Eddie Alvarez vs Dustin Poirier | Jose Aldo vs Jeremy Stephens | Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Tecia Torres | Alexander Hernandez vs Olivier Aubin-Mercier | Jordan Mein vs Alex Morono | Hakeem Dawodu vs Austin Arnett | Kajan Johnson vs Islam Makhachev | Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Ion Cutelaba | John Makdessi vs Ross Pearson | Alexis Davis vs Katlyn Chookagian | Dustin Ortiz vs Matheus Nicolau| Jose Aldo vs Jeremy Stephens | Devin Powell vs Alvaro Herrera
Fight Night Calgary: Alvarez vs Poirier 2 FOX main card
Action starts at 8 pm ET
A battle of two lightweight titans who are looking to be next in line for the belt had all the promise and potential of a Fight of the Night (or Fight of the Century for that matter). Running back their original bout that was disappointingly stopped for an NC, Poirier in particular carried the bad taste of Alvarez’s illegal knees into this fight – an element of animosity that didn’t exist in the first go-round. Poirier began in a more tactical fashion, patiently waiting for his opening, while Alvarez attempted to take away Poirier’s space. Poirier nearly locked up a triangle choke in the second, but Alvarez stubbornly refused to tap and and escaped only to lock a choke of his own that Poirier eventually escaped. The ref stopped the fight to scold Alvarez for a 12-to-6 elbow that gave viewers bad flashbacks to their last outing. Newly energized, Poirier unleashed a flurry on Alvarez from which he couldn’t escape, eventually crumpling to the mat in a storm of strikes, knees and kicks.
Jeremy Stephens has been surging as a fighter of late, but Jose Aldo needed just a four minutes to remind the world why he dominated as the featherweight champion for years. With a gut punch that rocked Stephens and sent him to the mat, Aldo erased all memories of his back to back losses to Max Holloway and thrust himself right back into the title picture. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @josealdojunior def @LiLHeathenMMA, TKO, first round, 4;19
Entering to a hero’s welcome, Joanna Jedrzejczyk soon found herself busy in the clinch, defending against Torres’ raw strength. Against the fence for the entirety of the first round, the fighters alternated momentum with even control time and Jedrzejczyk leading in strikes, mostly knees. A standup battle ensued in the second with Jedrzejczyk using her length advantage to land leg kicks, with Torres’s consistently pushing forward and eating some shots in order to land them. The third round was a hybrid of the first, alternating between standup striking and clinch control. It was Joanna’s champion-level striking that was the difference however, and she secures the decision. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @joannamma (30-27 x 3) def @TeciaTorres by unanimous decision.
During Calgary fight week, nobody kept the mood lighter than ‘Canadian Gangster’, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, but the levity disappeared when the Octagon doors closed and he began to get run down by an aggressive Alexander Hernandez. Herandez was busier and exerted control in the first, but Aubin-Mericer went to work in the second, nearly securing an arm bar from the mat. With even scorecards going into the third, Hernandez smothered Aubin-Mercier with a takedown, and when the ref stood the fighters up, he immediately reversed Aubin-Mercier’s takedown attempt to dominate control for the round and the fight. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @TheGreat155 (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) def @oliaubin by unanimous decision.
THEY SAID IT:
Alexander Hernandez “He’s a great opponent and I went in there just flat. I’m extremely disappointed with this fight, I don’t like to win like that, I like to perform my best. I just wasn’t myself. Win is fine, but I’m here to deliver prime participation, I’m trying to make a statement, for me that wasn’t one. He performed exactly how I expected, but I didn’t move like I normally do. I need to make some adjustments myself, but I want another victory by the end of this year, so I want to get back in there hopefully in the fall.”
Fight Night Calgary: Alvarez vs Poirier 2 FOX prelims
Action starts at 6 pm ET
Both fighters came out aggressive, swinging so big and wild as to lose their balance while launching their shots. On the ground, however, the Alberta native Mein went to work and controlled much of the fight. But when the fight returned to its feet in the third, it was Morono’s turn to take control, dropping Mein with a stiff right hand and nearly executing a guillotine choke. Going the distance, it was Mein’s work in the first two rounds that secured him the decision. #UFCCalgary Official Result: Jordan Mein def @alexmoronomma by unanimous decision.
