A TUF Nations winner and runner-up both picked up wins in their respective bouts, while Alexis Davis managed to finally beat fellow Canadian Sarah Kaufman in a rather surprising outcome at UFC 186 in Montreal. Here’s how the Fox Sports 1 preliminary card went down:
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (6-1) def. David Michaud (8-2) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:24 of round 2 – Lightweights
It was a very strong performance for OAB, who outclassed Michaud on the ground and survived a 2nd round flash knockdown to get his 5th win by rear-naked choke in his career. Aubin-Mercier shut down Michaud’s offense whilst connecting with solid kicks in the opening round. He then stuck to him like glue on the ground and spent much of his time working for a rear-naked choke. In round 2, the fight opened up a bit on the feet with Michaud getting a knockdown off a counterpunch, but OAB sprang back up. OAB dropped Michaud with the toe end of a body kick but couldn’t finish him off. It was only a matter of time though for the TUF Nations welterweight runner-up, as he put Michaud on the ground and set up the fight ending submission.
Chad Laprise (10-0) def. Bryan Barberena (10-3) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Lightweights
Laprise, who beat Aubin-Mercier to become the TUF Nations welterweight winner, looked outstanding in the opening round. He beat up Barberena with vicious combination striking, hurting him with body kicks, high kicks, and crisp punches. But Barberena adjusted nicely midway through the 2nd round, even switching stances and picking up the aggression and forward pressure. Laprise seemed to slow down significantly and his output lessened as the fight wore on. He put a lot of energy into throwing single spectacular strikes like spinning back kicks and backfists throughout the bout. Barberena didn’t particularly hurt Laprise with too many shots, and his 2nd half fight back wasn’t enough to get the win.
Alexis Davis (17-6) def. Sarah Kaufman (17-3, 1 NC) via submission (armbar) at 1:52 of round 2 – Women’s Bantamweights
After largely being outstruck for virtually all of round 1 and the start of round 2, BJJ black belt Alexis Davis made her 3rd attempt to defeat Sarah Kaufman a successful one. She caught Kaufman off balance and took her down straight into full mount. She went for a mounted triangle choke then tried tightening it against the cage. When it wasn’t locked in, Davis switched to an armbar that was 100% locked in and forced Kaufman to tap many times over before referee Jerin Valel finally intervened. Joe Rogan heavily criticized Valel for being on the wrong side of the armbar to see Kaufman’s taps. Valel was the same referee who was late in stopping Roan Carneiro’s strangulation of Mark Munoz.
Patrick Cote (21-9) def. Joe Riggs (40-16, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (29-28 x3) vs. – Welterweights
Cote’s late career change of style from a brawler to a grinding, top control based fighter continued in the opening round against fellow veteran “Diesel” Riggs. “The Predator” worked to get Riggs to give up his back or at least put him in a position to be struck or submitted. Riggs looked outclassed on the ground by the Quebec native. Not much happened in the 2nd round but Riggs did connect with an elbow in the clinch and both men were caught with hard right hands in an exchange. The 3rd round was Riggs’ best round as he mounted Cote in the early stages and worked on a rear-naked choke. Cote loosened the body triangle and wound up on top and landed some ground-and-pound. Riggs fought back and had Cote’s back to finish off the round and the fight but never threatened with anything to trouble Cote, who won by unanimous decision.
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