#2 Rory MacDonald caught #10 Tarec Saffiedine with a beautiful striking combination to force referee Herb Dean to call the fight in the third round at UFC Fight Night 54.
After two rounds of careful tactics by both fighters MacDonald connected with a overhand right left hook combination that buckled the knees of the former Strikeforce welterweight champ.
MacDonald is now widely thought be next in line for a title shot after the winner of champion Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler at UFC 181.
Fight of the Night went to Chris Kelades and Patrick Holohan while Rory MacDonald and Oliver Aubin-Mercier snagged performances of the night. $50,000 USD went to all fighters.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MITCH GAGNON VS ROMAN “ROMAN EL GALLITO”
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MITCH GAGNON VIA SUBMISSION
WISEMAN PREDICTION: MITCH GAGNON VIA SUBMISSION
WINNER: MITCH GAGNON VIA SUBMISSION
ANDREWS: Gagnon quickly dispatched of Salazar with the rear naked choke. A tidy piece of work.
NORDINE TALEB VS LI “THE LEECH” JINGLIANG
WISEMAN PREDICTION: NORDINE TALEB VIA TKO
WINNER: NORDINE TALEB VIA SPLIT-DECISION
ANDREWS: Taleb did just enough with an essential good third round. JingLiang did well, putting the pressure on Taleb with his takedowns. I’m sure Taleb and his team will be watching the film on this fight.
Wiseman Prediction: Nordine Taleb via TKO.
ELIAS “THE SPARTAN” THEODOROU VS BRUNO “CARLOCA” SANTOS
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ELIAS THEODOROU VIA TKO
WINNER: ELIA THEODOROU VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
ANDREWS: Just a gritty win by Elias. He overcame the early takedowns and grappling by Santos to land some control and takedowns of his own in the second and third rounds.
CHAD “THE DISCIPLE” LAPRISE VS YOSDENIS “THE PINK PANTHER” CEDENO
WISEMAN PREDICTION: CHAD LAPRISE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: CHAD LAPRISE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
ANDREWS: This was a boring fight for the most part. Laprise used his grappling to get the better of Cedeno.
#4 RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VS #10 BRYAN “KID LIGHTNING” CARAWAY
WISEMAN PREDICTION: RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VIA SUBMISSION
WINNER: RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
ANDREWS: Just a dominant performance by Assuncao, using his kicks, striking and knees to punish Caraway, who kept coming forward trying to pressure him. A valiant effort by Caraway, but the elusiveness, footwork and striking of Assuncao was too much.
#2 RORY “ARES” MACDONALD VS #9 TAREC “THE SPONGE” SAFFIEDINE
WISEMAN PREDICTION: RORY MACDONALD VIA TKO
WINNER: RORY MACDONALD VIA TKO
ANDREWS: Excellent performance by MacDonald, who kept the pressure on Saffiedine, forcing him to work on the outside. Tarec could not land enough legkicks to back Rory off, and as the time ticked on was forced to take more chances inside.