With the main event featuring three former champions, UFC Calgary (or UFC on FOX 30) is looking to redeem itself from an event held here (UFC 149) in 2012, in which Dana White called the card “Embarrassing”. With a few really good storylines going into this event, the likes of Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s first non-title fight since 2014 and the rematch between Alvarez and Poirier, which ended as a no contest by illegal knees, the UFC matchmakers believe this will more than make up for that terrible event. Coming on the heels of a fight card that saw ten of the scheduled thirteen fights end by way of decision, we have a main card that can produce four stoppages and a fight of the night contender. Let’s break them down.
Alexander “The Great” Hernandez (9-1) vs. Olivier “The Canadian Gangster” Aubin-Mercier (11-2)
Moose’s Must-watch Matchup
A submission specialist, the Canadian Gangster will look to add to his eight submission wins with a victory over rising star, Alexander Hernandez. Alexander the Great will look to build off of his impressive UFC debut, a fight lasting 42 seconds before knocking out Beneil Dariush, with another dominant performance against the talented UFC vet. Interestingly, neither fighter has been finished, but both are proficient finishers. Olivier has nine finishes (One KO, eight Sub) with two decisions, and Hernandez has six finishes (four KO, two Sub) with three decisions. Hernandez is not helpless on the ground, as seen by his submission victories and BJJ brown belt, but if the Canadian Gangster can get through the striking and get Alexander to the mat, I believe the advantage favors the Canadian.
PREDICTION: Olivier Aubin-Mercier- Sub (RND 2)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-2) vs. Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (10-2)
Since March 14th, 2015 Joanna Jedrzejczyk (JJ) has not fought in a fight that did not include the women’s flyweight title. On that day in March, JJ won the flyweight belt and was able to defend it five consecutive times before eventually losing it to Rose Namajunas, also losing the rematch. Therefore, this fight will involve a few “firsts” for JJ, first losing streak in her career, first non-title fight since 2014, first time facing the Tiny Tornado Torres. Tecia Torres is also coming off of a loss in her last bout against Jessica Andrade. Both of these ladies are grinders, with a combined 18 wins by decision, JJ being slightly more diverse in her means of finishing a fight with four KO and one Sub. With both fighters coming off of losses and trying not to lose their shot at the title, I would fully expect an absolute war, and if it makes it to the judge’s scorecards (I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t) fight fans will be in for a treat for the entirety of the 15 minutes!
PREDICTION: Joanna Jedrzejczyk- TKO (RND 2)
Jose “Scarface” Aldo (26-4) vs. Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens (28-14)
In a strikingly similar storyline to Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s, former champion Jose Aldo will enter this contest riding a two-fight losing streak, losing his belt in the process, and has not fought in a non-title fight since 2009! Aldo faces a surging Jeremy Stephens, who has brought home two fight of the night wins along with a performance of the night win, in his last three fights. Lil’ Heathen has ended 18 of his opponents by KO and is coming off of two impressive KO wins, whereas Aldo is coming into this fight losing three of his last four fights by way of KO. I am unsure if that is the strength and caliber of opponent Aldo has faced (Holloway x2, McGregor) or a sign that Aldo’s chin is fading, but either way, Aldo is a top-notch fighter. Stephens has never been able to secure four consecutive wins in the UFC and has a chance to do that against a very respectable fighter, and I think he will be able to pull it off.
PREDICTION: Jeremy Stephens- TKO (RND 3)
Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez (29-5) vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (23-5)
The rematch fight fans have been waiting for is finally here! The last time these gentlemen fought, it was stopped due to illegal knees by Alvarez to a downed Poirier. Since then Poirier has gone on to defeat Anthony Pettis and, most recently, Justin Gaethje, both by TKO. Alvarez also won against Justin Gaethje in his last fight by way of KO. These warriors are high output strikers, Poirier lands a ridiculous 5.57 strikes per minute, but Alvarez is right the with him landing 4.44 strikes per minute. This striking and breakneck pace will no doubt be on full display once the referee starts the fight! Don’t blink, this fight can be over in a few seconds for either fighter, but most fight fans want to see the war these two can bring!