The UFC went north on Saturday, May 4th, for UFC Fight Night 151: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy, from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. After the run of stacked fight cards that the UFC has offered thus far in 2019, a few lackluster cards are surely to be expected. While UFC Fight Night 151 might had initially seemed a night to be easily forgotten, the main card featured a plethora of exciting matchups with a headliner that promised to deliver in “Raging” Al Iaquinta versus Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Follow along as I give the results and recap the action for each of the six main card fights of UFC Fight Night 151.
Marc-Andre Barriault (11-2) vs. Andrew Sanchez (11-4)
The main card of UFC Fight Night 151 opened with a battle between old training partners in Marc-Andre Barriault versus Andrew Sanchez. Sanchez landed a few leg kicks to begin the fight, and shot in for and secured an early takedown. Barriault made his way to the fence, but ate a few elbows from Sanchez upon arriving. Sanchez did a great job of applying top pressure and delivering moderate damage for the better part of two minutes before the fight went back to a standup. After a few exchanges Sanchez went in for another takedown, but it got stuffed and he ate a few big shots in the process. Sanchez was off to a good start, and I had it 10/9 going into the second.
Sanchez shot in for a takedown as the second round began, but it was well-defended by Barriault. Sanchez must have gotten the message, as he didn’t attempt another takedown throughout the second. Sanchez looked crisp on his feet, but Barriault did fantastic work from up close and in the clinch, delivering some heavy uppercuts and elbows. Midway through the second, there was a huge shift in momentum and Sanchez looked to be in serious trouble as the round came to a close. I thought that Barriault clearly won the round, and that it was all even going into the third and final round.
Barriault seemed the fresher fighter as the third round began, and he stuffed another takedown attempt from Sanchez. Sanchez maintained pressure, however, pressing Barriault into the cage until he finally managed the takedown that had eluded him since the first round. Although Barriault was back to his feet in less than a minute, Sanchez continued to press him against the cage, defending the takedown for the remainder of the round. This was a tough round to score, but I felt it had to go Sanchez’s way due to the takedown and pressure. I had it 29/28 Sanchez, and all three judges agreed.
Victor: Andrew Sanchez, unanimous decision
Walt Harris (12-7) 1 NC vs. Sergey Spivak (9-1)
Walt Harris opened up this one with a sharp combination that was poorly defended by Spivak, landing several heavy punches. Harris must have seen something that he liked, as he went right back to it, dropping Spivak to the canvas. Harris pursued, delivering a few shots from the top until the fight was called less than a minute after it began.
Victor: Walt Harris, first-round TKO, :50
Brad Katona (8-1) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (9-4)
Merab Dvalishvili threw a little bit of everything to begin the fight, from spinning heel kicks and backfists, to switch kicks. Although most of the attempts didn’t land, they definitely put Brad Katona on notice. Dvalishvili went for and secured a single leg takedown midway through the round, but he was happy to let Katona up to his feet. Later in the round, however, Dvalishvili secured another takedown and delivered some serious damage from the top until the round came to a close.
Dvalishvili must have liked what he saw at the end of the first, because he shot in for and got another single leg takedown in the opening moments of the second round. Although he didn’t deliver a significant amount of damage, Dvalishvili did enough to maintain the position for the vast majority of the round, before the fighters were stood back up. Dvalishvili got another takedown as the round ended, and Katona looked to be losing this one 20/18 going into the third.
Dvalishvili maintained his forward pressure in the third, and it appeared that Katona had found an answer to defending the takedown, as he stuffed Dvalishvili’s first two attempts. However, Dvalishvili was persistent and finally secured a takedown midway through the round. This time Dvalishvili got to unload on Katona and again he finished on top.
Victor: Merab Dvalishvili, unanimous decision
Cub Swanson (25-11) vs. Shane Burgos (12-1)
The opening round began with both fighters attempting to find their ranges by prodding with leg kicks. Shane Burgos appeared to have found his range first, landing some quick hands on Cub Swanson, marking up both of his eyes early on. Cub was the aggressor, but Burgos did a great job on the counter, landing powerful short right uppercuts anytime Swanson got too close inside. Burgos looked crisp on the feet, and I had it scored a pretty easy 10/9 going into the second.
Cub remained the aggressor in the second, mixing it up nicely with punches and kicks. But, Burgos displayed better boxing, seeming to frustrate Swanson at times with his quick counters. Again, the short right uppercut found its home when Burgos threw it, and Swanson looked to be down two rounds to none as we entered the third and final.
