You've gotta love these cheeky UFC Fight Night cards that take the UFC to different cities and creep under the radar in terms of mainstream attention. UFC Fight Night 89 went down in Ottawa, Canada and included the typical strong local presence with the three main fights on this card not disappointing.
It was a mixed bag in these fights for the Canadians as the main event had Rory MacDonald going losing to Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson and Patrick Cote lost in a TKO to Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone. The highlight of the night however did have a local lad involved in an epic fight, with Steve Bosse landing a points decision win over Sean O'Connell.
Bosse has been known as the former ice hockey hitman but it appears as though he's genuinely establishing himself as a fighter of note in the light-heavyweight division. Kiwi fans may remember Bosse as the man who recently gave James Te Huna a touch up in Australia and Bosse is no mug with his hands, which is what made this fight so entertaining. Both Bosse and O'Connell traded heavy shots and ate them, before throwing more punches in a fight that didn't drop to a lull at any point.
The light-heavyweight division is stacked and Bosse has a long way to go before he finds himself in the division's upper echelon but in three fights he has a KO loss, the KO win over Te Huna and this entertaining performance that should ensure we see more of Bosse.
Cerrone has recently moved up from lightweight to welterweight and took on Cote, which saw Cerrone consistently land heavy shots on Cote but Cote showed what a gritty customer he is on home turf. Cerrone grabbed the TKO in the third round however and in a steamrolling performance, Cerrone has a bunch of fights in either the welterweight or lightweight division that could be of interest.
The funk here lies in Cerrone's comments after the fight when he said 'according to my pay, I don't mean shit to the UFC'. This came in response to a question to Cerrone about his standing in the UFC as he's an entertaining fighter who doesn't stop fighting; Cerrone had four fights in 2015 and this was his second fight of 2016 already. A fighter who is all-action and fights on a regular basis is an asset to the UFC and it's hard to argue that Cerrone hasn't enjoyed constant match ups, he did lose in his rematch with lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos so it'll be interesting to see who Cerrone fights next in that lightweight division ... especially when you consider what's happening in the welterweight division.
MacDonald stepped back in the octagon for the first time since his historic war with Robbie Lawler to take on Thompson, a fight that effectively decided the next challenger to fight the winner of Lawler vs Tyron Woodley. Wonderboy was at his technical best in keeping MacDonald on the outside, countering MacDonald's regular attacks on his legs and Wonderboy landed regular shots to finish with a points win.
This was MacDonald's second consecutive loss and he must now take a considerable period of time off as he broke his nose again (he suffered a beating from Lawler) and MacDonald hinted at getting surgery on his nose as 'resting it didn't do shit'. Also of interest here is that MacDonald is coming off-contract with the UFC and the talk leading into this fight was about his impending free-agency. MacDonald is a quality fighter but he doesn't have a whole lot of leverage right now after two losses so his safest bet is to probably just take what the UFC offers him.
Wonderboy Thompson continues to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division with a 13-1 record and seven consecutive wins. There aren't too many fighters that possess the striking ability of Wonderboy and he's in line for a title shot, saying that he wants to fight Lawler and that he expects Lawler to beat Woodley. That fight will go down on July 30 at UFC 201.
If you're looking for a favourite fighter to add to your list, chuck Wonderboy on it. This dude is legit and not only is he highly skilled, this is his walkout song...
Jah bless Kimbo