Grant Dawson Off UFC 246 Card, Leaving Chas Skelly Without An Opponent

This weekend’s UFC 246 card has lost a preliminary fight, as Grant Dawson has pulled out from his fight against Chas Skelly.

The featherweight fighter announced via Instagram on Tuesday that he couldn’t fight “due to circumstances out of my control,” and that he wished “to get my bout rescheduled as soon as possible.”

Dawson is two-fights into his UFC career, defeating Julian Erosa and Mike Trizano in 2019.

Skelly’s singular fight in 2019 saw him get a decision victory over Jordan Griffin. Before then, he lost twice.

UFC 246 still has four fights set for it, including a main event between Conor McGregor and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. Here’s the whole card so far:

Bout 1: Conor McGregor (21-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-13) (Welterweight)

Bout 2: Holly Holm (12-5) vs. Raquel Pennington (10-7) (Bantamweight)

Bout 3: Alexey Oleinik (57-13-1) vs. Maurice Greene (8-3) (Heavyweight)

Bout 4: Claudia Gadelha (17-4) vs. Alexa Grasso (11-3) (Strawweight)

Bout 5: Anthony Pettis (22-9) vs. Diego Ferreira (16-2) (Lightweight)

Bout 6: Maycee Barber (8-0) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (23-16) (Flyweight)

Bout 7: Andre Fili (20-6) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (10-1) (Featherweight)

Bout 8: Nasrat Haqparast (11-2) vs. Drew Dober (21-9) (Lightweight)

Bout 9: Aleksa Camur (5-0) vs. Justin Ledet (9-2) (Light Heavyweight)

Bout 10: Tim Elliott (15-9-1) vs. Askar Askarov (10-0-1) (Flyweight)

Bout 11: Ode Osbourne (8-2) vs. Brian Kelleher (19-10) (Bantamweight)

Bout 12: Sabina Mazo (7-1) vs. JJ Aldrich (8-3)

UFC on ESPN+ 16: Cowboy vs. Gaethje Full Report

Just a week after the UFC Lightweight Championship was defended by Khabib Nurmagomdeov in the United Arab Emirates, UFC brought another Lightweight main event, this time to Vancouver. With “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje main eventing the show, fireworks were expected. The show also included many prospects, fighters debuting from the Contender Series, some Canadians, and much more. The night started at 5PM EST (2PM Vancouver time) with the ESPN+ preliminary card.

Bout 1: Austin Hubbard (10-3) vs. Kyle Prepolec (12-6) (Lightweight)

The evening opened with a lightweight battle between Austin Hubbard and Canadian Kyle Prepolec. While Hubbard was moving better, one of the first times he came in for a punch he got cracked by a counter-punch. Both fighters had their shots in the stand-up. In the final seconds of the first round, Hubbard got wobbled by another punch. Hubbard got a takedown in the second round. They got back up shortly after. Hubbard was able to engage more in the second round without getting hit with hard shots. There was a pause halfway through the round as Prepolec was poked in the eye. The fight resumed shortly after. Hubbard got another takedown with two minutes left and landed strikes from top position. Early in the final round Prepolec tried for a guillotine but couldn’t get it. Prepolec landed some good punches but didn’t defend a single leg takedown. Hubbard took the back of Prepolec for a couple of minutes. Prepolec was on Hubbard’s back as the fight ran out of time. The judges were all in agreement, giving the fight to Austin Hubbard (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). Hubbard said after the fight that he was “disappointed” in his performance.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hubbard 9 10 10 29
Prepolec 10 9 9 28

Bout 2: Ryan MacDonald (10-1) vs. Louis Smolka (15-6) (Bantamweight)

The next preliminary fight was between Ryan MacDonald and Louis Smolka. Smolka was a favourite to win the bout. Smolka was the one coming forward with strikes early on. Both fighters kept a fast tempo throughout the first round. Smolka tagged MacDonald in the final minute of the round. He dropped MacDonald with punches, making the referee step in and end the bout.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
MacDonald
Smolka

Bout 3: Jordan Griffin (17-6) vs. Chas Skelly (17-4) (Featherweight)