Swanson learned that he was probably down the first two rounds from his corner, and he opened up the third with a sense of urgency. After a few exchanges (and landing a heavy left hook) Swanson shot in for his first takedown of the fight. Burgos was quick to his feet, but Swanson controlled his back afterward and got in a large number of strikes from the dominant position. After Burgos got some space, the fighters spent the remaining ninety seconds of the fight on their feet and throwing leather, but again Burgos was the better and crisper boxer. I could had seen the third going either way, and I gave it to Cub 10/9, but I thought Burgos had clearly won the first two.
Victor: Shane Burgos, split decision
Derek Brunson (19-7) vs. Elias Theodorou (17-3)
Elias Theodorou threw out some knees and kicks to begin the fight, seeming to show Derek Brunson that his legs would need to be contended with. But, Brunson got a takedown shortly after, and Theodorou’s position quickly went from bad to worse. Brunson secured mount, then got Theodorou’s back, sinking in hooks and getting his arm under Theodorou’s chin. But, Brunson couldn’t quite get his arm in deep enough, and he lost the position. The fight was back up, and for the remaining ninety seconds or so, there were a few exchanges, and Theodoruou unsuccessfully shot in for his own takedown attempt. As the horn blew, I had it 10/9 Brunson going into the second.
Brunson attempted a single leg early in the second round, but it was defended by Theodorou. Theodorou was defensive throughout the round, staying on his heels and throwing from far outside. Brunson didn’t generate much offense either, however I thought that he maintained Octagon control and was more the aggressor. I gave Brunson the round and had him up 20/18 going into the final.
Brunson opened up the third with another takedown, but Theodorou was quick to his feet. Shortly after, though, Brunson got his arms around Theodorou and lifted him high into the air, carrying Theodorou to the center of the cage, and dropping him to the canvas. However, again Theodorou was up in no time, and the remainder of the round consisted of lackluster exchanges by two fighters who were clearly exhausted and content with their chances in a decision.
Victor: Derek Brunson, unanimous decision
Al Iaquinta (14-5-1) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-11) 1 NC
The main event of UFC Fight Night 151 featured a fantastic matchup in “Raging” Al Iaquinta versus Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Cerrone returned to the Lightweight division and was clearly the larger fighter as he challenged the number four ranked Lightweight in Iaquinta. Cerrone established his jab early, and it helped keep Iaquinta to the outside for the majority of the first round. When Iaquinta got inside, he landed a few nice punches, particularly a powerful uppercut with about a minute left in the round. Cerrone landed a sharp knee to Iaquinta’s head as Iaquinta shot in for a takedown, and as the first round came to a close, I had it 10/9 Cerrone.
The second round consisted of crisp kickboxing displayed by both fighters, but Iaquinta landed the more memorable combinations, visibly rocking Cerrone with an overhand right near the end of the round. I thought it was close, but I gave the second to Iaquinta and had it 19/19 going into the third.
Cerrone looked to re-establish his jab in the third, throwing it out often and early in the round. With Iaquinta back on the outside, Cerrone again went to body kicks, punishing Iaquinta with each one thrown. Cerrone clearly had his range dialed in, landing combinations seemingly at will. Iaquinta got dropped with a strong left near the end of the round, and Cerrone finished on top. I thought that Cerrone clearly won the round and was up 29/28 going into championship rounds.
Again, Cerrone did a fantastic job of keeping Iaquinta to the outside, and he began the fourth with a front kick that landed squarely to Iaquinta’s face, dropping him to the mat. Cerrone pursued, but Iaquinta recovered quickly and was back to his feet. Iaquinta was successful with the left hook anytime that he got inside, but Cerrone did his best to keep Iaquinta at range with his legs. I gave the round to Cerrone, and I had it 39/28 and Cowboy’s fight to lose.
The fifth round was more of the same, with Cerrone landing what he wanted from the outside, and Iaquinta doing well when he managed to get inside. The round could had gone either way, but Iaquinta needed the finish, and Cerrone did his best at not allowing Iaquinta the range that he needed to get it done.
Victor: Donald Cerrone, unanimous decision
What did you think about the main event? Do you think “Cowboy” still has it in him to make a run at the title? Send me your comments, and please don’t forget to like MMA Tribune on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and share this article!