By John Carlin, 6th October 2014
The UFC returned to Canada for the 3rd time in 2014 with their debut show in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Headlining the card was the Canadian native Rory Macdonald ,as he faced off against fellow top 10 welterweight Tarec Saffedine,
The main event saw Rory Macdonald take on Tarec Saffedine in what was billed as a pivotel fight in the welterweight division, as Macdonald seemingly an impressive victory away from a title shot, and Saffedine looking to break into the top 5 of the 170-division threw down in what turned out to be a rather routine nights work for Ares.
Macdonald established his jab early in the fight, and used his range excellently, avoiding any real damaging strikes from the Belgium, as he simply couldn’t get into range to land them. Saffedine seemed tentative and never really opened up in the fight, he did however land a few of his notoriously vicious leg kicks which Rory’s coach Firas Zahabi was eager to see his fighter check inbetween rounds. The end came in the 3rd round, when Macdonald, clearly now full of confidence, began to press the Belgian, and after throwing an overhand right, followed it up beautifully with a powerful left uppercut which dropped Saffedine and lead to a succession of unanswered strikes, which gave the referee no choice but to intervene, and call a halt to the contest.
The Co-Main event featured Rafael Assuncao and Bryan Caraway. Assuncao was able to show off his full array of Muay Thai as he dominated Caraway on the feet, also showing off his excellent scrambling game as he scrambled right back to his feet on each occasion Caraway managed to get the Brazilian down. Caraway was simply outclassed on this occasion and lost to the better fighter. Assuncao is now riding a 7-fight win streak in the bantamweight division, it will be interesting to see if he takes another fight or waits it out to get a title shot against the winner of TJ Dillashaw and Dominic Cruz
The rest of the main card saw Canadian Chad Laprise use his full array of MMA skills to defeat the Cuban Yosdenis Cedeno by unanimous decision. TUF Nations winner Elias Theodorou gain a hard fought unanimous decision over hulking Brazilian Bruno Santos, a controversial split-decision victory for Nordine Taleb over Li Jingliang and a first round submission for Canadian Mitch Gagnon over Roman Salazar, who took the fight on short notice and in truth it told.
Headlining the prelims was an exciting looking contest between Daron Cruickshank and Anthony Njokuani, which Saw Cruickshank dominate mixing up his striking and his wrestling to secure a unanimous decision.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier produced a rather unique submission win over Jake Lindsey, when from an inverted triangle position he appeared to apply a shoulder lock on Lindsey which proved too painful to resist.
Paul Felder defeated Jason Saggo by split-decision on his UFC debut.
Chris Kelades scored an upset win over Irishman Patrick Holohan, with a very impressive performance on short notice, surviving having his back taken by the submission savvy Holohan to score a unanimous decision in his homeland.
Fight Pass Prelims
In the nights two fight pass offerings fans were treated to two finishes, as Albert Tumenov knocked out Matt Dwyer with a head kick and follow up punches, and Pedro Munhoz choked out Jerrod Sanders in only 39 seconds.
|Welterweight||Rory MacDonald||def.||Tarec Saffiedine||TKO (punches)||3||1:28|
|Bantamweight||Raphael Assunção||def.||Bryan Caraway||Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)||3||5:00|
|Lightweight||Chad Laprise||def.||Yosdenis Cedeno||Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)||3||5:00|
|Middleweight||Elias Theodorou||def.||Bruno Santos||Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)||3||5:00|
|Welterweight||Nordine Taleb||def.||Li Jingliang||Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)||3||5:00|
|Bantamweight||Mitch Gagnon||def.||Roman Salazar||Submission (rear-naked choke)||1||2:06|
|Preliminary card (Fox Sports 2)|
|Lightweight||Daron Cruickshank||def.||Anthony Njokuani||Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)||3||5:00|
|Lightweight||Olivier Aubin-Mercier||def.||Jake Lindsey||Submission (inverted triangle americana)||2||3:22|
|Lightweight||Paul Felder||def.||Jason Saggo||Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)||3||5:00|
|Flyweight||Chris Kelades||def.||Patrick Holohan||Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)||3||5:00|
|Preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass)|
|Welterweight||Albert Tumenov||def.||Matt Dwyer||KO (head kick and punch)||1||1:03|
|Bantamweight||Pedro Munhoz||def.||Jerrod Sanders||Submission (guillotine choke)||1||0:39|
Fight Of The Night: Chris Kelades vs Patrick Holohan
Perfomance Of The Night: Rory Macdonald and Olivier Aubin-Mercier