Canadas Tristan Connelly scores Cinderella win at UFC event in Vancouver – CBC Sports

Canada\s Tristan Connelly scores Cinderella win at UFC event in Vancouver - CBC Sports
Gaethje makes quick work of Cerrone at Vancouvers UFC Fight Night
It didn't take Justin (The Highlight) Gaethje long to take care of business at UFC Fight Night Saturday.

Gaethje, ranked No. 5 in the world, used a thundering right hand to knock Donald (The Cowboy) Cerrone to his knees before stepping in to land blows before the referee stopped the match at 4:18 of the first round of the scheduled five-round lightweight bout.

UFC Vancouver: Justin Gaethje drops, stops Donald Cowboy Cerrone with 1st-round TKO

Cerrone, of Albuquerque, N.M., was hoping to use the fight to re-assert himself as a title threat. He holds the UFC record for wins (23) and finishes 16. His record dropped to 36-13-0.

It also was a Cinderella night for Tristan (Boondock) Connelly. The Vancouver-based fighter who was a late addition to the card, defeated Brazil's Michel (Demolidor) Pereira in a unanimous decision in a welterweight bout.

Connelly, who is originally from Victoria, stepped in just last week after Pereira's original opponent Sergey Khandozhko dropped out due to visa issues. The crowd at Rogers Arena roared their approval when the win over the flashy Pereira was announced.

"I knew I was going to win," said the Victoria native who last competed as a lightweight. "I was expecting more flash from him.

Ever the professional, Gaethje did his grizzly work, nonetheless. From the start, he connected with left hooks and right crosses to the head of Cerrone, as well as rear roundhouse kicks to the lead leg of his friend and opponent.

Video: UFC on ESPN+ 16: Tristan Connelly full post fight interview

"He fought a lot smarter than I thought he would. His jiu jitsu was better than I thought it would be. He wasn't transitioning much. I thought I'd be able to finish him a lot quicker, but he defended well. This is just what happens when you fight a guy in his hometown.

Afterward, Gaethje expressed his displeasure at the referee for allowing Cerrone to take far more punches than he needed to, and a stunned, dazed Cerrone complained about the stoppage being too soon, in his opinion.

Video: UFC on ESPN+ 16: Justin Gaethje full post-fight interview

In another bout with Canadian content light heavyweight Misha Cirkunov used a chock hold to force Australia's Jimmy Crute to tap out just 3:38 into the first round of their match. The No. 15-ranked Cirkunov is from Riga, Latvia, but now fights out of Toronto

In the fight before the main event Glover Teixeira of Brazil won his fourth straight with a split decision in a light heavyweight match against Nikita (The Miner) Krylov of Ukraine. The No. 9-ranked Teixeira improved his record to 30-7-0. Krylov, who had never gone the distance in a fight before, is 26-7-0.

Video: UFC Vancouver: Austin Hubbard Talks Thud Nickname, Body Shot Challenge

"I dedicated my entire summer for this moment, I worked like a dog," said Cirkunov who improved to 15-5-0.

Video: UFC Vancouver: Austin Hubbard Talks Thud Nickname, Body Shot Challenge

Justin Gaethje deserves his shot at UFC gold, but the world needs Khabib vs Ferguson first

"I know I have a bright future in UFC, I know it's just a matter of time until I'm in the top 5. Taking out someone like Crute is proof to myself and UFC fans to not count me out."

In another bout with Canadian content light heavyweight Misha Cirkunov used a chock hold to force Australia’s Jimmy Crute to tap out just 3:38 into the first round of their match. The No. 15-ranked Cirkunov is from Riga, Latvia, but now fights out of Toronto

Cole (The Cole Train) Smith of Squamish, B.C., suffered his first loss in split decision against Miles (Chapo) Jones of Dallas in a battle of undefeated bantamweights. There were chanted of "Cole Train" from the crowd but it wasn't enough as Johns improved to 9-0-0 while Smith dropped to 7-1-0.

In another unanimous decision, Winnipeg’s Brad (Superman) Katona lost to Hunter Azure of Phoenix in a bantamweight match. Katona, The Ultimate Fighter season 27 winner who finished the fight with a bloody face, is 9-2-0. Azure remains undefeated at 7-0-1.

