UFC Fight Night Report: Jared Cannonier stops Jack Hermansson in Copenhagen
By: Eric Marcotte
On Saturday afternoon, the UFC held their first event at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the main event, surging contenders Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier looked to throw their name into the hat for an upcoming title shot. Hermansson came into this fight riding a four-fight win streak, capped off by a dominant victory over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Cannonier (who was a sizable heavyweight just two years ago) has seemingly found a home at 185lbs, winning both of his fights in the division with impressive stoppages, including a first-round TKO of Anderson Silva. Elsewhere on the card, Gunnar Nelson looked to get back in the win column against short-notice replacement Gilbert Burns, who had recently moved back to the welterweight division following his stint at 155lbs.
Commentary for the card was provided by John Gooden alongside Dan Hardy and Paul Felder. Performance bonuses were awarded to Jared Cannonier, Jack Shore, John Phillips, and Ovince Saint Preux. The reported attendance for the event was 12,767, and had a gate of $1.6m.
*Jack Shore def. Nohelin Hernandez by rear naked choke at 2:51 of Round 3
*Marc Diakiese def. Lando Vannata by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
*Lina Lansberg def. Macy Chiasson by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
*Giga Chikadze def. Brandon Davis by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
*Ismail Naurdiev def. Siyar Bahadurzada by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
*Makhmud Muradov def. Alessio Di Chirico by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*John Phillips def. Alen Amedovski by KO at 0:17 of Round 1
*Nicolas Dalby def. Alex Olivera by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Ovince Saint Preux def. Michal Oleksiejczuk by Von Flue Choke at 2:14 of Round 2
*Ion Cutelaba def. Khalil Rountree by TKO at 2:35 of Round 1
*Gilbert Burns def. Gunnar Nelson by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Mark O. Madsen def. Danilo Belluardo by TKO at 1:12 of Round 1
*Jared Cannonier def. Jack Hermansson by TKO at 0:27 of Round 2
JACK SHORE (11-0, 135) VS NOHELIN HERNANDEZ (10-3, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Shore was mixing up his strikes well, but it was Hernandez’s jab that was the most effective weapon early in this fight. Shore eventually managed to drag Hernandez down to the canvas and took his back rather quickly. Shore locked in a body triangle that held Hernandez in place, allowing him to open up with strikes, but the round came to a close before Shore could potentially lock in a choke.
The action in the second round started with clean 1-2 by Shore, which he followed with a successful double leg takedown. Hernandez managed to scramble out of it but ate a knee in the resulting clinch for his troubles. The threat of the takedown seemed to make Hernandez a bit hesitant, and he was taken down once more to end the second. I had the fight scored 20-18 for Shore, heading into the final round.
Five seconds into the third round Shore shot for another double leg and brought the fight right back to the ground. Shore once again found Hernandez’s back and locked in a body triangle. Shore landed a number of elbows and body shots that opened up the rear-naked choke, and Hernandez tapped out.
WINNER: Jack Shore by rear naked choke at 2:51 of Round 3
Commentator Dan Hardy really put over Shore as one of the hottest prospects to come out of Europe, and Shore gave a performance that backed up that claim. He looked incredible on the ground, and he will be a prospect to keep your eye on as he begins his run in the UFC.
LANDO VANNATA (10-3-2, 155) VS MARC DIAKIESE (13-3, 155) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Diakiese’s low kicks immediately had an effect on Vannata. Two minutes into the fight and Vannata’s leg looked destroyed. In typical Lando Vannata fashion, he showed no interest in blocking these. Diakiese landed another calf kick that floored Vannata. He continued to piece Vannata up on the feet, and this was a great opening round for Diakiese.
Vannata started moving forward in the second, but Diakiese was still getting the better of the exchanges. Vannata was really showing the effects of the fight by the mid-way point of the round. As Felder pointed out on commentary, Diakiese was having a lot of success with his striking fundamentals as opposed to the flashy offence he is known for. Diakiese connected with another straight right to end the round, and was up comfortably on the scorecards heading into the third.
In the third round, Diakiese caught a body kick from Vannata and grabbed a double leg to put Vannata on his back. Vannata landed some solid elbows from his back but was unable to escape the position. Diakiese utilizes his wrestling to secure the round and capped off a well rounded, dominant performance.
WINNER: Marc Diakiese by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
This was a dominant performance from Diakiese. This is as good as he has ever looked. Diakiese did it by fighting calm and collected, as opposed to his normal flashier style, and the results spoke for themselves. Vannata is always tough and entertaining, but Diakiese never let him get going. Diakiese is now 5-3 in the UFC.