In a battle of two featherweights looking for their first UFC win, Calgary man Hakeem Dawodu certainly had the home field advantage with the crowd getting boisterous for his every move, including some excellent counterstriking when opponent Austin Arnett’s head kicks missed. Both fighters showed off an impressive toolbox of strikes, with Dawodu favoring more technical combinations and Arnett some accurate overhand jabs. As the fight wore on, however, it was Dawodu who remained patient while Arentt looked flustered at not being able to answer the combos. The Canadian wins one for the home team by decision. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @MeanHakeemKo (30-27 x 3) def @AustinArnettMMA bu unanimous decision.
THEY SAID IT:
Hakeem Dawodu “It feels amazing to get this first UFC victory in my hometown. It’s a big confidence booster, I think I was a little bit too cautious in this fight, I wanted to get a knockout for my home city, but I had to be smart. My coaches are happy that I got 15 minutes of fighting and I’m not even tired. I’m telling you, my next fight, I’ll make sure I’ll get a knockout. I think I surprised myself in this fight. I gave him too much credit for his right hand and his grapping. He did land a right hand on me but it didn’t feel powerful and I felt way stronger than him. This is just the confidence that I needed. Whoever UFC wants I’ll take it for my next fight, I don’t pick and choose, just want to continue growing in the rankings.”
Russian lightweight and Khabib teammate Islam Makhachev walked into Calgary the biggest betting favorite on the entire Calgary card, and he was tactical in the early going, patiently timing his shots. Johnson stayed moving on the perimeter, but when Makhachev shot the takedown Johnson struggled againt the Russian’s supreme wrestling prowess. Makhachev went to work and secured an arm bar in short order. Shooting for the stars, he called out Brock Lesnar and Tony Ferguson after the fight#UFCCalgary Official Result: @MakhachevMMA def @IamRagin by submission, arm bar, first round, 4:43. .
THEY SAID IT:
Islam Makhachev “Kajan didn’t surprise me. He usually has the same game during his fights and I trained a lot for this result. My plan was to pressure him, take him down and finish the fight. I’m really happy because this is my eighth win by submission. I think it’s time to fight someone in the top 10 of the division.”
You won't like it when he's angry.
Antigulov scored one of his trademark takedowns almost immediately and set to ork wearing down Cutebala, doing his best to keep the action in the clinch or on the mat. But in these positions, Cutebala was sable to get off some brutal knees to the head that wobbled Antigulov and allowed ‘The Hulk’ to go to work with his minted heavy hands. Anigulov covered up, and the TKO was as good as sealed. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @ICutelaba def @Antigulov_MMA by TKO, first round, 4:25.
THEY SAID IT:
Ion Cutelaba “After my first fights in the UFC I noticed I needed to make some changes. I’ve started to train even harder, made some adjustments and now I want to continue growing in this division and fighting in the big events. Once I prove I can keep winning, I want to face the big names of the light heavyweight division.”
Fight Night Calgary: Alvarez vs Poirier 2 FIGHT PASS Prelims
Alvarez vs Poirier was not the only lightweight fight guaranteed to have action on the Calgary card as veterans John Makdessi and Ross Pearson engaged in the sort of stand-in-the-center-and-punch style affairs that they’ve practically trademarked.Both took turns rocking each other with a barrage of head shots, with Pearson slipping in the occasional leg kick. Both trading momentum, bloodied and beaten, it defies explanation that this one went the full fifteen minutes; a testament to the toughness of both men. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @JohnMakdessiMMA (30-26, 29-27, 29-28) def @RossTheRealDeal by unanimous decision.
THEY SAID IT:
John Makdessi “Ross Pearson is a high-level striker. In the past I gave my opponents some space because I wanted to take my time, but for this fight, for this opponent I changed a lot. I changed the way I think, my mentality… I had to take that risk and go into deep waters. Ross was expecting me to back up a lot, give him more range… once I closed that gap, I forced him to throw punches. In the gym I put myself in tough situations like that all the time. I trained for all scenarios, but to get this win I knew I would need to trust in my skills and training.”
