Early Look at the Main Card for UFC Fight Night 89

Rory MacDonaldThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for the first time in promotional history with UFC Fight Night 89: MacDonald vs Thompson. The 13-fight card kicks off with the UFC Fight Pass prelims at 6:45pm ET, with televised prelims to follow on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30pm ET and the main card getting going at 10:30pm ET. If interested on wagering on this fight card, betting lines will become available shortly at Several Bookmakerss. Getting things rolling for the UFC Fight Night 89 main card on FOX Sports 1 is the promotion’s inaugral women’s flyweight contest and it will see French-Canadian Valerie Letourneau take on Scottland’s Joanne Calderwood. This is a very fun fight that should get the main card started on a high-note. The 33-year-old Letournea made her UFC debut in the bantamweight division two years ago at UFC 174 in Vancouver, where she defeated Elizabeth Phillips via split decision on the judges’ scorecards following three entertaining back and forth rounds of action. After picking up a win in her debut, she opted to drop down to the strawweight division, where she picked up a pair of unanimous decision victories (over Jessica Rakoczy and Maryna Moroz, respectively) that earned her a shot at Joanna Jedrejczyk and her women’s 115-pound gold. The native of Montreal came up short in the title fight, but saw a rise in her stock, as she went the distance with the champ in a fight many expected her to be finished in under a round and a half. Admitting it was too much weight for her to cut to make the strawweight limit, Letourneau hopes she has found a new home at 125-pounds. The UFC has leaned towards this being a one-off bout, but if the pair produce fireworks, it would motivate the promotion to put together a few more bouts in the women’s flyweight division. There are several fighters competing at 115-pounds, but mostly at 135-pounds who would be better suited in the 125-pound division. Current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate is one of them; so if this division becomes real, it is likely that Tate could be the first ever UFC fighter to hold two belts in the same weight-class. The Scottish-born Calderwood picked up a unanimous decision victory over Seeheo Ham in her Octagon debut but unfortunately suffered a first round armbar submission in her next outing, which came against the aforementioned Maryna Moroz in what was the Polish fighters UFC debut. Following the first official loss of her professional mixed martial arts career, Calderwood returned to the win column at UFC Fight Night 72 nearly a year ago with a unanimous decision over Cortney Casey. She hopes to make it two in a row by taking out Letourneau one enemy soil in Ottawa, and much like her French-Canadian counter-part, she would like 125-pounds to be her new home. The next bout on the evening’s main card comes in the UFC’s lightweight division and sees TriStar MMA product Olivier Aubin-Mercier square off against the Italian Thibault Gouti. Aubin-Mercier had his four-fight winning streak snapped in his last outing, losing a unanimous decision to former Legacy FC lightweight champion Carlos Diego Ferreira. He will look to get back into the win column against Thibault, who hopes to do the same after losing by first round rear naked choke submission in his promotional debut against Teemu Packalen earlier this year. Next up on the UFC Fight Night 89 main card on FOX Sports 1 is a light heavyweight showdown between 205-pound heavy hitters Steve Bosse and Sean O’Connell. This is an excellent pairing that many fight fans look forward it, and not many expect it to go the full three round distance. It is also a rare “winner vs loser” match-up in the division, with Bosse coming off a first round knockout win over veteran James Te-Huna and C’Connell coming off a first round knockout at the hands of the Lebanese Ilir Latifi. The co-main event of the evening will be a barn-burner in the UFC’s welterweight division between Jackson-Wink MMA fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and TriStar MMA’s Patrick “The Predator” Cote. This is a highly anticipated match-up and likely the front-runner for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. Aside from the fact that, win or lose, Cerrone and Cote fights are always fun to watch; this bout draws interest mainly because it is Cerrone’s first real test at 170-pounds. After having an eight-fight winning streak snapped by Rafael dos Anjos in a failed bit at the Brazilian’s 155-pound gold, “Cowboy” opted to make a move up to the UFC’s welterweight division. He was scheduled to take on Tim Means in his 170-pound debut, but a failed drug test removed “The Dirty Bird” from his first main event slot, making room for Brazilian “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira to take center stage. Cerrone took out Oliveira via first round triangle choke submission and plans to make it two in a row at 170-pounds against former the UFC Middleweight title challenger, Cote. The 36-year-old French-Canadian picked up a unanimous decision win over Strikeforce veteran Bobby Voelker in his welterweight debut and followed it up with another unanimous nod over Kyle Noke. Unfortunately, his luck ended there, as he lost by unanimous decision his next time out against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who will be competing in the evening’s main event against Canada’s Rory MacDonald. “The Predator” bounced back into the win column with a unanimous decision victory over Joe “Diesel” Riggs and followed that up with a pair of TKO wins over Joshua Burkman and Ben Saunders, respectively; sending the former down to the 155-pound division. He aims to do the same against Cerrone in front of his fellow Canadian crowd next weekend. Action is expected when Rory MacDonald takes on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the UFC Fight Nigt 89 headliner. The Canadian will be fighting out the final fight on his current UFC contract and has made it no secret that he plans on testing the free agent market following this 170-pound showdown scheduled for 25-minutes. MacDonald has not seen action in nearly a year, where he lost via fifth round TKO at the hands of “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in a failed bit for the title at UFC 189. That makes this a rare “winner vs loser” match-up in the UFC’s welterweight division, as Thompson is coming off a first round TKO of former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks and currently enjoys a six-fight winning streak inside the Octagon. A win over MacDonald will put him eight in a row at 170-pounds and earn him a shot at the winner of UFC 193’s Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley welterweight title fight.

Written by Gabe Killian

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