit more and more until the referee intervened.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 9: Brad Katona (8-0) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (8-4) (Bantamweight)

Undefeated Brad Katona fought Merab Dvalishvili in the next bout. After a close striking battle for the first couple of minutes, Dvalishvili scored a takedown. They both stood back up shortly after. Katona tried for a takedown too but found himself in a clinch that ended with Dvalishvili landing a trip and getting a takedown himself. At the start of the second round, Dvalishvili got another takedown. Dvalishvili was dominant throughout the round, landing a good trip takedown at the end as well. In the final round, Dvalishvili out-wrestled Katona. The scorecards were all in agreement, giving Dvalishvili the win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 10: Cub Swanson (#10) (25-10) vs. Shane Burgos (11-1) (Featherweight)

UFC veteran Cub Swanson faced younger fighter Shane Burgos in the next fight. The first round was kickboxing only from both fighters. The second round was very much the same. Swanson came out much more aggressively in the third round. Swanson tried for a takedown, but didn’t fully get it, being stuck against the cage for a while. Burgos had his moments in the second half of the round. The judges were split on the decision, but the majority selected Burgos as the winner (30-27 Swanson, 30-27 Burgos & 29-28 Burgos).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 11: Derek Brunson (#9) (18-7) vs. Elias Theodorou (#13) (16-2) (Middleweight)

In the co-main event slot was a battle between ranked Middleweight fighters Derek Brunson and Elias Theodorou. Brunson scored a takedown within the first minute of the fight. He took the back and put in a rear naked choke, but Theodorou escaped. Brunson kept trying for it but stopped being able to once Theodorou stood up. Both fighters, but especially Theodorou were throwing lots of kicks. While neither fighter had an amazing second round, and the crowd voiced their opinion on this, Theodorou out-struck Brunson. Brunson had an amazing takedown in the third, picking up and carrying Theodorou, then slamming him on is back. The final round ended with the crowd booing the two fighters. Derek Brunson won the fight unanimously (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 12: Al Iaquinta (#4) (14-4-1) vs. Donald Cerrone (#8) (35-11) (Lightweight)

Finally, it was time for the main event. In the main event, Al Iaquinta faced Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The first round was a feeling out process, with Cerrone landing a solid knee when Iaquinta tried for a takedown at one point. The second round was similar, with both fighters landing some good strikes periodically. In the third round Iaquinta started to bleed from his nose quite a bit. They started to really open up with strikes at the end of the third round. Iaquinta was dropped with a punch in the final seconds of the third. Cerrone landed strikes on the ground until the round ended. Iaquinta was dropped yet again in the fourth with a front kick. He got up shortly after. Cerrone strung together a good combination of punches in the final minute of the fourth. Iaquinta had a takedown blocked in the final seconds of the round. The fight went all 25 minutes with the final round being another methodical striking battle between the two. The fight was stand-up with periodic moments of fighting on the ground due to a knockdown. The judges gave “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone the win Unanimously (49-45, 49-45 & 49-46). Cerrone celebrated with his son.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total

UFC returns next week with the PPV event UFC 237. In the main event, Rose Namajunas will attempt to defend her Strawweight Championship against Jessica Andrade. The show will take place in Brazil, and feature home country talent like Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo on the main card.

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