Moving up a weight class, the next fight was a featherweight battle between Jordan Griffin and Chas Skelly. Skelly took the fight to the ground early on. On Griffin’s back, Skelly tried for a rear naked choke. Skelly continued with the pressure on the ground, trying to choke Griffin. He was able to endure for a long time, eventually escaping with a minute left. Finally when they went back to stand-up, Skelly seemed much more fatigued and less skilled. Griffin got a takedown in the second round after getting some shots in. On the ground, Skelly was able to get on Griffin’s back again and try for a rear naked choke via some odd somersault. Heading into the third round, Griffin’s corner was under the assumption that they were down two rounds. Skelly shot for a single leg takedown, but Griffin turned it into a guillotine. Yet again, Skelly was able to take Griffin’s back and try for the rear naked choke again. Griffin escaped the move, but was put in a head and arm choke. Griffin got up and tried for a choke himself as the fight clock ran out. Both fighters were very respectful to each other afterwards. When going to the scorecards, all three judges handed the victory to Chas Skelly (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Griffin 9 9 9 27
Skelly 10 10 10 30

Bout 4: Hunter Azure (7-0) vs. Brad Katona (9-1) (Bantamweight)

Another Canadian in Brad Katona fought next, facing undefeated fighter Hunter Azure. Katona was looking to bounce back from his first professional loss. In the first minute of the fight, Azure dropped Katona with a combo of punches. Katona recovered and put Azure up against the cage in a standing clinch. They went back to stand-up with two or so minutes left in the round. Katona shot for another takedown, starting another clinch up against the cage. Similar to the first round, Azure dropped Katona early in the second round as well. Katona finally got a takedown halfway through the second round. They got back up, but Katona kept Azure pinned against the cage. The final round saw the most stand-up. Azure slowed down which gave Katona a better chance with the striking. Azure went for a body clinch, which allowed Katona to get a trip takedown. Katona took Azure’s back with a minute left. He tried for a rear naked choke which Azure escaped. Azure took top position for the final moments of the fight. Via unanimous decision, Hunter Azure got the victory (29-28, 30-27 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Azure 9 9 9 27
Katona 10 10 10 30

Bout 5: Miles Johns (9-0) vs. Cole Smith (7-0) (Bantamweight)

Vancouver’s own Cole Smith faced Contender Series fighter Miles Johns in the next bout. Not to mention, this was also a matchup of two undefeated fighters. Smith walked out to the Pride FC theme. Smith shot for a takedown in the opening 10 seconds. He fought for the takedown for a long time, mounting the back of Johns while still standing. With just over a minute left in the round, Johns got Smith off of his back. Johns got a takedown early in the second round. Smith got up eventually and took the back of Johns. Johns took top position by turning himself over. Smith had Johns pinned against the cage for a few minutes at the start of round three. When they separated, Johns was more aggressive than ever with his striking. Smith was dropped/shoved by a jab. Smith shot for another takedown, this time Johns was able to stop him and keep it in stand-up. The fight went the distance with a split decision giving Miles Johns his 10th pro win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Johns 9 9 10 28
Smith 10 10 9 29

Bout 6: Augusto Sakai (13-1-1) (#15) vs. Marcin Tybura (17-5) (#14)  (Heavyweight)

The preliminary part of the card finished with a ranked heavyweight battle. In the first minute of the bout, Tybura was eating a lot of punches. Sakai kept the punches coming until Tybura dropped, forcing the referee to end the competition. Augusto Sakai earned his fifth win in a row in a minute’s time.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Sakai
Tybura

Bout 7: Jimmy Crute (10-0) vs. Misha Cirkunov (14-5) (#15) (Light Heavyweight)

Continuing on ESPN+, the main card of the show started with a light heavyweight contest. The undefeated light heavyweight Jimmy Crute faced the #15 ranked Misha Cirkunov. Cirkunov got a double leg takedown in the first few seconds of the fight. Crute was able to get up and land a takedown of his own. After getting another takedown, Crute let some punches go. Cirkunov was able to endure the strikes and escape the position. Cirkunov was able to slip in a peruvian necktie to make Crute tap out. Despite nearly getting finished via strikes, Misha Cirkunov turned his situation around and won the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Crute
Cirkunov

Bout 8: Antonio Carlos Junior (11-3 1 NC) (#13) vs. Uriah Hall (15-9) (#12) (Middleweight)

