It’s been a whirlwind of changes for Montreal’s UFC 186.
TJ Dillashaw was supposed to defend against former champ Renan Barao, but a wrestling injury sidelined him and the main event was changed.
Then Rory MacDonald – Hector Lombard was scrapped. The list goes on and on. Ticket sales have been affected as a result.
Fortunately, we still have flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (21-2-1) facing #7 Kyoji Horiguchi (15-5-0) in the main event, and some other key bouts too.
And Rampage is back.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Kenai Andrews shares his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
#10 AISLING “AIS THE BASH” DALY (15-5-0) VS #6 RANDA “THE QUIET STORM” MARKOS (4-3-0)
Andrews: Daly is the bigger, stronger fighter, while Markos is the smaller, more technical and aggressive fighter. Markos needs to make Daly work on the ground and take some starch out of her, then go for the submissions. Daly needs to get things dirty with the clinch Randy Couture style to hurt Markos and slow her down. But Markos is too technical and I think she will find a way to get the fight to the ground and submit Daly.
Andrews Prediction: Randa “The Quiet Storm” via TKO.
JESSICA “THE RAGIN” RAKOCZY (1-4-0) VS VALERIE “TROUBLE” LETOURNEAU (6-3-0)
Andrews: The TUF 18 runner-up Rakoczy did not fare well in the bantamweight division, so she is moving down to strawweight against Letourneau, who is debuting. I feel an upset here. It won’t be pretty, but Rakoczy’s boxing shows itself and she scores a TKO.
Andrews Prediction: Jessica “The Ragin” Rakoczy via TKO.
NORDINE TALEB (10-2-0) VS CHRIS “THE MENACE” CLEMENTS (12-5-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Can the striking of Clements – who is in on short notice – get to Taleb? Taleb is the faster and more technical of the two with a better gas tank. Clements is the more dangerous; if he touches you, you’re going to feel it. Taleb also has the reach advantage. With it, he can score points from the outside. I have to give the advantage to Taleb. He will sap the gas tank of Clements and score the decision win.
Andrews Prediction: Nordine Taleb via unanimous decision.
TSN 2 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER (6-1-0) VS DAVID “BULLDAWG” MICHAUD (8-1-0)
Andrews: This should be good tussle and on paper it’s pretty close. Michaud has the slight reach advantage, but I think Aubin-Mercier has fought better opponents and with the home crowd cheering will get the tap.
Andrews Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier via submssion.
CHAD “THE DISCIPLE” LAPRISE (10-0-0) VS BRYAN BARBERENA (10-2-0)
Andrews: Bam Bam is coming off that impressive win over Joe Ellenberger but he’s in tough with the TUF Nations winner in Laprise here. His striking with knockout power is dangerous, but I think Laprise will find a way to weather the storm and tough out a decision.
Andrews Prediction: Chad “The Disciple” Laprise via unanimous decision.
#3 ALEXIS DAVIS (16-6-0) VS #5 SARAH KAUFMAN (17-2-0, 1NC)
Andrews: It is surprising to some that David is ranked higher than Kaufman despite two losses to her in the past, but Davis did better in the UFC than Kaufman, beating Jessica Eye (while Kaufman originally lost to her before it was overturned to a no-contest). This is Kaufman’s chance to set the record straight and vault into the title shot conversation, which I think she will by neutralizing the wrestling of Davis with takedown defence and her striking.
Andrews Prediction: Sarah Kaufman via unanimous decision.
PATRICK “THE PREDATOR” COTE (21-9-0) VS JOE “DIESEL” RIGGS (40-15-0)
Andrews: Cote hasn’t looked all that impressive in his last several fights, even though he’s won most of them. Stephen Thompson really exposed him and I think he is due for a KO upset loss here by the older but still powerful Diesel. The wars and injuries to The Predator have taken their toll. Joe Riggs gets it done.
Andrews Prediction: Joe “Diesel” Riggs via TKO.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
YVES “TIGER” JABOUIN (20-9-0) VS THOMAS “THOMINHAS” ALMEIDA (18-0-0)
Andrews: Almeida likes to strike, so Jabouin needs to be cautious on the feet. He tends to get in trouble when he panics. Almeida is the more technical striker and I think he will catch Jabouin sooner or later.
Andrews Prediction: Thomas “Thominhas” Almeida via TKO.
JOHN “THE BULL” MAKDESSI (12-3-0) VS SHANE CAMPBELL (11-2-0)
Note: This is a 160lbs catchweight bout.
Andrews: Campbell is a newcomer, but he has an impressive kickboxing and Muay Thai background. But he’s facing a seasoned Makdessi and that plus the UFC jitters could spell trouble. I have to go with Makdessi, but would not be totally shocked if Campbell surprised everyone with a TKO.
Andrews Prediction: John Makdessi via unanimous decision.
#10 MICHAEL “THE COUNT” BISPING (26-7-0) VS #11 CB DOLLAWAY (16-7-0)
Andrews: Both guys needs a win, but the wrestling of Dollaway or the strikes of Bisping should dictate this bout. I think Dollaway’s wrestling will be too much for Bisping and he will grind to a unanimous decision win.
Andrews Prediction: CB Dollaway via unanimous decision.
QUINTON “RAMPAGE” JACKSON VS #12 FABIO MALDONADO (22-7-0)
Note: This is a catchweight bout at 215 lbs.
Andrews: Old lion vs young lion. It’s no secret Maldonado patterned his game after Rampage. He has the toughness but can he outstrike this older Rampage? I think he can, if sticks to the business and avoids the hero worship. This could be an old-fashioned entertaining knuckle-duster or it could be two guys waiting for the other to engage. Let’s hope it’s the former.
Andrews Prediction: Fabio Maldonado via TKO.
DEMETRIOUS “MIGHTY MOUSE” JOHNSON (21-2-1) VS KYOJI HORIGUCHI (15-5-0)
Andrews: Johnson has shown himself to be at another level in the flyweight division. Can the Crazy Bee slow down Johnson with his striking? He may get a few shots in, but Johnson should prove to be too quick and elusive. Meanwhile, he will pile up the points and stretch Horiguchi’s gas tank, en route to a decision win.
Andrews Prediction: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson via unanimous decision.