The evening proved entertaining. There had devastating punches. Bids, including one by rear naked choke. A broken nose and some bloody faces. Five athletes have even resulted in the hospital.
The evening was long. It started at 18: 45 pm with the first preliminary bout and ending with the final at around 1 pm 31. The main winners have finished their briefing shortly before 3 pm.
The evening was also hot. Very hot.
At what point ?
The audience called for air conditioning, chanting “We want AC” more than once. The Arena Plaza TD had the appearance of a sauna.
The event in question?
The first UFC gala to be held in Ottawa. An appointment which proved highly anticipated Saturday in the national capital. All tickets were sold in less than 90 minutes in April.
The assistance? 10 490 people who paid big bucks for an evening organized by this powerful organization of mixed martial arts.
These people have enjoyed their experience, even if they have sweated profusely. And especially if some performance has been unsatisfactory.
This varied crowd never had time to sleep. No one – or almost – has left before the conclusion marked by the surprise victory of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the final against favorite Rory MacDonald.
A clash that pitted two of the best welterweight in the world. A clash that left some dissatisfied. It booed because of the lack of action.
“I was expecting a war. It was rather a chess match, “admitted Thompson, who could now fight for the world title.
Leaders of the UFC also seem to have enjoyed the experience. So they want to return to the national capital.
When? That’s another story.
” We will be back. There is no doubt, “assured the Director General of the UFC in Canada, Tom Wright.
Does it will be again at the TD Place or the biggest and freshest center Canadian Tire, which could accommodate 20 000 people?
“There are several things to be taken into account, including the time of year and the event format. Do it would be for example to the PPV, supported Wright, who praised the City of Ottawa.
“There was a good buzz about the event. Our athletes have enjoyed their experience and our fans had fun. ”
This map of 13 fights aired including Fox Sports in the United States. Several US media had moved, including USA Today.
The images we retain?
The 21 consecutive punches given by Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos at the head of his opponent Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger. The recovery to the big screen was not lying.
There is also the victory of Latvian Misha Cirkunov that has taken root in Toronto. He celebrated by climbing over the fence of the octagon shouting “I love you” to the crowd.
Cirkunov said he hopes to fight again in Ottawa because of the support of the crowd. “When I hear Misha, Misha Misha, I become stronger,” said the former member of the Canadian wrestling team.
What else ?
Just like boxing, there are big mouths mandatory in the stands.
Like as old thirties guy. “Send, breaks her leg,” he shouted from the first minute of the first bout of the evening.
Not the most brilliant comment, but the tone was set at the gala that lasted nearly seven hours. Who did talk of Ottawa for a Saturday night all over America and Europe.
“During the winter, people even skate to work via the Rideau Canal,” have we heard at some point a descriptor telling listeners.
Bosse shone, Cote did kick
The moment of a fight, “The Predator” has become “The Prey”.
Local favorite Patrick Cote was never in the game in the semi-final opponent in American welterweight and former follower of rodeo, Donald Cerrone.
“The Cowboy” was manhandled in the second round. Same thing in the third round. At the point where the referee Yves Lavigne had to end sooner than expected duel.
“It is one of the best in the world for a reason, said Côté about Cerrone. I had a good first round (…) In the second round, he began to take its rhythm and I let him get too. My strategy was to keep him away, but he excels at cutting angles and with his combinations. It surprised me. That’s what’s right. ”
Côté, 36, was part of a strong Quebec contingent in the octagon at UFC gala in Ottawa.
The crowd was also composed of many amateur mixed martial arts Gatineau, but also of Montreal, Quebec and elsewhere in the Belle Province. It screamed in French. It also sang in French. That’s not counting a few swear words in French.
An hour before side tilts, it was Valérie Létourneau who suffered a similar fate. Yet she was the favorite against Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood, who has shaken several times in the face-to-face in the flyweight.
In the last round, the European athlete hit her twice in the abdomen. Two shots too for the Quebec fighter nicknamed “Trouble”.
In preliminary Jonathan Miller has lost his opening bout against UFC Colby Covington. His opponent was booed when he commented on his victory in the octagon.
“It matters little that was inside here. It could have been GSP. Nothing could stop me, “commented Covington, who learned the hard way that the former champion Georges St-Pierre is still proving to be a favorite of fans.
If side, Letourneau and Meunier have not experienced the desired results, it was the opposite for Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Steve Bossé, both victorious.
The second has delivered the most violent combat. A duel that was awarded Fight of the Night.
Bosse won by unanimous decision this confrontation where head shots rained down from everywhere, where the concept of defense has been forgotten. The crowd has reserved them a standing ovation.
“I proved that I am able to cash a solid hit. I am not afraid to take risks in order to offer a good show, “said Bosse, a swollen face.