MACY CHIASSON (6-0, 136) VS LINA LANSBERG (9-4, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Chiasson pressured Lansberg against the cage early, in search of the takedown. Surprisingly, they were not separated and spent the entire round in this position. Chiasson landed a few good solid to the body in this span, which may have won her the round.
Quickly into the second, Lansberg took Chiasson’s back standing, and Chiasson rolled for a leg lock that resulted in Lansberg landing in her guard. Chiasson escaped the position with two minutes remaining in the round and they returned to their battle in the clinch against the cage. Lansberg landed a pair of knees to the head. Chiasson’s coaches were screaming at her to break and strike. I had it 19-19 heading into the third.
Chiasson’s coach must have said the word freakin’ twenty times in-between rounds. She came out aggressive but it took less than thirty seconds for them to return to the clinch battle against the cage. Lansberg completed a takedown and assumed top position on the ground. Chiasson made her way to the feet once more, but Lansberg continued to apply pressure against the cage and land knees. I scored this 29-28 for Lansberg.
WINNER: Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
This was not a great fight, with the near entirety of it being spent against the cage. Chiasson’s strategy was puzzling here, as she repeatedly engaged in the area of the fight in which she was at an apparent disadvantage. Nonetheless, this was a big win for Lansberg who was a considerable underdog on this card. Lansberg is now 4-3 in the UFC.
BRANDON DAVIS (10-7, 146) VS GIGA CHIKADZE (7-2, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Chikadze looked good on the feet early, but Davis dragged him around the cage and eventually to the ground. Davis got full mount against the cage, but Chikadze managed to flip Davis over and he started throwing an array of vicious ground and pound strikes down onto Davis. Davis escaped the position, and landed another takedown to end the round. I gave the round to Chikadze, for the strikes he landed in Davis’s guard.
The fighters exchanged hard right hands in the second. Chikadze clearly had the advantage on the feet, landing some beautiful jabs and a hard kick to the body. Chikadze connected with a hard-straight left that Davis somehow just ate, and Davis responded with another double leg takedown.
Both men were a bit more tentative in the third round, and the action can best be described as a kickboxing match that Chikadze was constantly a step ahead in. Davis landed one last takedown with fifteen seconds remaining, but it was too little, too late and I thought Chikadze won every round here.
Winner: Giga Chikadze by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Originally this fight was announced as a split draw, which was legitimately one of the worst decisions I have ever seen. The commentators were flabbergasted. Nonetheless, the decision was corrected and the right fighter picked up the victory. Chikadze looked great here, and this made for a memorable UFC debut.
SIYAR BAHADURZADA (24-7-1, 171) VS ISMAIL NAURDIEV (18-3, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
After a two-minute feeling out process, Bahadurzada poked Naurdiev in the eye and there was a momentary pause in the action. Naurdiev’s jab was his strongest weapon in this round. The jab opened up kicks to the head and body that did some damage to Bahadurzada, including a body kick that backed Bahadurzada off onto the cage. A good end to the round for Naurdiev.
The second round began with a bit of a stalemate on the feet, although Naurdiev was more active. Eventually, Naurdiev took Bahadurzada to the ground and spent the rest of the round in dominant position, although he did not deal with any significant damage for the remainder of the round. I would say it was likely two rounds to nothing for Naurdiev going into the third, but after the last scorecard, there can be no assurances.
Naurdiev shot for another double leg takedown, which he completed and worked into side control. They spent a considerable amount of time here. Naurdiev controlled the rest of the round with his grappling and I scored every round of the fight in his favor.
WINNER: Ismail Naurdiev by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Another fairly one-sided fight. Excitement wise, this wasn’t a performance that will get many people talking about Naurdiev, but it was a dominant win where he showcased multiple aspects of his game. He is now 2-1 in the UFC.
This is when the correction of the scorecards for the Davis/Chikadze was announced, Giga Chikadze was informed that he won by split decision.
ALESSIO DI CHIRICO (12-3, 186) VS MAKHMUD MURADOV (22-6, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Muradov was moving very well to start the fight, varying his strikes, changing levels and always moving. Both fighters were throwing heavy hands but not really setting them up well enough to land clean. Muradov defended a takedown attempt late in the round. Di Chirico landed a counter right hand that appeared to wobble Muradov, but if he was hurt, Muradov recovered quickly. In the second round, a cut was opened up on the left side of Di Chirico’s head from a Muradov right hand. Much like the first round, the fighters were throwing a lot of hard shots but were telegraphing them too much, resulting in very few of them landing clean.
