UFC 124 Gets More Canadian Content with the Addition of J-Mac and El Dirte
With the UFC set to hold their fifth event in Canada and fourth at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has added two more Canadian MMA veterans to the lineup that already includes Georges St. Pierre, Mark Bocek and recently announced T.J. Grant. Jason MacDonald and Joe Doerksen will join their fellow countrymen and both will look to get back in the win column in front of the home crowd.
Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald is looking to rebound from a horrific leg injury he suffered in his last fight against John Salter. After a head kick that landed from MacDonald prompted Salter to look for the takedown, MacDonald’s leg got caught underneath him and snapped like a twig causing a broken tibia, fibula and a dislocated ankle.
MacDonald who’s record in the UFC stands at 5-6 has fought in all three previous UFC events in Montreal. MacDonald will take on Brazilian Rafael Natal, a BJJ Black Belt under Vinicius Magalhães. Natal fell to TUF alum Rich Attonito via unanimous decision in his UFC debut at Ultimate Fight Night 22. MacDonald is no slouch on the ground himself with 18 of his 24 victories coming by way of submission.
Also added to the lineup is a middleweight contest featuring one of the most active fighters in Canada, Joe “El Dirte” Doerksen. The Manitoba product is a Top 3 Canadian Middleweight. Doerksen will look to get back on the winning track after being submitted by Ultimate Fighter 7 runner up C.B. Dollaway at UFC 119. The loss was Doerksen’s first in two years after a 7 fight win streak.
Doerksen’s opponent in his 60th career fight will be Dan Miller who’s sporting a 4-3 record in the UFC, however don’t let the record fool you as Miller’s three losses have all been to top contenders in the UFC middleweight division in Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia and Michael Bisping. Doerksen will try to prevent Miller from beginning another win streak at his expense with Miller coming off a guillotine victory over John Salter at UFC 118.
UFC 124 will also feature a Welterweight Title Fight rematch between Ultimate Fighter 12 coaches George St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck, St. Pierre has won 7 in a row previously and began the streak with a Unanimous Decision victory over Koscheck at UFC 74. Since that bout Koscheck has rattled of a 6-2 record including 3 straight wins including a victory over Paul Daley which earned him the right to coach against GSP on TUF 12 and the shot at the title.
Also on tap is a Welterweight contest between TJ Grant and Ricardo Almeida. Grant is coming off a Unanimous Decision win over Julio Paulino at UFC 119 will attempt to put together his first two fight win streak inside the Octagon after alternating wins and losses in his first five UFC bouts. Almeida is coming off a submission loss to one of the best Welterweights of all time, Matt Hughes at UFC 117.
Finally a Lightweight battle between Mark Bocek and Dustin Hazelett who both need a win to get back into the title hunt and keep their jobs in the organization. Bocek is coming off a loss to streaking Lightweight contender Jim Miller and Hazelett has faltered in his last two contests to Welterweight fighters Paul Daley and Rick Story respectively.
Fans all over Canada will have someone to cheer for as Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia will be represented and there may be more to come with a few spots remaining on the card. The Canadian fighters will look to improve on their previous performances inside the octagon on Canadian soil. Canada went 4-4 at UFC 83, 5-2 at UFC 97, 1-6 at UFC 113 and 1-2 at UFC 115.