Austin (Thud) Hubbard of Denver, Colo., won the night's opening lightweight bout in a unanimous decision over Kyle (Killshot) Prepolec of Windsor, Ont. Hubbard improved to 11-3-0 when all three judges scored the fight 29-28. Prepolec's record dropped to 12-7-0

It took Brazil’s Augusto Sakai just 59 seconds to drop Marcin Tybura of Poland in a flurries of punches to win their heavyweight battle with a knockout. Sakai, ranked No. 15, saw his record improve to 14-1-0. Tybura, ranked No. 14, is 17-6-0.

In another unanimous decision, Winnipeg's Brad (Superman) Katona lost to Hunter Azure of Phoenix in a bantamweight match. Katona, The Ultimate Fighter season 27 winner who finished the fight with a bloody face, dropped to 9-2-0. Judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.

Uriah (Prime Time) Hall of Kingston, Jamaica, earned a split decision over Anton (Cara De Sapato) Carlos Junior of Rio de Janeiro, in a middleweight fight. Hall, ranked No. 12, has a 16-9-0 record while No. 13 Carlos Junior is 11-4.

UFC Vancouver results: Tristan Connelly pulls off stunning upset with unanimous decision over Michel Pereira

In the fight before the main event Glover Teixeira of Brazil won his fourth straight match with a split decision in a light heavyweight match against Nikita (The Miner) Krylov of Ukraine. The No. 9-ranked Teixeira improved his record to 30-7-0. Krylow, who had never gone the distance in a fight before, is 26-7-0.

In other fights, Louis (Da Last Samurai) Smolka of Kapolei, Hawaii, improved to 16-6 with a TKO victory against Ryan (Main Event) MacDonald (10-2-0) of North Platte, Neb., in a bantamweight bout. Smolka won the fight with a vicious left hook that dropped MacDonald at 4:43 of the first round.

In other fights, Louis (Da Last Samurai) Smolka of Kapolei, Hawaii, improved to 16-6 with a TKO victory against Ryan (Main Event) MacDonald (10-2-0) of North Platte, Neb., in a bantamweight bout. Smolka won the fight with a vicious left hook that dropped MacDonald at 4:43 of the first round.

"I hit that left hook and it felt like it went right through his head," said Smolka. "It felt amazing."

Chas (The Scrapper) Skelly of Arlington, Tex., improved his record to 18-3-0 with a unanimous decision over Jordan (Native Psycho) Griffin of Milwaukee in a featherweight fight. Griffin dropped to 17-7-0.

In another unanimous decision, Winnipegs Brad (Superman) Katona lost to Hunter Azure of Phoenix in a bantamweight match. Katona, The Ultimate Fighter season 27 winner who finished the fight with a bloody face, is 9-2-0. Azure remains undefeated at 7-0-1.

It took Brazil's Augusto Sakai just 59 seconds to drop Marcin Tybura of Poland in a flurries of punches to win their heavyweight battle with a knockout. Sakai, ranked No. 15, saw his record improve to 14-1-0. Tybura, ranked No. 14, is 17-6-0.

It took Brazils Augusto Sakai just 59 seconds to drop Marcin Tybura of Poland in a flurries of punches to win their heavyweight battle with a knockout. Sakai, ranked No. 15, saw his record improve to 14-1-0. Tybura, ranked No. 14, is 17-6-0.

Check Out Last-Minute Betting Odds For UFC Vancouver

Uriah (Prime Time) Hall of Kingston, Jamaica, earned a split decision over Anton (Cara De Sapato) Carlos Junior of Rio de Janeiro, in a middleweight fight. Hall, ranked No. 12, has a 16-9-0 record while No. 13 Carlos Junior is 11-4.

How To Watch UFC Fight Night 158: Cerrone Vs. Gaethje

A heavyweight bout between Todd Duffee and Jeff (Lights Out) Hughes was ruled a no contest. A doctor stopped the fight early in the first round after Duffee was poked in the eye.

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Cerrone will be looking to rebound from a recent second-round TKO loss to Tony Ferguson as a +185 underdog at UFC 238, ending a three-fight win streak. It was his first loss in three outings since returning to the UFC lightweight division going into Saturday nights match at Rogers Arena.

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Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone clashes with fellow lightweight Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje in the main event at UFC Fight Night.