Muradov was countering well with jabs to the body in the third round. Di Chirico landed a nice left hook that Muradov shrugged off. They engaged in the clinch and Di Chirico landed a solid elbow out of the break, as well as a knee to the head. Di Chirico landed two more solid hooks to end the round strong.
WINNER: Makhmud Muradov by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
This was a decent fight, with two fighters with good chins, who were willing to swing hard for three rounds. This was Muradov’s UFC debut.
ALEN AMEDOVSKI (8-1, 185) VS JOHN PHILLIPS (21-9, 1 NC, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
They immediately started trading wildly, and Phillips dropped Amedovski with a left hook. Amedovski got up and continued to throw with reckless abandon, and got caught with another left that floored him, and Phillips quickly landed three more lefts to the grounded Amedovski to knock him out and finish the fight.
WINNER: John Phillips by KO at 0:17 of Round 1
This was completely insane. A quick, action-packed fight like this was exactly what this crowd needed to wake them up for the main card, after a number of fights that went the distance. He was 0-3 in the UFC going into this fight, and another loss could have been devastating for his career. In his post-fight interview, Phillips said this was the happiest day of his life.
ALEX OLIVERA (19-7-1, 2 NC, 171) VS NICOLAS DALBY (15-3-1, 1 NC, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
Huge reaction from the crowd for Dalby, who walked out to the Danish national anthem.
The opening round was very close. They reached an active stalemate of sorts on the feet, where both men were throwing and connecting, but neither fighter was committing to a big strike that could potentially be countered. Eventually, Dalby shot for a takedown, and after exchanging dominant position a couple of times, Dalby ended the round on top.
Early in the second Olivera claimed he was poked in the eye and called his own time out, which referee Rebin Saber accepted. This greatly annoyed Dan Hardy on commentary. As the action resumed Dalby threw a flurry of strikes culminating with a head kick, before taking Olivera to the ground. Olivera worked his way back to the feet but was quickly overwhelmed by another barrage of strikes from Dalby. Olivera attempted to take Dalby down, but Dalby did a good job to escape a potential Olivera back-take, and actually ended up on top. Olivera landed an illegal up-kick, and the fight was restarted on the feet, taking a dominant position away from Dalby.
Olivera completed a big takedown of his own in the first minute of the third round. Olivera worked from half guard and was actively working in a dominant position, yet referee Rebin Saber stood them up once again. Olivera immediately took Dalby back down and attempted an armbar, but Dalby showed good defensive grappling and scrambled into full mount. Dalby landed hard ground and pound to end the fight. I scored this one 29-28 Dalby.
WINNER: Nicolas Dalby by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
This was an entertaining fight that was marred by some very poor decisions from the referee. The stand up in the third round could of very well cost Olivera the fight. This was Dalby’s first fight in the UFC in three years and was a superstar to his home country crowd. Dalby called out Mike Perry in his post-fight interview.
OVINCE SAINT PREUX (23-13, 206) VS MICHAL OLEKSIEJCZUK (14-2, 1 NC, 205) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Oleksiejczuk started off the fight at an extremely fast pace and overwhelmed Saint Preux with strikes early. He hurt OSP with a left hook and a body shot. Not long after, Oleksiejczuk dropped OSP with a straight left. Saint Preux got up, and Oleksiejczuk teed off on him with body shots. His left hand was finding a home every time he threw it. OSP started to gain some momentum, landing a couple of hooks and a kick to the body in a straight blitz. Oleksiejczuk landed a couple more body shots and pressured him against the cage to end the round What an action-packed round.
Saint Preux was more active to start the second. His striking in the clinch kept Oleksiejczuk at a distance, and OSP took him down with a body lock and transitioned to side control. Saint Preux expertly grabbed the wrist and maneuvered his shoulder into Oleksiejczuk’s throat, and somehow Ovince Saint Preux won this fight with another Von Flue choke.
WINNER: Ovince Saint Preux by Von Flue Choke at 2:14 of Round 2
I am aware that this should not come as a shock at this point, but I could not believe that OSP found the Von Flue Choke yet again, especially in a fight where he was getting dominated as badly as he was early. This was a fantastic win for Saint Preux, who snapped the 12-fight unbeaten streak of Oleksiejczuk. Since challenging Jon Jones for the interim light heavyweight championship in 2016, OSP has gone 5-5 in the UFC.
KHALIL ROUNTREE (8-3, 1 NC, 205) VS ION CUTELABA (14-4, 1 NC, 205) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
During the introductions, Cutelaba walked right up to Rountree and did the Undertaker style “throat cut” taunt.
