Welcome to our coverage of the UFC’s Fight Night event from the Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Stevie Ray def. Jessin Ayari by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Lightweight
This was a surprising decision for Ray as I felt you could argue that Ayari won every round.
Ray was using a lot of low kicks as his primary weapons. He was in control during the first round until the final few minutes when Ayari landed a counter right and started to take over the round. This was probably the closest round of the three.
Ayari started piling up his strikes with combinations throughout the second round and I definitely scored that round for him.
Ray was busier in the third round, but Ayari connected with an uppercut and then utilized his jabs to seal the round on my card.
11 of 12 media members scored the fight for Ayari.
Ray had lost his last two fights to Paul Felder and Kajan Johnson while Ayari was coming off a loss to Darren Till.
Arjan Bhullar def. Marcelo Golm by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) – Heavyweight
This was another fight where I scored it in the opposite direction as I had it 29-28 for Golm.
In the first round, Golm attacked the lead leg of Bhullar and did significant damage, even putting Bhullar down onto the canvas once. Bhullar did land some head strikes but the kicks are the dominant weapon of the round. This was the round in question for who won.
In Round 2, this was an easy round for Golm as he defended the takedown and connected with a flying knee. Bhullar’s lower part of his lead leg was purple. Bhullar clinched to end the round.
The final round was all Bhullar. Golm injured his right foot and was having difficulty putting weight onto it, although he did throw kicks with it. Bhullar took him down and controlled him on top while mixing in strikes for the duration. It was not enough for a 10-8 round but definitely Bhullar’s round.
Don Madge def. Te Edwards by KO at 0:14 of Round 2 – Lightweight
The first round was entertaining with Madge and Edwards throwing big strikes and Edwards was dropped with a straight left. Madge was underneath and attempted an armbar and nearly had Edwards finished. Madge won the first round.
In the second, Edwards partially blocked a left head kick but was ate a right head kick flush and he was done. Spectacular finish for Madge.
This was Madge’s UFC debut and his fifth straight win and it ended Edwards’ five-fight win streak
Talita Bernardo def. Sarah Moras by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Bantamweight
Bernardo won the first round after connecting with a flurry of strikes, initiated a trip takedown and landed some hammer fists on top.
Each landed early in the second round, Bernardo scored another takedown with the trip and worked in half-guard for the rest of the round.
The third round was the most entertaining round. Moras was the one to shoot as the round started and took the black belt Bernardo to the mat. Bernardo got on top into North-South position before Moras kicked her off. Moras took her down, mounted the back and was landing but didn’t have her hooks fully locked in and lost the position. On their feet, Moras landed some big punches to end the round.
I scored the final round for Moras and had it 29-28 for Bernardo.
This was Bernardo’s first UFC win following losses to Marion Reneau and Irene Aldana.
Calvin Kattar def. Chris Fishgold by TKO at 4:11 of Round 1 – Featherweight
Fishgold came out throwing everything at Kattar and had some success landing with his punches. Kattar started connecting with his jab and cut Fishgold on the face. Fishgold was caught with a right hand to the side of the head and went down to his back and was finished with Kattar’s ground and pound.
Kattar said this was the last fight on his UFC contract. He is 19-3 and has gone 3-1 during his time with the UFC with his only loss to Renato Moicano. He is definitely a featherweight they should retain.
Nasrat Haqparast def. Thibault Gouti by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)
Haqparast dominated Gouti for most of the fight and I scored the first and third rounds 10-8 for him. I can’t make a case for Gouti winning any round and 29-28 was just a bad card to score one round for Gouti and have no 10-8 rounds.
In the first, Haqparast was landing from different angles and was so fast. He dropped Gouti, who retreated to avoid any further strikes.
Haqparast slowed in the second, but still landed punching and kicking combinations and a beautiful left hand clean onto the chin of Gouti. In the end, Gouti lost a contact lens and tried to call for a timeout unsuccessfully.
The third round was a dominant one for Haqparast. The big shot was a kick to the liver and Gouti seemed to be done, he ate more body shots against the fence and started running away as he took another body shot. Haqparast got on top and landed hammer fists but the referee never stopped the fight. Gouti got to his feet in the final seconds.
I scored it 30-25 for Haqparast. He is a lightweight on the radar now and is only 23 years old and could be very special.
Haqparast said he broke his hand in the first round.