10h ago Gaethje makes quick work of Cerrone at Vancouvers UFC Fight Night It didnt take Justin (The Highlight) Gaethje long to take care of business at UFC Fight Night Saturday. Gaethje, ranked No. 5 in the world, used a thundering right hand to knock Donald (The Cowboy) Cerrone to his knees before stepping in to land blows before the referee stopped the match at 4:18 of the first round of the scheduled five-round lightweight bout. The Canadian Press

UFC action returns to Vancouver for the first time in over three years this weekend, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday at Rogers Arena.

VANCOUVER — Winning so quickly, and decisively, was a surprise for Justin (The Highlight) Gaethje Saturday night.

VANCOUVER — While the Canucks are at training camp in Victoria, their home rink is being turned into a battleground.

UFC Vancouver: Gaethje vs. Cerrone Live Results & Highlights

Gaethje used a thundering right hand to knock Donald (The Cowboy) Cerrone to his knees, then landed a flurry of punches to force the referee to stop their match at 4:18 of the first round at UFC Fight Night.

Im always surprised, said Gaethje, ranked No. 5 in the world. I go in there and Im not sure Im good enough.

Gaethje said after beating Cerrone that he wants the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson next. However, that could mean Gaethje is waiting a long while to fight as the UFC hasn’t even booked that fight yet. Gaethje did not say he was interested in fighting Conor McGregor, despite that being a fight that fans want to see.

Its in the back of my head, are you good enough, do you belong here? You can pump yourself up with false confidence but that gets you no where.

Poirier and Gaethje’s first fight was an incredible matchup that won “Fight of the Night” and a rematch would certainly be just as exciting. If a rematch were to happen, Poirier has one request: that the fight happens in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana this time around. Here’s what Poirier said on Twitter.

Donald Cerrone vs Justin Gaethje full fight video preview for UFC Vancouver main event

The Vancouver-based fighter, who was a late addition to the card, lived a Cinderella moment by defeating Brazils Michel (Demolidor) Pereira in a unanimous welterweight decision.

However, he may be interested in a rematch with Poirier. Not only would Gaethje get a chance to avenge his loss, but he would also get a chance to fight a higher-ranked opponent, stay busy, and get one step closer to a title fight. However, it seems like Gaethje’s focus right now is on securing a title shot at 155lbs.

I feel like things are going to be a little bit different starting tomorrow, said Connelly, who earned US$100,000 in bonuses for the victory.

We could potentially see a rematch between two of the best lightweights in the world. Following his TKO win over Donald Cerrone at UFC Vancouver on Saturday night, Dustin Poirier said that he would be open to a rematch with Justin Gaethje.

Connelly, who is originally from Victoria, didnt learn until Monday night he would be fighting Pereira after the original opponent Sergey Khandozhko dropped out due to visa issues.

Video: UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs Gaethje official early weigh ins live stream

Im a fighter, said Connelly, who was making his UFC debut. If doing backflips was what I believe was important in fighting, I would be great at backflips. I cant do one to save my life.

Rather than remain in this advantageous position, Pereira opted to jump up and backflipped onto his foe in a crazy move that expended a lot of energy and seemingly did little damage.

I practise punching people, chocking people and kicking people. Thats what seems to work in most of the fights I watch.

It didn’t work out well for the UFC prospect in the long run either, as the bout went the distance and he ended up losing by decison: 29-28, 29-27, 29-27.

VIDEO: Michel Pereira Does Backflip and Parkour in Octagon at UFC Vancouver for Absolutely No Reason

Connelly was fuelled by the energy from the crowd of 15,114 at Rogers Arena who were vocal in their support.

We're not worthy of Michel Pereira! He's just out here living his best life and doing mad moves inside the Octagon 😂 pic.twitter.com/tQO4ILCVMZ

Unreal, said Connelly, who improved his record to 14-6-0. Walking out, seeing all the people, I saw faces I knew. It was really something special.

In the buildup to the event, the Gaethje-Cerrone match was billed as a possible candidate for fight of the year. It took Gaethje less than a round to end Cerrones night.

UFC on ESPN+ 16 Report: Gaethje Wins

I have really grown to trust my instincts, said the Arvada, Colo., resident who improved his record to 21-2-0 with his 18th knockout.

Its a far cry from the time when Conor McGregor held the lightweight belt, when the title – and the division – was put on hold as he chased other challenges, namely welterweight bouts with Nate Diaz and a megabucks boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. It earned McGregor a truckload of cash, but left one of the most talented divisions in the UFC without an active champion.