The women’s flyweight division continues to take shape. While the strikes were near equal in the first, it was Chookagian who looked crisp and light on her feet, bloodying Davis’s as Davis aggressively pressed forward. This set a pattern for the rest of the fight, and even when Davis pulled ahead in significant strike count, it was visibly Chookagian’s fists that were doing the most damage as she picked apart Davis. Heavily battered, Davis stubbornly continued to press forward, happy to eat a shot to trade for a couple more at close range, and seemed to pick up steam as the fight wore on. She scored the only takedown of the fight as time expired, but by then ‘Blonde Fighter’ had done too much work to lose. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @blondefighter (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) def @AlexisDavisMMA by unanimous decision.
THEY SAID IT:
Katlyn Chookagian: “I knew that facing Alexis would be challenging. I didn’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands because she is the hometown girl, but she is very tough. I’m focused on this division and very happy with my second win in a row. I just want to keep fighting as many times as possible, but I should definitely be in the conversation of fighting for the title soon. While we wait for Nicco and Valentina I would like to fight in NYC.”
If the rest of the 125 pound division is hoping Dustin Ortiz will just go away, those hopes are growing dimmer by the fight. Nicolau is a game opponent and looked like he was ready to go the full fifteen, but a massive head kick from Ortiz sent Nicolau to the mat where his fate was sealed under barrage of punches. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @DustinOrtizMMA def @NicolauMatheus by TKO, first round, 3:49.
THEY SAID IT:
Dustin Ortiz “This win puts me in the top 5 of the flyweight division, for sure, and number one in the title contender spot. I absolutely knew the win would come if I did everything that I was supposed to do. I came with a very specific game plan. I put myself in his position and I felt he thought I was going to wrestle him the whole time, so when I started to throw kicks and punches it kind of frustrated him. Not lot of finishes happen in the flyweight division and to go in there and knock somebody out with a head kick in the first round… that is saying something. I would like to fight anyone in the top five, anyone that I didn’t fight yet, I would like to have one more fight by the end of the year. I’m a consistent fighter. I’m always in shape, always ready.”
Two Top 15 strawweights who are both looking to vault up in the division made their case in the second bout of the evening. In the early going it was all Markos, who controlled first in the clinch and then on the mat, firing off some punches that bloodied the face of Ansaroff. The second round stayed on its feet where Ansaroff made Markos uncomfortable with a series of calf kicks, although Markos repayed the favor with some strong overhand jabs. Ansaroff continued to make adjustments, however, and frustrated Markos in the third, chipping away at Markos’ lead and pushing forward for the decision. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @NinaAnsaroff (29-28) def @randamma by unanimous decision.
THEY SAID IT:
Nina Ansaroff “I think if the UFC gives me someone in the top 10 it will be great, I don’t want to wait another year to fight. I don’t like to call anyone out, but I think I deserve to fight against anyone in the top 10. Tonight I was a little surprised because I couldn’t find my timing as I wanted to. I’m normally a slow starter but once I start fighting, I try to let go and put everything together. I was worried about defending the takedowns because that’s where she wanted to get. Training with Amanda makes me see what it’s like at that level. It’s a good view from what I can expect in the future.”
Devin Powell finally for his first UFC win, and he did so in dramatic fashion. After suffering some heavy gut punches early, he closed in to land two brutal body kicks that crumpled Alvaro Herrera. #UFCCalgary Official Result: @DevinPowellMMA def @changaro123 by TKO, first round, 1:52.
THEY SAID IT:
Devin Powell “It feels great to get this first win in the UFC. In my last fight, when I finally came alive, I thought that it could be my night but it ended up in a split decision. I didn’t know if I was going to get another fight in the UFC, this division is too big. My heart was broken but I went back to the gym, trained hard and finally got back to get it done against a very tough guy. To drop him like that, it felt really good. I knew how bad he was hurt, his hands were still up but I continued kicking him in the body. I hope the main event goes five rounds. I hope no one finishes the fight so I can get a bonus for the first time”.