This is the UFC 206 undercard blog for the UFC 206 event at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday night.
There will be seven fights on the UFC 206 undercard. Nikitz Krylov vs. Misha Cirkunov, Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Drew Dober, Valerie Letourneau vs. Viviane Pereira, Mitch Gagnon vs. Matthew Lopez, John Makdessi vs. Landon Vannata, Jason Saggo vs. Rustam Khabilov, and Zach Makovsky vs. Dustin Ortiz will be featured.
Check out the UFC 206 undercard live blog below.
Zach Makovsky vs. Dustin Ortiz
Round 1: Here we go, y'all. UFC 206 is officially rolling. Not the flashiest card, but still plenty to like here at the Air Canada Centre. First up, a battle of ranked flyweights. Referee Jerin Valel is the third man in the cage. They touch 'em up and we're off. Feeling out period here as they paw at each other in the center of the cage. Ortiz initiates the clinch and drives Makovsky against the fence. Makovsky changes levels but can't get the takedown. Apologies folks, but due to technical difficulties, we jump deeper into the round. Thirty seconds left. Makovsky lunges for an armbar but can't get it, and Ortiz settles into top position. Ortiz works some ground and pound as the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Ortiz.
Round 2: Makovsky tosses out a couple high kicks, then sprawls and defends a takedown. Makovsky catches Ortiz with a stiff knee on the way back up. Ortiz closes the distance and ties up Makovsky against the cage. Ortiz takes back control and tries to pull Makovsky to the floor, but Makovsky pops back up. Ortiz changes levels for a single leg, then settles into top position after a scramble. Makovsky continues to move but Ortiz jumps on it and sinks in a body triangle from Makovsky's back. Ortiz works the head and body with short punches. Hard elbow from Ortiz. Makovsky explodes free and escapes to his feet. One minute left. Makovsky scores a takedown and nearly takes Ortiz's back, but Ortiz scrambles and stands. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Ortiz. (20-18 Ortiz.)
Round 3: Makovsky comes out slugging and smacks Ortiz with a hard right hook. "Fun Size" knows he's probably down on the cards. Nice double leg for Makovsky, but Ortiz sneaks in a guillotine. Makovsky looks to be okay. He finally wriggles his head free and attempts to advance position, but Ortiz uses the opportunity to stand. Makovsky lunges inside and wears on Ortiz for a little bit before resetting to the center of the cage. Ortiz shoots for a low single but can't get it. Ortiz continues to work for a takedown along the fence... and he finally gets it! Relentless pace here. Ortiz rains down a few punches and elbows from half guard. Makovsky explodes to his feet but Ortiz once again traps him against the fence, then drags him to the floor. Ortiz briefly works from back control, but Makovsky escapes. High kick from Ortiz is blocked. Makovsky shoots for a double but Ortiz sweeps into top position. Great round and a very solid fight. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Ortiz. (30-27 Ortiz.)
Dustin Ortiz def. Zach Makovsky via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jason Saggo vs. Rustam Khabilov
Round 1: Lightweights up next. Unfortunately, Khabilov missed weight by 2.5 pounds. Let's see if how he looks tonight. Yves Lavigne is our referee. Khabilov with a quick one-two that misses. Another big overhand right from Khabilov that hits air. Saggo pressures forward with a flurry. Slow pace here to start. Khabilov rushes inside with punches, but Saggo counters with a nice low kick. Saggo fakes low then goes high with a kick. Big overhand bomb lands for Khabilov! And another! Khabilov shoots inside and takes Saggo to the floor, settling inside his guard. Saggo stays busy with a few nice elbows from the bottom. Saggo is completely preventing Khabilov from posturing up, rotating between a closed guard and rubber guard. Nice defensive guard work from Saggo, but he didn't do enough to win the round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Khabilov.
Round 2: Khabilov wings a right hand over the top. Saggo starts getting busier with his striking, mixing up kicks and straight punches from outside the pocket. Saggo lunges inside with a nice flurry, then smacks Khabilov with a kick to the ribs. Side kick to the body from Saggo. Khabilov on the defensive right now. Saggo kicks high, but it's blocked. We've reached the halfway point in the round. Khabilov eats a left then fires off a stiff counter one-two. Another one-two from Khabilov, then he bullrushes Saggo for a double, settling inside Saggo's closed guard. Saggo switches to rubber guard and works for a triangle. Khabilov doesn't like what he sees and stands up. Khabilov starts UNLOADING with big looping hooks! Jumping knee to the body! He has Saggo rocked! Khabilov picks his shots, then backs off a bit to reset. He changes levels and takes Saggo to the floor. The round ends with Khabilov in top position. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Khabilov. (20-18 Khabilov.)