Cerrone, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was hoping to use the fight to re-assert himself as a title threat. He holds the UFC record for wins (23) and finishes 16.

And thanks to Gaethjes resounding win on Saturday night, the UFC now has the next man in line. Hes a guaranteed show-stealer, hes one of the most exciting men to ever pull on a set of four-ounce gloves, and hes got his sights on the winner of Khabib vs Ferguson. Whichever man wins that fight, theyre in for another cracking matchup when they face Gaethje.

Justin is a stud, said Cerrone, who spoke to reporters wearing a cowboy hat and holding his infant son. I figured he was little more aggressive. Hes going to do great things.

In another bout with Canadian content light heavyweight Misha Cirkunov used a chock hold to force Australias Jimmy Crute to tap out just 3:38 into the first round of their match. The No. 15-ranked Cirkunov is from Riga, Latvia, but now fights out of Toronto

Following those losses to Alvarez and Poirier, Gaethje has rebounded spectacularly, with Saturday nights finish of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone completing a hat-trick of successive first-round TKO finishes, joining his stoppage wins over James Vick and Edson Barboza to build an excellent case for a shot at the gold.

I dedicated my entire summer for this moment, I worked like a dog, said Cirkunov who improved to 15-5-0.

But while Gaethjes ultimate aim is to one day hold the UFC lightweight title, even he recognizes that before he can challenge for the strap theres some significant unfinished business that needs to be attended to first, namely the oft-booked, but yet-to-be-completed, matchup between Khabib and Ferguson.

Cole (The Cole Train) Smith of Squamish, B.C., suffered his first loss in eight fights with a split decision against Miles (Chapo) Johns of Dallas in a battle of undefeated bantamweights. Johns improved to 9-0-0.

Now, with Khabib returning from suspension to defeat Poirier, the UFC has a champion who is in a position to fight and defend his belt. And in Ferguson they have a consensus number-one contender and former interim champion who, in a fair and just world, should have faced Khabib already.

Austin (Thud) Hubbard of Denver, Colo., won the nights opening lightweight bout in a unanimous decision over Kyle (Killshot) Prepolec of Windsor, Ont. Hubbard improved to 11-3-0. Prepolecs record is 12-7-0

Justin Gaethje Finished Donald Cerrone In First Round Of UFC Fight Night 158

In another unanimous decision, Winnipegs Brad (Superman) Katona lost to Hunter Azure of Phoenix in a bantamweight match. Katona, The Ultimate Fighter season 27 winner who finished the fight with a bloody face, is 9-2-0. Azure remains undefeated at 7-0-1.

In the fight before the main event Glover Teixeira of Brazil won his fourth straight with a split decision in a light heavyweight match against Nikita (The Miner) Krylov of Ukraine. The No. 9-ranked Teixeira improved his record to 30-7-0. Krylov, who had never gone the distance in a fight before, is 26-7-0.

Uriah Hall is going to feel bad when he punches Antonio Carlos Junior in the face tonight

In other fights, Louis (Da Last Samurai) Smolka of Kapolei, Hawaii, improved to 16-6 with a TKO victory against Ryan (Main Event) MacDonald (10-2-0) of North Platte, Neb., in a bantamweight bout. Smolka won the fight with a vicious left hook that dropped MacDonald at 4:43 of the first round.

Chas (The Scrapper) Skelly of Arlington, Tex., improved his record to 18-3-0 with a unanimous decision over Jordan (Native Psycho) Griffin of Milwaukee in a featherweight fight. Griffin dropped to 17-7-0.

It took Brazils Augusto Sakai just 59 seconds to drop Marcin Tybura of Poland in a flurries of punches to win their heavyweight battle with a knockout. Sakai, ranked No. 15, saw his record improve to 14-1-0. Tybura, ranked No. 14, is 17-6-0.

UFC on ESPN+ 16 live results: Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje

Uriah (Prime Time) Hall of Kingston, Jamaica, earned a split decision over Anton (Cara De Sapato) Carlos Junior of Rio de Janeiro, in a middleweight fight. Hall, ranked No. 12, has a 16-9-0 record while No. 13 Carlos Junior is 11-4.

A heavyweight bout between Todd Duffee and Jeff (Lights Out) Hughes was ruled a no contest. A doctor stopped the fight early in the first round after Duffee was poked in the eye.