Holloway takes interim featherweight title
Max Holloway scored a knockout over Anthony Pettis 4:50 into the third round for the interim featherweight championship in the co-main event at UFC 206 on Saturday night.
It was the first time a UFC belt was on the line for just one fighter. It became an interim featherweight title bout for Holloway when Pettis failed to make weight on Friday, coming in 3 pounds over the 145-pound limit. Pettis was fined 20 percent of his purse as a result. During his post-fight interview in the octagon, Pettis said he broke his right hand with his first punch in the first round.
Earlier, Cub Swanson won a unanimous decision over Dooho Choi (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) in an entertaining featherweight bout. Emil Meek got the main card started by defeating Lethbridge, Alberta, native Jordan Mein by unanimous decision (2928) in his UFC debut. Toronto’s Misha Cirkunov forced Nikita Krylov to tap out at 4:38 of the first round with a guillotine choke. Cirkunov improved to 4-0 in UFC and moved into the top 10 at the light heavyweight level.
“I definitely belong in the top 10,” Cirkunov said. “I’m on an eight-fight win streak since I dropped my coach. I’d like to fight Mauricio Shogun Rua. If I fight a big name like that, more than just Toronto will see my potential. The whole world will see my potential.” Olivier “The Quebec Kid” Aubin-Mercier was the first Canadian to emerge victorious, defeating Drew Dober in a lightweight bout. The Montreal native forced Dober into submission with rearnaked choke, causing the referee to stop the fight at 2:57 of the second round.
“I’m still at the point where I can improve,” Aubin-Mercier said. “(Dober) was a really tough opponent, my toughest opponent so far, so I got a little emotional after the win.” In her UFC debut, Viviane Pereira beat Valerie “Trouble” Letourneau of Montreal by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) in the lone women’s strawweight bout on the card. Letourneau, who fell to 3-3 in UFC, was initially supposed to fight Poliana Botelho, but Botelho was dropped from the card in October.
Rustam Khabilov beat Bolton, Ontario, native Jason Saggo by unanimous decision, 30-27, in the first of two lightweight bouts on the evening. John “The Bull” Makdessi didn’t fare much better in the
second lightweight bout. Makdessi, of Montreal, was knocked out by a spinning heel kick to the chin from Lando Vannata. In a bantamweight bout, Mitch Gagnon of Sudbury, Ontario, fell to Matthew Lopez in a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27).