UFC Fight Night 151 - Ontario Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 151? Saturday 4th May, 2019 - 23:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 151? Canadian Tire Centre, Ontario, Canada
What channel is UFC Fight Night 151 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 151? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 151? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets
Al Iaquinta vs Donald Cerrone
Ontario is treated to a swashbuckling headliner for UFC Fight Night 151 in the shape of ‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. These two fan-favourites are guaranteed to put on a violent show and shake things up in the stacked lightweight division.
It’s great to see ‘Raging’ Al fighting more regularly and, considering all the lightweights ranked above him are tied up, we are lucky to see a match-up of this calibre. Due to the chaos of UFC 223, he was left as the challenger for the lightweight title and stepped up with just a few hours' notice to face the imperious Khabib Nurmagomedov. He suffered his first loss in six, but still put up one hell of a fight.. He took the Russian to a decision and then got back to winning ways with a great performance over Kevin Lee, earning a unanimous decision.
Cerrone steps back down to lightweight after enjoying a spell at welterweight where he went 7-4 fighting some of the best in the division. When he won it was always a spectacular finish. Cowboy comes off two wins, an armbar over Mike Perry and a knockout over Alexander Hernandez, and he will have to pull off another vintage ‘performance of the night’ to extend his record of the most wins and most finishes in UFC history.
These guys are full of respect for one another but they'll leave nothing in the locker room hunting for a finish. They are exceptional in every area. Cerrone has the better ground game but Iaquinta is very underrated in the grappling department and, although he only has one submission win, he can hang on the floor with anyone.
However, the fight is only likely to go to the floor if they knock each other down. They will want to settle the fight on the feet and will be aggressive and technical as always. They have very similar striking stats with high outputs and considering they tend to absorb a lot of damage we should be in for fireworks.
Cerrone’s reach advantage will be a problem for Iaquinta, unleashing powerful combinations with kicks, especially if his weight cut goes well. Iaquinta will be poised in his low stance ready to uncork big right hands on the counter, and prepared to eat shots to do so. Over the course of five rounds you would bank on one of them finding a finish but they are dogs and incredibly durable so this could go to the bell, creating a 25 minute war.
Winner: Iaquinta via Decision
Derek Brunson vs Elias Theodorou
Derek Brunson heads to Ontario hoping to regain some form after losing four of his last six fights. All of those fights were vintage Brunson; chaotic, wild and exciting and he came up against some of the very best in the division. He was knocked out by the current champion Robert Whittaker and then lost a decision to one of the best of all time in Anderson Silva. He got back to old ways with knockouts over Dan Kelly and Lyoto Machida but is coming off two more knockouts to Jacare Souza and the current interim champion Israel Adesanya.
Elias Theodorou is nothing like Brunson. He is awkward, methodical and relies on his cardio and consistent output of strikes to outpoint his opponents. His last seven fights have ended in decisions and he is coming off three wins. After earning unanimous decisions over Kelly and Trevor Smith before squeaking a decision out of Eryk Anders.
On paper, this is the fight we need for Theodorou. He needs to be tested against a wild and explosive striker with excellent wrestling. The Canadian successfully controls the tempo in his fights and subdues their threats with an unorthodox array of strikes from a variety of angles.
To avoid this and being dragged into another decision, Brunson needs to be his aggressive self and mix in takedowns with bombs. However, Anders had a similar game plan but could not impose himself on Theodorou. Thiago Santos was another incredibly explosive opponent with knockout power and even though he won, Theodorou still took him to a rare decision.
Brunson needs to hold nothing back and hunt the knockout but with home advantage Theodorou is likely to put on another impressive but uneventful decision win.
Winner: Theodorou via Decision
Cub Swanson vs Shane Burgos
Cub Swanson is admired wherever he goes and Ontario will be no different. He is on a skid of three losses in a row but these were against three of the best fighters in the featherweight division. He was submitted by Brian Ortega and Renato Moicano, sandwiching a Frankie Edgar decision which many fighters have succumbed to over the years.
Shane Burgos is licking his lips with the biggest match-up of his career. He has only lost one fight in his career which was a TKO against Calvin Kattar but he bounced back spectacularly in his last fight against Kurt Holobaugh by finishing with an armbar in the first round.
