Tonight’s (Sat., April 25, 2015) UFC 186 prelims are complete from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
The headlining bout featured a welterweight throwdown between The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veterans Patrick Cote and Joe Riggs. Riggs unloaded a fast combo early, immediately transitioning into Cote’s back. But ‘The Predator’ reversed to land some good shots along the fence. He smothered Riggs with two takedowns and looked for both an arm triangle and kimura as the first round came to an end. A war broke out in the second, with both throwing and landing some hard looping shots. Cote peppered Riggs with some solid right hooks, but ‘Diesel’ fought back with a strong elbow of his own from the clinch. In the third, Riggs got a takedown to go for a choke, but Cote reversed to land several punches. Riggs had Cote’s back to end the fight, but hometown favorite ‘Predator’ took home the unanimous decision.
In a pivotal scrap for both fighters’ career paths, top 10-ranked women’s bantamweight Alexis Davis and Sarah Kaufman fought for crucial positioning in Ronda Rousey’s division. The fighters threw down in the center of the Octagon to start, with Kaufman getting slightly better of the exchanges. She kept up her high pace with counters and and a smothering clinch. Kaufman pressed the action in the second but Davis landed some kicks to the body. Kaufman caught one, but Davis reversed with a beautiful judo throw to mount her. She sought a triangle and locked it in from the bottom, but Kaufman rained down punches. Davis switched to a tight armbar that had Kaufman tapping way before the ref stepped in to stop the fight.
TUF Nations winner Chad Laprise sought to continue his rise against Bryan Barberena. Coming out strong with two high kicks, Laprise punished Barberena further with a combination. Laprise poured it on with more and more kicks, including a huge shot to the body. Barberena showed a ton of toughness, but Laprise kept up a high volume of smooth and technical strikes. Barberena did land some strong shots and kicks of his own to disrupt and slow Laprise’s pace. Barberena grounded Laprise in the third, clinching to land some punches on a tiring Laprise. The fight ended with both winging wild kicks in a brief firefight. Outlanding Laprise down the stretch, Barberena somewhat surprisingly still lost a unanimous decision.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier met David Michaud at lightweight. Aubin-Mercier came out strong with a high kick and takedown, getting Michaud’s back to lock up a one-sided round. They traded punches in the second frame, with Aubin-Mercier scoring some active shots. Michaud rocked him with a right hand but Aubin-Mercier snapped a high kick, following with a body kick that dropped him. Confused, Aubin-Mercier swarmed but couldn’t finish the fight. Aubin-Mercier got the fight to the ground in the third, securing a rear-naked choke to earn the tap for an impressive win.
Chris Clements faced Nordine Taleb, with Taleb pushing the pace early and landing a strong left hook. The fighters traded strong kicks along the fence and Taleb controlled the clinch. He ended the round on top landing shots. Clements threw some unorthodox punches in the second, but Taleb got a strong double leg to land more ground damage. Taleb kept up his pressure and control in the third round to lock up a clear unanimous decision.
Talented women’s 115-pounder Valerie Letourneau took on TUF 18 finalist Jessica Rakoczy in her strawweight debut. Rakoczy got an early takedown but Letourneau locked on a triangle. It was tight, and Letourneau went for an armbar only to see Rakoczy somehow escape. Letourneau had her back but Rakoczy reversed to end the first round in top position. Letourneau landed some stiff kicks in the second, following up with solid punches. Rakoczy’s eye was busted up badly in between the second and third, but the fight was allowed to continue. Letourneau landed a left head kick and Rakoczy grappled from the clinch. Letourneau broke to land kicks, a knee, a sharp elbow, and combinations. Rakoczy came alive a bit with her boxing towards the end, but ultimately Letourneau got a late trip takedown and won a unanimous decision in another great fight.
Kicking off the Fight Pass prelims, TUF 20 veterans Aisling Daly and Randa Markos squared off in a battle of top 15-ranked strawweights. Markos came out strong with big right hands, transitioning to the ground to take Daly’s back. She switched to an arm triangle choke from the half guard, but Daly got up to get a late takedown. Markos got a takedown in the second to unload shots, yet Daly reversed to open Markos up with a cut, ending the round with some big elbows. Markos got the same throw and headlock to start the third, and Daly escaped only to see Markos reverse right into the mount. Ending the fight with an armbar attempt, Markos took home a hard-fought unanimous decision in a great fight.
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1, 8:00 PM ET):
Patrick Cote def. Joe Riggs via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexis Davis def. Sarah Kaufman via R2 submission (armbar, 1:52)
Chad Laprise def. Bryan Barberena via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. David Michaud via R3 submission (rear-naked choke, 3:24)
Preliminary Card (Fight Pass, 6:30 PM ET):
Nordine Taleb def. Chris Clements via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Valerie Letourneau def. Jessica Rakoczy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Randa Markos def. Aisling Daly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Photo Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports