UFC Fight Night 54 & 53: MacDonald finishes, Story split decision win

UFC Fight Night 54 MacDonald Saffiedine TKO uppercut mma meme

MacDonald with a rare finish against Saffiedine, Story gives Nelson his first career loss

Assuncao defeats Caraway via decision, Holloway downs Corassani


Another UFC double-header with two events happening on the same date but in different locations. Let's first talk about what went down at UFC Fight Night 54 which took place in Canada. Nothing really spectacular happened here, pretty boring main card with most fights going to distance with minimal action. Of course, same can't be said to the home crowd who's excited to be watching their local heroes in the cage.

Rory MacDonald (18-2) is known for being a patient technical fighter more than an explosive finisher but he managed to get one against Tarec Saffiedine (15-4). Saffiedine tried to confuse the local fighter with his frequent change of stance in the first two rounds and kept attacking MacDonald's front thigh. MacDonald, although flat-footed as he usually is, was the aggressor from the beginning and landed more significant punches than his Belgium opponent. In the third round, he connected with a perfect 2-3 combo, setting up the uppercut that knocked down Saffiedine, who couldn't recover fast enough to respond to the followup strikes on the ground.

In the co-main event, Rafael Assuncao (23-4) won his seventh straight after defeating Bryan Caraway (19-7) via unanimous decision with his consistent and accurate striking and superior kicking throughout the bout. Even when Caraway pushed forward, Assuncao's the one who was landing the punches on counter.

UFC Fight Night 53 Story Nelson mma meme

Now the other event was held in Stockholm, Sweden with 4 bouts in the main card and the only one that went to the judges scorecard was the 5-round main event between Rick "The Horror" Story (18-8) and hometown boy Gunnar Nelson (13-1-1). Story gave the now-Welterweight champion Johny Hendricks his first career loss, and now he's does it again this time ruining Nelson's perfect record, but he needed all 5 rounds to impress 2/3 of the judges. Nelson seemed very laid back and fought with his hands low the entire fight, as though he had no respect for Story's striking at all. But it's most probably because that's how he counters with his quickness and takedowns. However, the submission specialist didn't manage to take the fight to the ground much, and that allowed Story to out-strike him. Story knocked Nelson down once when Nelson was in range with his guard down and volume-wise, Story had landed plenty of significant punches and leg kicks which got Nelson's thighs reddish but it was Story's face that was messed up. In the end, Story won by score, and I was surprised it wasn't an unanimous decision.

Akira Corassani (12-5) showed some great footwork and movement against Max Holloway (11-3), giving Holloway a harder time to find his range at the beginning despite controlling of the centre of the octagon. It looked like it was going to be a round of just testing out each other until Holloway caught Corassani's chin and dropped him to his knees. Corassani struggled back up for a body lock to protect himself from Holloway's aggressive followup strikes while recovering but Holloway managed to reverse and attack Corassanis head with his knee from the straight-standing clinch position. Corassani made a mistake trying to punch as soon as he was out of the body lock as that left his chin open for more Holloway hook punches. That dropped him again and the followups knocked him out.



UFC Fight Night 54: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine - Results

(Source: Wikipedia)

Fight of the Night: Patrick Holohan vs. Chris Kelades
Performance of the Night: Rory MacDonald and Olivier Aubin-Mercier

Main Card

Welterweight: Rory MacDonald def. Tarec Saffiedine | TKO (punches) | R3 1:28
Bantamweight: Raphael Assunção def. Bryan Caraway | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: Chad Laprise def. Yosdenis Cedeno | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Middleweight: Elias Theodorou def. Bruno Santos | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Welterweight: Nordine Taleb def. Li Jingliang | Decision (split) | 3 rounds
Bantamweight: Mitch Gagnon def. Roman Salazar | Submission (rear-naked choke) | R1 2:06

Preliminary Card

Lightweight: Daron Cruickshank def. Anthony Njokuani Decision | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Jake Lindsey | Submission (inverted triangle keylock) | R2 3:22
Lightweight: Paul Felder def. Jason Saggo | Decision (split) | 3 rounds
Flyweight: Chris Kelades def. Patrick Holohan | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Welterweight: Albert Tumenov def. Matt Dwyer | TKO (head kick and punch) | R1 1:03
Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz def. Jerrod Sanders | Submission (guillotine choke) | R1 0:39

UFC Fight Night 53: Nelson vs. Story - Results

(Source: Wikipedia)

Fight of the Night: Dennis Siver vs. Charles Rosa
Performance of the Night: Mike Wilkinson and Max Holloway

Main Card

Welterweight: Rick Story def. Gunnar Nelson | Decision (split) | 5 rounds
Featherweight: Max Holloway def. Akira Corassani | KO (punches) | R1 3:11
Light Heavyweight: Jan Błachowicz def. Ilir Latifi | TKO (body kick & punches) | R1 1:58
Featherweight: Mike Wilkinson def. Niklas Bäckström | KO (punches) | R1 1:19

Preliminary Card

Middleweight: Magnus Cedenblad def. Scott Askham | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Welterweight: Nico Musoke def. Alexander Yakovlev | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Featherweight: Dennis Siver def. Charles Rosa | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Welterweight: Cathal Pendred def. Gasan Umalatov | Decision (split) | 3 rounds
Middleweight: Krzysztof Jotko def. Tor Troéng | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: Mairbek Taisumov def. Marcin Bandel | TKO (punches) | R1 1:01
Featherweight: Zubaira Tukhugov def. Ernest Chavez | TKO (punches) | R1 4:21

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