Switching to the middleweight division, ranked fighters Antonio Carlos Junior and Uriah Hall fought next. Carlos Junior was working his jab early on. He shot for a single leg takedown which Hall resisted but eventually fell victim to. Carlos Junior took Hall’s back and stayed on it despite Hall standing up. Carlos Junior had started bleeding around his nose at some point in the first round. They went back to stand-up with two minutes left in the round. Carlos Junior tried for another single leg but was completely stopped. Carlos Junior got a takedown in the final minute of the first round. After Carlos Junior had Hall up against the cage for a minute or so in the second round, Hall dropped Carlos Junior. With Carlos Junior on the ground, Hall was swinging away from top position. Hall let him get back up. Carlos Junior went back to putting Hall against the fence. The crowd, which was quite enthused was encouraged by Hall before the final round started. Carlos Junior got a trip takedown in the first minute of the third round. He stayed on his back for the rest of the round, staying active enough for the referee to not stand them up. Looking at the scorecards, it was Uriah Hall who got the victory via split decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Carlos Junior 10 9 10 29
Hall 9 10 9 28

Bout 9: Tristan Connelly (13-6) vs. Michel Pereira (23-9 2 NC) (Welterweight)

Michel Pereira returned for his second UFC fight next, his first one on a main card against Tristan Connelly, who was making his UFC debut. Pereira gave up 20% of his fight purse due to weighing in 2 pounds over the welterweight limit. Connelly stepped in on a week’s notice after Pereira’s original opponent pulled out from the fight. Pereira did his trademark breakdancing while Bruce Buffer announced his name. Early on, Pereira did a superman punch off the fence and did a backflip. It was hard to tell if the backflip was meant to do any damage. Connelly had two takedown attempts denied. Pereira did a variation of a rolling thunder, spinning completely forwards instead of off to the side like a normal one. Pereira got a double leg takedown halfway through the round. Pereira stood up while Connelly was on the ground and did a backflip, avoiding stomping him. He’s went viral for doing a similar move in Road FC. Back on the ground, Connelly took top position after avoiding a guillotine. Connelly had good ground game against Pereira. Connelly put in another guillotine attempt as the round concluded. After the round ended, Pereira walked to the wrong corner. Connelly failed to get another takedown early in the second round. Connelly was the fresher fighter and was doing more. Pereira secured a takedown with two minutes left in the round. Connelly tried for a kimura but couldn’t get it. Connelly tried for a guillotine in the first minute of the final round but Pereira escaped. Connelly took top position shortly after and stayed there for the rest of the fight. Connelly threw some punches before the fight ran out of time. When it concluded, the Vancouver crowd was on their feet. Heading to the scorecards, Tristan Connelly earned his first UFC victory (29-28, 29-27 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Pereira 9 9 9 27
Connelly 10 10 10 30

Bout 10: Jeff Hughes (10-2) vs. Todd Duffee (9-3) (Heavyweight)

Coming back to the heavyweight division for the final time on the card, Jeff Hughes faced Todd Duffee. Duffee came forward with strikes early on. He got a takedown, but Hughes got up moments later. Duffee was landing tons of punches and Hughes was in trouble. Hughes pushed away from Duffee and in the process poked him in the eye, causing a stop in the fight. Duffee told the referee that he was “seeing double.” A doctor was called in, and eventually the fight was waved off and ruled a no contest.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hughes
Duffee

Bout 11: Nikita Krylov (26-6) (#13) vs. Glover Teixeira (29-7) (#9) (Light Heavyweight)

In the co-main event of the evening, ranked light heavyweights Nikita Krylov and Glover Teixeira squared off. Teixeira got a takedown in the first minute of the fight. Kyrlov was able to take top position after Teixeira held it for a couple of minutes. Texeira got up, but then Krylov put in a deep rear naked choke which put them back on the ground. Teixeira escaped the choke and brought the fight back to stand-up. Both fighters had pretty inactive stand-up in the second round before Krylov got a takedown as the round ended. Teixeira put in a guillotine choke early in the third round. On the ground Krylov escaped the choke and took Teixeira’s back. Teixeira got him off of his back and took top position. Krylov took top position for a while before the final round ended. The judges had a split decision, with two of the three judges awarding the fight to Glover Teixeira (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Krylov 9 10 10 29
Teixeira 10 9 9 28

Bout 12: Justin Gaethje (20-2) (#5) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-12 1 NC) (#4) (Lightweight)

The main event of the evening was a lightweight division showcase between Justin Gaethje and Donald Cerrone. This was Cerrone’s 50th professional MMA bout. It became apparent early on that both fighters were interested in swinging. Gaethje landed a right hook which dropped Cerrone. Gaethje hit a few more shots, looked at the ref to stop the fight and then landed a couple more. After the stoppage it was clear that Gaethje didn’t like how late the referee made the fight go.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Gaethje
Cerrone

UFC will head to Mexico City next weekend for UFC on ESPN+ 17, headlined by Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens. Rodriguez is one of the seven Mexican fighters scheduled to appear on the card. The prelims start at 5PM EST with the main card beginning three hours afterwards.