Hard kick to the body by Rountree early, but Cutelaba took this opportunity to take him down. Rountree worked his way up quickly and got Cutelaba to separate with a huge elbow. Cutelaba easily brought Rountree down to the ground and started throwing down hard elbows. Rountree returned to his feet one last time, but Cutelaba took him right back down with a slick trip and continued his barrage of vicious strikes on the ground until the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Ion Cutelaba by TKO at 2:35 of Round 1
Roundtree had no answer for Cutelaba’s takedown threat, and as always, Cutelaba had no trouble finishing the fight early. He is now 4-3 in the UFC. Roundtree has steadily improved in the UFC, but will need to address this area of his game before moving on to ranked opponents.
GUNNAR NELSON (17-4-1, 170) VS GILBERT BURNS (16-3, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
Gilbert Burns took this fight on short notice after Nelson’s originally scheduled opponent Thiago Alves pulled out with an injury. Nelson received a big reaction walking out. He is one of the most universally popular fighters in the sport.
Burns landed a series of low kicks as they felt each other out early in the first. Nelson landed a pair of straight rights and a kick to the body. Burns pressured Nelson against the cage, but Nelson tripped him and ended the round on top, in an otherwise uneventful round.
Nelson landed a clean straight left hand to start the second, along with a solid leg kick of his own. Nelson pressured Burns against the cage and searched for the takedown. They reached a stalemate here and Burns broke off, landing a calf kick and a right hook on his way out. Nelsons left leg was beaten up by the midway point of this round. Burns hip tossed Nelson, but Nelson got right up. Burns landed a perfect flying knee, and stuffed a Nelson takedown attempt to end the round, attempting a choke. I had Burns up 20-18 going into the third round.
The right hook out of the clinch connected again for Burns. He continued to defend all of Nelsons takedown attempts against the cage. They exchanged right hands. Burns continued with the low kicks that were clearly having an effect on Nelson. Burns landed a huge slam in the last minute of the fight and took Nelson’s back, but Nelson scrambled right out of it, and the fight ended against the cage. I scored every round for Gilbert Burns.
WINNER: Gilbert Burns by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
This could not have gone much better for Gilbert Burns, who picked up a big win on short notice against a mainstay of the welterweight division. He looked good here, and Nelson was unable to implement his strategy on Burns. He called out Neil Magny for a fight in December.
MARK O. MADSEN (8-0, 155) VS DANILO BELLUARDO (12-4, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
The UFC aired a video package before the fight introducing Mark O. Madsen to the audience, featuring comments from Daniel Cormier and Chael Sonnen.
It took Madsen about thirty seconds to drag Belluardo down to the ground, and the began landing brutal elbows at a rapid pace. Belluardo could not deal with this barrage and the fight was stopped inside of a minute.
WINNER: Mark O. Madsen by TKO at 1:12 of Round 1
This was as impressive of a debut as you can get. Madsen wasted no time in getting the fight to the ground and showed off some serious killer instinct to end the fight quickly in front of his home country. He is 35 years old and is competing in the deepest division in the world, but with his wrestling credentials, he has serious potential.
JACK HERMANSSON (20-4, 185) VS JARED CANNONIER (12-4, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Both men were going into this fight coming off huge victories, with Hermansson securing a dominant victory over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and Cannonier coming off a first-round TKO win over Anderson Silva.
Hermansson connected with three leg kicks within the first twenty seconds before he shot for a takedown. Cannonier managed to defend himself, but Hermansson actually managed to take Cannonier down with a suplex moments later. Hermansson took Cannoniers back but he scrambled out of it. Lots of high energy actions in the opening minutes. Cannonier stuffed another takedown and landed a pair of low kicks. Cannonier landed one last big kick to the leg to end the round. The opening round was very close, but I narrowly gave it to Cannonier.
Hermansson shot for a takedown and Cannonier countered with a beautiful right uppercut that dropped him. Cannonier gave him no time to recover and threw down hard ground and pound strikes until referee Marc Goddard stopped the contest.
WINNER: Jared Cannonier by TKO at 0:27 of Round 2
Jared Cannonier continued his rise through the middleweight division with another stoppage victory. He is now 3-0 at middleweight with TKO wins over Hermansson, Anderson Silva and David Branch. Cannonier was very humble in his post-fight interview. He called for a title shot in his next fight. I don’t know if he’ll get that next, with Paulo Costa’s recent win over Yoel Romero was taken into consideration, but he’s not far off.