Round 3: Saggo needs to get a little desperate. Khabilov is headhunting here with winging hooks but can't seem to find his range. Big swing and miss from Saggo. Khabilov blocks a hard high kick. His forearm is a bright shade of red from all these blocked kicks. Khabilov scores another easy double-leg takedown then goes to work with punches from top position. Khabilov is in complete control right now. Saggo has no answer for his wrestling. Khabilov postures up but Saggo uses the opportunity to stand. Khabilov immediately shoots for another quick takedown. He gets it on the second attempt, though he had to work for it. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Khabilov. (30-27 Khabilov.) Khabilov calls out fellow UFC lightweight Kevin Lee after his win.
Rustan Khabilov def. Jason Saggo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
John Makdessi vs. Lando Vannata
Round 1: Another lightweight contest up next. This is the first time we've seen Lando Vannata since his hellacious UFC debut against Tony Ferguson. Big spot to impress here against a grizzled veteran. We're rolling. Vannata comes out nice and flowy, as Mr. McGregor would say. Vannata throws out a couple side kicks then closes the distance for a clinch, but Makdessi rebuffs it. Vannata is holding his hands down at his side. HOLY CRAP. Vannata SMASHES Makdessi with a ridiculous spinning wheel kick. Makdessi is out cold. Shades of Barboza-Eitm. Wow.
Lando Vannata def. John Makdessi via KO (spinning wheel kick) at 1:40 of round one
Mitch Gagnon vs. Matthew Lopez
Round 1: Whew, that was nuts. Late entry into the KO of the Year sweepstakes there. Alright, we've moved onto the FOX Sports 1 prelim card. First up, bantamweights. Referee Jerin Valel is the third man in the cage. This is Gagnon's first fight since suffering an ACL injury nearly two years ago. Gagnon catches an early kick and ties up Lopez along the fence. Lopez reverses and releases to the center of the cage. Gagnon charges back inside and drops low for a double-leg takedown. Lopez uses a sacrifice throw to nearly drop Gagnon onto his head. Close call there. They're back on their feet. Gagnon catches Lopez with a HUGE left hook! Lopez drops! Gagnon swarms with a flurry of punches! I have no idea how Lopez is surviving this. Gagnon moves to take Lopez's back. Wow, Lopez reverses the position and settles into top control. The chin on Lopez... good lord. Lopez takes some time to recollect himself. They both retake their feet and Gagnon attacks like a man on fire. Gagnon drops down for a heel hook. They're playing some 50/50 here, but Gagnon can't get anything going. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Gagnon.
Round 2: Gagnon immediately closes the distance and shoots for a double-leg along the fence. Lopez shucks him off, but he's still stuck against the cage. Finally, they release. Gorgeous takedown reversal for Lopez, who settles into Gagnon's half guard. Gagnon recovers his guard then starts hunting for an arm. No dice. Gagnon is staying active on the bottom, but not much is happening right now. Lopez finally explodes and takes Gagnon's back in a scramble. Lopez unloads a few hard punches that crack Gagnon's chin. Lopez keeps moving and sinks in one hook on Gagnon's back. Lopez wants a rear-naked here, but he quits on it and shifts into full mount. Gagnon's Reebok shorts are falling down here, unfortunately. Gagnon fights through it and stands, only to be taken back down with a quickness. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Lopez. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Gagnon smashes Lopez with a crippling kick to the groin in the opening seconds. Oh man, Lopez is badly hurt. That was a nasty, nasty shot. Lopez takes some time. Okay, we're back. Lopez immediately hunts for a single and gets it against the fence. Lopez takes Gagnon's back and sinks in both of his hooks. Lopez isn't giving Gagnon an inch to work with. Gagnon finally retakes his feet and instantly smashes a knee into Lopez's jaw. Gagnon ties up then drives Lopez against the cage. Lopez escapes, then scores with a big blast double that gets Gagnon to the floor. Lopez is running a wrestling clinic right now. He methodically works to Gagnon's back. Gagnon tries to shake him off, but Lopez shows off some good control and holds on. Thirty seconds left and this looks to be Lopez's fight... which is crazy after what we saw in round one. Gagnon stands at the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Lopez. (29-28 Lopez.)
