The UFC lands in Canada this Saturday night with UFC 186 from the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Demetrious Johnson defends his flyweight title against Kyoji Horiguchi in the main event, while Quinton “Rampage” Jackson returns to take on Fabio Maldonado. Also, Michael Bisping and C.B. Dollaway collide in a middleweight affair.
Below are the UFC-provided media notes ahead of the event:
SUPER ‘FLY’ WEIGHTS
Demetrious Johnson is one of the fastest and most technically sound fighters on the planet. At 28 years old, “Mighty Mouse” is ranked the No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and is the first flyweight champion in UFC history after winning the belt in 2012 against top competitor Joseph Benavidez.
Currently on an eight-fight unbeaten streak, Johnson owns eight wins by submission and four by knockout, proving the range of his dangerous skill set. He will look to defend his belt for the sixth time against rising contender and No.8 ranked Kyoji Horiguchi, who is currently 4-0 in the UFC and on a nine-fight win streak.
Horiguchi, a Karate black belt, owns five first-round finishes, nine wins by knockout and one by submission. He will be on a quest to bring UFC gold back to Japan for the first time. The main event also marks the introduction of the 125-pound division to La Belle Province, as it will be the first UFC flyweight tilt ever to be held in the Province of Quebec.
The Bell Centre faithful will see firsthand the speed and agility the flyweights bring inside the Octagon as they demonstrate why the division is like no other in the UFC.
Veteran middleweights Michael Bisping and CB Dollaway will look to rebound from stoppage losses to Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida, respectively, when they step back into action at UFC 186. Noted as one of the most successful middleweights in UFC history, the No.9 ranked Bisping will be making his 23rd UFC appearance. The brash Brit has won seven of his last 11 including wins over the likes of Cung Le, Alan Belcher and Brian Stann. He has also finished an impressive 20 of his 26 wins, with 17 victories coming by way of KO and three by submission.
The Ultimate Fighter champion, and former coach of the series, has fought all over the world against the division’s toughest competitors. Showing no signs of slowing down, “The Count” has his eye on the prize and looks to get back to his winning ways against Dollaway and continue his climb up the middleweight rankings. The No.11 ranked Dollaway has won four of his last six outings. He has also finished nine of his 16 pro wins, with six via KO and three by submission.
Dollaway is known for his takedown accuracy and is currently tied for fourth most takedowns in middleweight history with 29. “The Doberman” will look to outwrestle Bisping to break back into the Top 10 at 185 pounds. With the classic striker versus wrestler match-up, this fight has the potential to bring fireworks to all corners of the Octagon.
WHO’S THE BOSS
Steve “The Boss” Bosse returns to mixed martial arts to take on No.13 ranked Brazilian light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado. A former professional hockey player, Bosse was known as the enforcer on the ice but eventually traded in his hockey gloves for a pair of MMA gloves. After turning pro in 2007, he found his true sporting passion, winning 10 of 11 fights thus far.
Bosse has eight KO/TKOs and one submission under his belt. He also brings with him an eight-fight win streak with notable wins over UFC veterans Wes Sims, Marvin Eastman and Houston Alexander. Fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Bosse will have the hometown crowd on his side as he looks for his first win under the UFC banner and faces Maldonado, a crowd-pleasing striker who is 4-1 in his last five bouts. (Note: Since these were released, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been cleared to face Maldonado, leaving Bosse without a fight).
No. 3 ranked Alexis Davis will meet fellow Canadian and No.5 ranked Sarah Kaufman in a compelling battle of Top 5 women’s bantamweights. Davis and Kaufman have squared off twice before, with Kaufman winning both fights. Their first fight was in 2007 where Kaufman prevailed via third-round TKO. Their second fight, in Strikeforce in 2012, brought Kaufman a second win by way of majority decision in a slugfest that is regarded as one of the best women’s MMA fights of all time.
Coming into the trilogy, Davis will look to regroup as she will fight for the first time since her disappointing 16-second knockout loss to Ronda Rousey at UFC 175 last July. That loss snapped a five-fight win streak, including a 3-0 record in the UFC with wins over Rosi Sexton, Liz Carmouche and Jessica Eye. Davis has won eight of her last 10 and owns two victories by knockout, seven wins by submission, with five of those coming by rear naked choke and two via armbar. Having fought professionally since 2006, Kaufman is a former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion and has faced some of the division’s top contenders such as Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.
Almost a year after her win over Leslie Smith at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale, Kaufman returns ready to battle it out and prove her top contender status in the women’s bantamweight division. If history repeats itself, this trilogy has every potential to be fight of the night and a Montreal show stealer.
‘WE THE NORTH’
UFC 186 will host a record breaking 14 Canadian fighters on the card. Shane Campbell, fighting out of Kelowna, British Columbia, will make his UFC debut against compatriot John Makdessi. Makdessi, a Tristar fighter out of Montreal, returns after last competing in February 2014. Also fighting out of British Columbia, Sarah Kaufman makes her return to face fellow Canadian Alexis Davis in a trilogy bout. Davis, who is originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario last fought in July 2014 when she competed for the title against champion Ronda Rousey.
Making her second trip to the Octagon, Windsor, Ontario’s Randa Markos will take on her Ultimate Fighter teammate Aisling Daly from Ireland. Chris Clements, fighting out of London, Ontario will meet Montreal’s Nordine Taleb inside the Octagon. Clements comes as a late addition after stepping in for an injured Claudio Silva. Taleb is a product of The Ultimate Fighter Nations and is currently 10-2 (2-0 in the UFC). Hamilton, Ontario born Jessica Rakoczy makes her first UFC appearance since losing The Ultimate Fighter finale in November 2013. The former world champion boxer is ready to prove she belongs in the UFC when she takes on Montreal native Valerie Letourneau, Quebec’s first pro female MMA athlete. After earning the split decision victory in her UFC debut, Letourneau will look for a definitive win in front of the hometown crowd on April 25.
Other Montreal based fighters include: Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Yves Jabouin and The Ultimate Fighter Nations champion, who is originally from London, Ontario, Chad Laprise.
Also featured on this card, Montreal crowd favourite and UFC veteran Patrick Cote. This will be Cote’s 17th fight in the UFC having a career record of 21-9 (7-9 in the UFC). Added as a late replacement, local talent Steve Bosse steps in to face Brazilian Fabio Maldonado. This will be Bosse’s UFC debut and he enters the Octagon on an eight-fight win streak. With Canadian flavour filling the card, come fight night national pride will be running high as these Canadians look to make their country proud.