The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada was home to a solid night of fights, with five (T)KOs, one submission and seven decisions, all unanimous.
The UFC owed Calgary a good card after the absolute disaster that was UFC 149. That card fell apart due to numerous injuries and had almost zero watchable bouts, leading Dana White to promise a future return to make it up to the fans. It took six years, but you could argue the UFC has finally made good on that promise with this entertaining card.
Fight of the Night:
Makdessi and Pearson put on the exact type of fight they’re known for, and that everyone was hoping for. Both guys stood in the pocket trading shots, only moving to slip a shot or set their feet better to throw even harder until the last round. Makdessi mixed up his leg kicks a little better and seemed to have more in the tank, and that was borne out by Pearson finally shooting for takedowns in the third round. Makdessi was ready for it, and punished “The Real Deal” repeatedly, almost finishing him and sealing the deal on his unanimous decision victory.
Makdessi and Pearson both got an extra 50 Gs for putting on the best fight on a card with several fight of the night veterans.
Performances of the Night:
Jose Aldo and Jeremy Stephens put on a sensational four-plus minutes of action, with both men looking to separate consciousness from their opponent. Stephens promised in the lead-up to their contest that he was just as effective at kicking as Aldo was, but proving that in the octagon was easier said than done. He did manage to land some haymakers, though, and wobbled the Brazilian in a heated exchange.
Jose quickly recovered and cut “Lil Heathen” under his right eye with one of several big bombs that were landing with surgical precision. Then, the former champion landed the most vicious, loudest liver shot ever heard, dropping Stephens like a boulder off a cliff. Aldo pounced immediately, landing several hammerfists before the referee mercifully called a stop to the action.
Aldo gets the TKO win and 50,000 smackers to line his pockets with.
The rematch between Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez almost ended in chaos again after Alvarez once more landed an illegal strike during a comeback. In the first fight, Poirier hurt Alvarez on the feet, then Alvarez threw illegal knees to Poirier’s head after failing to secure a choke in the second round, leading to a no-contest.
Tonight, Poirier hurt Alvarez on the feet, then Eddie threw an illegal elbow to Dustin’s head after failing to secure a choke in the second round, leading to… just a foul this time, as Poirier was able to continue, thankfully. Dustin seemed amped up about Eddie almost fouling out this fight as well, and punished “The Underground King” with a ridiculous series of knees, punches and kicks. Alvarez was out on his feet, being held up by the cage, and it took a further half-dozen clean strikes before he slumped over, finally ending the punishment.
Poirier earned a $50,000 bonus for defeating the former champ and avenging his no-contest from the first fight.
UFC Calgary Attendance: 10,603
Gate: $1,705,686.25 CAN/ $1,302,050.57 USD