Matthew Lopez def. Mitch Gagnon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Round 1: This is Danny Segura taking over for Shaun. They touch gloves and the feeling out process begins. Letourneau leading with her jab trying to establish her range. A minute has gone by. Pereira tries to clinch Letourneau, but fails to get a hold of her. Pereira throws a leg kick and gets caught by Letourneau. Letourneau uses it to take her down. Letourneau staying busy here landing some shots from the top and looking to pass the Brazilian's guard. Good ground and pound by Letourneau. Two minutes left. Pereira gets back on her feet and clinches Letourneau against the cage. Letourneau with some nice knees from the clinch. The round ends with Pereira controlling Letourneau against the cage.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Letourneau.
Round 2: Both fighters take the center of the cage. Very little action here. Nice jab by Letourneau. Pereira not really throwing anything here, while Letourneau is throwing some strikes but it seems more to test her range rather than actually landing on Pereira. Good body kick by Letourneau. Two minutes left. Pereira clinches Letourneau against the cage. Nice knee to the body by Pereira. Pereira gets a good takedown off a throw. Letourneau pulls pereira into full guard. Letourneau working a high guard, looking to set up a submission. Letourneau gets back on her feet. Nothing much goes on the feet and the bell rings signaling the end of the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Pereira. Overall 19-19.
Round 3: They tough gloves. It's looking like a one round fight here. Nice jab by Letourneau. Another one. Pereira is trying to fire back but is unable to cut the distance to land her strikes. Kick to the body by Letourneau. Three minutes left. Pereira lands a leg kick. Pereira getting a bit more aggressive here in the third. Nothing significant is landing for both fighters. Good jab by Letourneau. One minute left. Rogan calls the fight an 'uneventful outing'. I agree. Pereira clinches Letourneau against the cage. Letourneau breaks away and gets back to the center of the octagon. Ten seconds left and both fighters get a bit aggressive.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-10, draw. Overall, 29-29, draw.
Official decision: Viviane Pereira def. Valerie Letourneau via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Drew Dober
Round 1: Both guys starting with a lot of movement here. Dober with a solid jab. Aubin-Mercier staying on the outside, while Dober chases him down. Aubin-Mercier connects with a left hand and drops Dober. Dober gets back up quickly as if nothing happened. Aubin-Mercier lands that straight left again. Dober is bleeding from his nose. Aubin-Mercier tags Dober with a right hand followed by a left to the body. Good jab by Dober. Thirty seconds left. Dober lands a left hook. They clinch for a second and the bell rings.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Aubin-Mercier.
Round 2: Boom! Dober catches Aubin-Mercier with a left hook and drops him to the canvas. Dober follows up and gets in Aubin-Mercier's guard. Some ground and pound here by Dober. Aubin-Mercier gets a reversal and ends on top of Dober. Aubin-Mercier passes guard and transitions to Dober's back sinking in a body triangle. Two minutes left. Aubin-Mercier locks in a rear naked choke and gets Dober to tap. Nice performance by the Canadian fighter.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Drew Dober via submission (rear-naked choke) (Round 1, 2:57)
Nikita Krylov vs. Misha Cirkunov
Round 1: Cirkunov takes the center of the cage and presses Krylov. Both fighters still in the feeling out process. Two minutes have gone by and Cirkunov gets a takedown. Krylov gets back on his feet. Nice body kick by Krylov butgets caught by Cirkunov and used for a takedown. Krylov reverses the position for a second just to get reversed again by Cirkunov. One minute left. Krylov gets back on his feet. Cirkunov catches Krylov with a hard left and drops him to the canvas. In survival mode, Krylov shoots for a single, but Cirkunov sneaks in a guillotine and pulls guard. Krylov doing his best to escape, but is forced to tap out.
Misha Cirkunov def. Nikita Krylov by submission (guillotine choke) (Round 1, 4:38)