UFC on ESPN+ 16: Cowboy vs. Gaethje Full Preview

This Saturday it will be a clash of two fan-friendly fighters in Justin Gaethje and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Along with 12 other fights broadcasted on ESPN+ (TSN 4 in Canada), starting at 5PM EST, the fight will headline “UFC on ESPN+ 16.” The show doesn’t feature as much Canadian talent as most shows up North, the reason being that UFC’s last show within the country, UFC 240 in July had tons of the promotion’s talent from the region. Let’s look at the card from start to bottom.

Bout 1: Kyle Prepolec (12-6) vs. Austin Hubbard (10-3) (Lightweight)

Starting off the evening will be a meeting between two fighters looking to bounce back from a debut loss. Canadian Kyle Prepolec lost to Tristar talent Nordine Taleb via decision back in May, on the undercard of UFC on ESPN+ 9. In the same month, Austin Hubbard also lost via unanimous decision to Davi Ramos. Both having tough opponents to enter the promotion against, they’ll get a more fair pairing this time around.

Bout 2: Louis Smolka (15-6) vs. Ryan MacDonald (10-1) (Bantamweight)

Back in March, Louis Smolka took his first loss since his return to the UFC to Matt Schnell. Hoping to avoid another loss streak that could knock him out of the promotion like it did in 2017, Smolka will aim to defeat Ryan MacDonald on Saturday. MacDonald is less experienced in the promotion, losing in his debut against Chris Gutierrez earlier this year, also getting his first loss as a pro. Both with something to prove, Smolka and MacDonald have an important fight early on the show.

Bout 3: Chas Skelly (17-4) vs. Jordan Griffin (17-6) (Featherweight)

It’s do or die for Chas Skelly. For the first time in his career, the American fighter is on a two-fight losing streak. Now coming back from a 10-month layoff, Skelly lost previously to Jason Knight and Bobby Moffett. He was paired up with Jordan Griffin, who lost his UFC debut to Dan Ige back in December. Griffin comes from the Contender Series, being signed after getting a round one rear naked choke victory on the show.

Bout 4: Brad Katona (8-1) vs. Hunter Azure (7-0) (Bantamweight)

Canadian prospect Brad Katona was handed his last professional loss in his last appearance. A winner of The Ultimate Fighter 27, the Manitoban fighter defeated Matthew Lopez before dropping to Merab Dvalishvili back in May. He will aim to bounce back against undefeated Hunter Azure in this preliminary bout. Azure comes from the most recent season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He previously found success in the regional LFA promotion. Both early in their careers, 

Bout 5: Cole Smith (7-0) vs. Miles Johns (9-0) (Bantamweight)

Still somewhat early in the show is a high level matchup between undefeated bantamweights. Cole Smith made a successful UFC debut in May, fighting in Ottawa. Before then, the fighter had attained a large number of his wins in the regional Canadian promotion Battlefield Fight League (BFL). Miles Johns extended his undefeated record this summer, defeating Richie Santiago via decision in Dana White’s Contender Series, earning a contract. Smith has the home court advantage, but can Johns be the victor in his promotional debut?

Bout 6: Augusto Sakai (13-1-1) vs. Marcin Tybura (17-5) (Heavyweight)

Finishing off the preliminary portion of the card will be a heavyweight fight. Augusto Sakai, who is currently riding a three fight winning streak will face Marcin Tybura, who is 1-3 in his last four fights. While the matchup seems lopsided on paper, the Vegas betting odds are pretty close. Augusto Sakai arrived in the UFC via a contract signing in the Brazil spinoff series of Dana White’s Contender Series. Tybura has been in the promotion for a longer time, debuting in 2016 after racking up lots of wins in the promotion M-1.

Bout 7: Misha Cirkunov (14-5) vs. Jimmy Crute (10-0) (Light Heavyweight)

Misha Circukov will look to hand Jimmy Crute his first loss as the main card begins. Cirkunov hasn’t had a great 2019, being on the less desirable side of a knockout of the year contender back in March, taking a flying knee from Johnny Walker. Crute came in through the contender series and has proven himself as an interesting fighter and a versatile one, getting a submission and striking victory so far. Cirkunov is from Latvia, but trains out of Xtreme Couture in Toronto, Ontario, making him a proxy Canadian fighter on this card.