Sean Strickland def. Nordine Taleb by TKO at 3:10 of Round 2 – Welterweight
The first round wasn’t too exciting. Taleb landed more and I gave him the round.
Strickland started connecting with power in the second round when he landed some right hands and then dropped him. Strickland started nailing him with shots and Taleb was in defense mode as he went down to his back. Strickland landed some big shots in his open guard for the finish.
Court McGee def. Alex Garcia by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-28) – Welterweight
I scored it for McGee 29-28 by giving him the second and third rounds.
Garcia took the first round where he took McGee down and attempted to secure his back but couldn’t get both hooks in.
Garcia tagged him with a jab in the second round, Garcia ate several shots and was McGee’s strongest sequence of the fight.
The third round saw a battle for the takedown, Garcia got McGee down but McGee got on top and finished the finish with the fight clinching elbows to take the round and fight.
This was McGee’s first win since August 2016.
Gian Villante def. Ed Herman by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Light Heavyweight
This was the exact type of fight you would expect from Gian Villante. They swung for the fences and Villante outstruck him 92-90 throughout the fight.
Villante used his jab early in the fight and cut Herman under the eye.
In the second round, Villante landed the harder strikes, including an overhand right.
Both seemed tired in the third round but they each kept throwing. I gave the third round to Herman and had it 29-28 for Villante.
Herman was upset with the decision. This was Herman’s first fight since July 2017.
Andre Soukhamthath def. Jonathan Martinez by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
Jonathan Martinez was a replacement for Gavin Tucker, he had not fought in over one year and was making his UFC debut. Martinez fought very hard and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.
Soukhamthath dropped him in the first round with a right, but Martinez recovered. Soukhamthath landed numerous knees to the body as Martinez was in a terrible position with his back to the fence. Martinez was dropped near the end of the round and I scored this round 10-8 for Soukhamthath.
Soukhamthath started the second round with more knees and elbows against the fence. Everyone thought referee Jerin Valel was stopping the fight when he separated them and then informed the fighters that Soukhamthath hit him low and restarted them, rather than give Martinez time to recover. It was an odd call. Martinez took over the rest of the round and looked great, but the beginning of the round was too dominant and Soukhamthath should have still won the round 10-9.
Soukhamthath went back to his punishing elbows and knees in the third round, he landed a big takedown and won the third round.
I had it 30-26 for Soukhamthath, but Martinez was a tough opponent.
Soukhamthath improved to 13-6.
Misha Cirkunov def. Patrick Cummins by arm triangle choke at 2:40 of Round 1 – Light Heavyweight
Cirkunov caught him early and then they fought for position against the fence. Cirkunov got the takedown and landed on top in mount. He applied the arm triangle and tapped Cummins.
This ended Cirkunov’s two-fight losing streak and was his first win since December 2016 after losses to Volkan Oezdemir and Glover Teixeira. He moved from Toronto to Las Vegas for this camp and is training at Xtreme Couture.
Michael Johnson def. Artem Lobov by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Catchweight 147 pounds
Johnson took the fight on short notice after Zubaira Tukhugov was pulled from the fight for his role in the post-fight brawl at UFC 229. Johnson missed weight at 147 pounds for the fight.
Johnson used his speed as a significant weapon and was landing with his straight left in the opening round.
Lobov was attempting to catch Johnson by confusing him with his style. Lobov’s best round was in the second where he cut Johnson by the eye. Johnson wobbled Lobov with a shot in the second round and I still had the round for Johnson.
The third was Johnson’s best round as he went in and out with shots, stunned Lobov with a jab and secured the round with a late takedown.
After losing five of six, Johnson has won two in a row with a decision victory over Andre Fili that preceded this late replacement fight
Anthony Smith def. Volkan Oezdemir by rear-naked choke at 4:26 of Round 3 – Light Heavyweight
Oezdemir landed a big combination in the first round and Smith absorbed the strikes. Smith came back with some elbows but not enough to turn the tide in the round.
Oezdemir started to rush in during the second round and was getting hit and his face was bloody. Oezdemir secured a takedown, he could only get one hook in but controlled Smith for the rest of the round. I had Oezdemir up 20-18 after two rounds.
Both were feeling the effects the fight in Round 3. Smith began landing with knees from clinch, elbows and then took Oezdemir down. He got his hooks in and adjusted before locking in a deep choke for the submission.
Smith is 3-0 at light heavyweight with wins over Rashad Evans and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this year as well. He said he wants a title shot.