Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Tonight the UFC invades Calgary for UFC 149. The preliminary action has a Canadian in on every fight. Below is our report on the nights action.
MMASucka’s UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao – Preliminary report below.
Court McGee vs. Nick Ring
When Nick Ring and Court McGee first met on The Ultimate Fighter it was Ring who did enough to get his hand raised in their exhibition bout but most watching that fight thought this one deserved a third round.
Tonight we got to have their first official meeting and once again it was Nick Ring getting his hand raised, but it didn’t come easy.
Both men entered this fight having tasted their first defeat inside the UFC’s Octagon with Ring losing to Tim Boetsch while McGee failed to stop Constantinos Philippou.
Both men looked to impose their will early in bonified kickboxing match, while McGee was able to land significant shots it was the constant offence of Ring in the first two rounds that probably won him the fight as he circled and landed shots well.
While he looked good in the first ten minutes Ring punched himself out and was incredibly fatigued when he stood up from his stool and McGee took advantage of it, landing some real hard shots but he was unable to get the finish.
When the judges’ score cards came in, all three cage side officials agreed that Ring did enough to get the win, giving him a 29-28 victory.
Following the fight, both men commented on their performances.
“I never felt so much support in my life. I can’t thank the fans enough for cheering me on and giving me that extra bit of energy I needed. I think Court had plenty of fight left in him. I respect him as a person and an athlete. I gave everything I had out there. Even when I was hurting I kept going and put it all out there. I was going to keep fighting till the end.”
“I gave him everything I had and unfortunately it didn’t work out in my favor. I always work hard and I’m not giving up on my dream.”
Roland Delorme vs. Francisco Rivera
Two prospects with a lot of promise were thrown inside an eight-sided fighting circle and one was going to start climbing the 135-pound ranks.
Delorme was one of the better looking prospects coming off The Ultimate Fighter and the Canadian has tapped two of his foes with rear-naked-chokes, including his highlight-reel fight with Nick Denis.
Rivera got two trips to a Zuffa fighting surface between the UFC & WEC and failed to impress in either but a two fight return to the Tachi Palace later he went back to the big show and has looked great since, edging Alex Soto and now knocking out Delorme.
Few fighters, at any weight-class hit as hard as Rivera, the high-level Californian had by far his most impressive performance tonight wasting no time to begin landing some serious hard shots.
While Delorme had a ballsy effort taking a lot of powerful strikes, balls alone just don’t win fights. A little past the four minute mark Rivera floored him with a big shot before following up with a brief shot before the action was stopped.
A motivated Rivera talked about his fight and his mother after the fight:
“I felt his power but I knew I was going to catch him. I saw his hands start dropping and went for it. I trained very hard for this fight and it paid off. I wanted him to feel my punches. I did what I do best. I’m up there in the division and have knockout power. I’m going to take things one fight at a time and continue to work on my game. This fight was for my mom. She’s ill and I wanted to show her that we’re still fighting for her and how much we love her.”
Anthony Perosh vs. Ryan Jimmo
Joe Rogan spoke of impressive UFC debuts earlier in the evening and the infamous “Octagon jitters” before a fight but it seems that wasn’t a problem with Ryan Jimmo.
Jimmo has long been considered a fighter destined to be tangling with the best in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, after an impressive stint in Canada’s leading feeder organization Maximum Fighting Championship.
Anthony Perosh isn’t an easy task though, since dropping to 205-pounds to meet fighters closer to his size he has won three-straight fights.
Not a lot to say here, The Canadian marched forward and threw a powerful overhand right that sent the Australian crashing to the floor in just seven seconds, tying Duane Ludwig for fasted KO in UFC history.
After the action concluded he broke it down, talking about his lightning-fast victory:
“I watched lots of videos of Anthony going into this fight. I knew what I had to do and had a great strategy. I’m excited about this win and am ready to take on my next oppenent. I want to build myself slowly though, improving and growing. I was the better guy tonight and I’m happy with the win.”
Bryan Caraway vs. Mitch Gagnon
We began on the televised portion of the card with Bryan Caraway notching his second Octagon victory submitting Mitch Gagnon, spoiling the once beaten Canadians debut.
Caraway didn’t set the world on fire on the talent-stacked Ultimate Fighter series but he has made it to the UFC and since then had done nothing but win, notching his second-straight victory.
We opened with a less than thrilling opening frame, Gagnon looked to impose his will early forcing the fight to the floor and landing strikes but Caraway is always dangerous on the ground and scored a late takedown of his own before the buzzer sounded.
Caraway took control in the second frame, Gagnon did well to defend the takedown early and land several elbows but once Caraway got it to the floor he was in complete control seeking a choke and having his torse figure-foured for a lot of the round.
Caraway was tired but still managed to force a quick takedown and secure a rear-naked-choke quickly before licking his foes blood off his gloves in a homage to long-running UFC lightweight king BJ Penn.
The talented featherweight talked about his hard-fought win post-fight:
“I thought he was going to get tired a lot sooner. He had better cardio than I thought but I wore him down and knew he wasn’t going to last. My technique improved and it showed. I’m happy I was able to finish him and get the win.”
Antonio Carvalho vs. Daniel Pineda
A lot of people had placed serious stock into Daniel Pineda – The Legacy Fighting Championships product scored two UFC wins in less than three months submitting Pat Schilling and Mackens Semerzier but for now at least, his winning ways have stopped.
Two months ago at UFC 146 he didn’t have enough for former WEC featherweight king Mike Thomas Brown and tonight another tough, well-travelled veteran had his number.
Antonio Carvahlo has had a career that can be defined as disappointing in many ways, while he has a number of key victories the injury bug has de-railed his momentum almost every time, but now at 33-years-old he might be getting things together.
From the moment the bell rang UFC color commentator Joe Rogan was quick to point out the confidence he had with his striking and he wasted no time to show off his new striking repertoire connecting with serious leather within a minute.
Moments later Carvahlo was on top landing strikes to his downed foe that forced Mario Yamasaki to stop the action abruptly.
After the action Carvahlo talked about his nerves and confidence heading into this one:
“I was very nervous about this fight and scared of Daniel. Once things got going in there I knew it was my night. I saw my opening, felt the energy and went in for the kill. I couldn’t be happier. I worked really hard with my training partners for this.”
Mitch Clarke vs. Anton Kuivanen
While on a much smaller scale the opening match of the night has a similar narrative to the first fight, Mitch Clarke entered the UFC with nine wins in as many fights with only one fight going the distance, but now in the big leagues it’s been time to put up or shut up.
Unfortunately for the Edmonton resident he wasn’t able to get his hand raised against Anton Kuivanen, the Finnish veteran of 22 fights who scored his first Octagon victory tonight.
Anyone who had seen these two fighters before knew that both wanted to force this fight to the canvas and it would make it there quickly with Clarke momentarily forcing the takedown before Kuivanen wall-walked to get back to a striking exchange.
When Kuivanen forced a takedown of his own it was Clarke who took control from the bottom, almost securing an armbar before transitioning to search for a kimura but was unable to get his first win on the big stage.
When the second frame began it was clear that Clarke expelled a lot of energy in that opening round and was fading fast, Kuivanen spent most of the final two frames on the floor connecting with some serious ground-and-pound, while Clarke had his moments, they were few and far between.
Two of the three judges all agreed that Kuivanen did enough to get his hand raised, leaving with a Split Decision.
After the fight Kuivanen was thrilled with his victory, had this to say:
“This win feels awesome! I got off to a slow start in the second and third rounds and wasn’t able to go as hard as I wanted. I really wanted to use my stand up more. I feel like it was a close fight but I knew in the third I had him.”