Bout 8: Antonio Carlos Junior (10-3) vs. Uriah Hall (14-9) (Middleweight)

Moving down a few weight classes but still staying on the heavy side of the scale, Antonio Carlos Junior and Uriah Hall face off in the next bout. Carlos Junior lost to Ian Heinisch in May, breaking a five fight winning streak that he had before. Hall on the other hand is coming off a third round TKO victory over Bevon Lewis. He previously lost to middleweight contender Paulo Costa, getting finished in the second round.

Bout 9: Michel Pereira (23-9) vs. Tristan Connelly (13-6) (Welterweight)

Michel Pereira has quite the resume of being an entertaining fighter. This was known before his UFC debut but further solidified when he touched down in the promotion back in May. For context, Pereira has viral videos online from his Road FC days where, whether they were allowed or not, would land standing moonsaults and moonsaults off the cage. Yes, like the pro wrestling move. In his UFC debut, Pereira stopped Danny Roberts in under two minutes. His performance included breakdancing, tears, a flying knee and some explosive hands. He’ll be tested on the big stage for the second time on Saturday, facing Tristan Connelly who will be making his UFC debut after fighting in Canadian regionals. Some were concerned that Pereira wouldn’t fight on the show after his original opponent Sergey Khandozhko pulled out of the show. Luckily, an opponent was found. On Friday, Michel Pereira weighed in at 172 pounds, two pounds over the welterweight limit. While his fight is still scheduled, he forfeited 20% of his fight purse to Connelly.

Bout 10: Todd Duffee (9-3) vs. Jeff Hughes (10-2) (Heavyweight)

To say that Todd Duffee has been gone for a while would be a cruel understatement. Duffee hasn’t been under the bright lights since 2015, when he lost to Frank Mir. After battling back from numerous injuries including a knee injury which was infected with MRSA, Duffee has finally been cleared to return. He won’t have an easy welcome back though, as he faces Jeff Hughes, who has been an active fighter the whole time. Coming from Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), Hughes punched in his UFC ticket with a first round win over Josh Appelt in 2018. His UFC debut didn’t give him what he desired, as he took a scorecard loss over Maurice Greene.

Bout 11: Glover Teixeira (29-7) vs. Nikita Krylov (26-6) (Light Heavyweight)

The co-main event features two ranked light heavyweights in Glover Teixeira and Nikita Krylov competing. Krylov is only two fights into his second UFC stint, but a recent win over Ovince St. Preux made him crash the rankings, put at the #13 spot. Teixeira has had a great 2019, currently riding a two-fight winning streak, stopping both fights via submission.

Bout 12: Donald Cerrone (36-12) vs. Justin Gaethje (20-2) (Lightweight)

The main event of the evening is “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone facing Justin Gaethje. Both fighters have had a pretty exciting year. Moreso the case for Cerrone. His year started off early, getting a win over Alexander Hernandez via the second round. The fight was billed as prospect versus veteran, with the veteran prevailing in the end. Fast forward four more months, Al Iaquinta went 25 minutes with Cerrone, with all three judges awarding Cerrone the win. Worth noting that took place in Ottawa, making this show the second Canadian appearance this year for Cerrone. 

Most recently, Cerrone faced Tony Ferguson on the undercard of UFC 238. The fight was a close and intense one, ending prematurely after an eye of Cerrone swelled up, causing a doctor to end the bout before the third round. Cerrone has been known throughout his career for fighting frequently. At 36-years-old, 2019 is the seventh year in a row that he has fought three or more times within a year.

Justin Gaethje hasn’t fought nearly as many times as Cerrone, but has seen success in his last two appearances. Just over a year ago, it took Gaethje less that 90 seconds to finish James Vick, putting himself in the win column after being finished by Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. Earlier this year, Gaethje stopped Edson Barboza within a round, finishing him with a right hook. Gaethje is known for his fighting style which encourages his opponent to throw and even land punches on him.

On Wednesday, Gaethje told media that he suffered an eye infection recently that risked his withdrawal from the fight. Despite saying he’s able to compete, and obviously he’s been cleared to fight by the commission too, he claimed that he was sensitive to light.

UFC will have another ESPN+ broadcast a week from tomorrow, taking place in Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico. With 12 scheduled bouts currently, the show is set to be headlined by Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens. UFC’s next pay-per-view will take place in early October, with Israel Adesanya attempting to take Robert Whittaker’s UFC Middleweight Championship.