As Swanson puts it, this fight should be "beautiful destruction". Swanson will try and ignite a war that Burgos will be more than happy to oblige in. We can expect Swanson to force a ferocious pace with wild strikes, utilising a variety of techniques and combinations.
However, he cannot be too reckless as Burgos has tremendous power in his hands. He has devastating hooks and body punches and will look to catch Swanson in the the exchanges.
If Burgos fights composedly and utilises his reach advantage he can catch Swanson on the counter and even find the knockout, but it will be hard to resist the urge of brawling with the veteran who is battle-tested and usually comes out on top in the wars. Swanson's experience and movement should help him pick up a much needed win
Winner: Swanson via Decision
Brad Katona vs Merab Dvalishvili
Brad Katona will relish returning to home soil for his third UFC fight. The Ultimate Fighter 27 winner trains at the Straight Blast Gym in Ireland but heads back over to Canada in hopes of extending his unbeaten record. He earned a unanimous decision over Jay Cucciniello to win the tournament and repeated the feat when he took on Matt Lopez at UFC 231.
He takes on another tough opponent in Merab Dvalishvili who is a product of the Serra-Longo Fight Team. He looks to string together another set of wins after earning a decision over Terrion Ware which came after a couple of controversial losses, including a somewhat farcical end to a fight with Ricky Simon which officially resulted in a technical submission.
These bantamweights are extremely well-rounded and we are likely to see a mix of technical striking and grappling. Katona may be smoother on the feet and if he starts to get comfortable expect to see the Georgian resort to his seasoned grappling where he will have the advantage. If he can take Katona down, expect him to work on setting up a submission. He may not be able to finish Katona but he should assume enough control to earn the points.
Winner: Dvalishvili via Decision
Walt Harris vs Sergey Spivak
Walt Harris should be coming off the biggest win of his career, but he failed a post-fight drugs test. After earning a split decision over legend Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232, Harris tested positive for a banned substance and it is likely that this was from a tainted supplement so he was only banned for four months. He is now back and ready to pick up where he left off.
He welcomes Sergey Spivak for his UFC debut who is yet to taste defeat after nine fights. Like Harris, Spivak prefers to deal in finishes, with four knockouts and five submissions, and the World Warriors Fighting Championship heavyweight champion hopes to carve his way into the UFC division that could do with some more contenders.
Don’t expect this to go to the bell, as these powerhouses need little opportunity to get the finish. Although this is Spivak’s debut, Harris cannot take him too lightly. He has heavy hands but he is not just a boxer, with thunderous knees and kicks.
Harris’ biggest danger will be if the fight goes to the floor as Spivak has destructive ground and pound as well as having the submission skills to end the fight. The Ukrainian has hardly been tested in his young career but this could be his undoing.
Harris has had nine UFC fights and been in the cage with the likes of Fabricio Werdum and Arlovski, whom he beat, and this experience should help him avoid any danger to serve up his 12th win, and knockout, of his career.
Winner: Harris via KO/TKO
Marc-Andre Barriault vs Andrew Sanchez
After winning The Ultimate Fighter 23, Andrew Sanchez has had mixed fortunes with a UFC record of 3-2. As a high-level wrestler, he earned a unanimous decision over Khalil Rountree to win the tournament and then outpointed Trevor Smith but suffered humbling knockouts to Anthony Smith and Ryan Janes. However, he got back to his old self against Markus Perez by earning another comfortable decision.
Marc-Andre Barriault makes his eagerly awaited entrance to the UFC and his home fans cannot wait to see him perform. Barriault arrives as the TKO MMA middleweight champion with a healthy 11-1 record and 8 knockouts to his name. He is on an eight-fight winning streak but has his biggest test ahead of him in the form of an experienced wrestler.
The Canadian fans can’t wait to see Barriault perform and that’s not just because he is one of their own but because he is an exciting fighter. He is a knockout artist and although his technique isn’t the most finely tuned, he has the power to put anyone away.
The game plan for Sanchez will be typical; to take the Canadian down and keep him there looking for submissions and ground and pound. He will however have to be cautious as Barriault can also wrestle and if he can use these skills to avoid the takedown, Sanchez will be in for a world of trouble on the feet.
Winner: Barriault via KO/TKO