Top MMA News Breaks Down the UFC 161 Canadian Prelims
For the first time in UFC history, the organization will be making their way into Winnipeg, Manitoba for UFC 161 at the MTS Center on June 15th. The preliminary card will include five Canadian fighters, such as long time UFC veteran Sam Stout. There will be four bouts aired live on FX in the US and Sportsnet in Canada. The remaining two bouts will be aired live on Facebook.
Now for the breakdown:
FX & Sportsnets bouts:
Sam Stout (19-8-1) vs. James Krause (19-4)
After knocking out Yves Edwards in spectacular fashion two years ago, London, Ontario native Sam Stout has been inconsistent and is in need of a win streak. He will be taking on James Krause, who many hardcore fans have been awaiting a deserved opportunity inside the Octagon. A veteran of the WEC, Krause will be entering the Octagon on a seven-fight win streak.
Although Krause has not performed particularly well against top competition, his recent streak could be a potential sign of maturity. He will need to maintain his momentum against a veteran like Stout, who will have the Canadian fans behind him. Stout needs to fight smart and avoid making poor decisions that he has been known to make throughout his career that have cost him some decisions.
Krause may be the better-rounded fighter but Stout is definitely the more experienced of the two. This will be his 16th fight for the UFC, which could very well be the difference in this bout. Who knows what Krause will bring in his debut but everybody knows what Stout will bring. He will likely look to mix up some wrestling and boxing as he takes it to the newcomer early en route to a decision victory.
Prediction: Stout via Unanimous Decision
Sean Pierson (13-6) vs. Kenny Robertson (12-2)
An impressive debut had Canadians excited about former Toronto police officer, Sean Pierson. Unfortunately, the UFC may have given him more than he could handle as he dropped his second and third bouts with the organization against top competition. Currently on a two fight win streak, Pierson will look to extend that against Kenny Robertson
Kenny Robertson has struggled in the UFC but avoided being cut with an impressive submission victory over Brock Jardine. Robertson is a well-rounded fighter but needs a signature UFC victory. Pierson has good wrestling but likes to keep the fight standing, using jabs to keep his distance and frustrate his opponents.
If Robertson can close the distance, he can test the chin of Pierson, which has not held up so well in his last few fights. Robertson needs to attack early and often to try to put away Pierson. It should be an interesting bout that can really get both fighters on track to develop a run in the UFC. Pierson should be able to take this but it is tough to believe in his ability to take a shot.
Prediction: Pierson via Unanimous Decision
Roland Delorme (8-1) vs. Edwin Figueroa (9-2)
Few have been as openly excited about fighting in Winnipeg as Roland Delorme. The Winnipeg native has been in a few exciting bouts already and has already proven that he will fight through adversity and give the fans what they want to see. Edwin Figueroa is a bit different and it is complicated to really explain what fans should expect from him.
This will be Figueroa’s fifth bout with the organization and he has shown flashes of great potential. His performance against Michael McDonald was given Fight of the Night for a reason but his next three performances left major questions about his abilities. Delorme will likely try making Figueroa uncomfortable by pushing the pace and trying to get the fight to the ground.
Figueroa will have the striking advantage, especially considering Delorme is not known for his stand up. If he can avoid gassing and keep the fight on the feet, there is a good chance he comes out on top. Delorme will look to get the fight down and get the submission and he is willing to take a few shots to the jaw to do that. Unfortunately for the hometown favourite, he will likely take too many with minimal success in return.
Prediction: Figueroa via TKO Round 3
Mitch Clarke (9-2) vs. John Maguire (18-5)
Grapplers delight. Mitch Clarke and John Maguire are on two fight losing streaks in the UFC and are looking to bounce back. Hailing from nearby Saskatoon, Clarke is beloved by Canadian MMA hardcore fans. He has yet to get a victory in the UFC and it will not be easy against Maguire, who is dropping down from 170 pounds and will have a major size advantage come fight night.
Both Maguire and Clarke are talented grapplers and tend to prefer getting the fight to the ground. Maguire looked good in his first two fights in the UFC before being overpowered in his next two. He will finally know what it is like to be the bigger fighter against Clarke and will likely use that to his advantage as he gets the submission after a few fun exchanges on the ground.
Prediction: Maguire via Armbar Round 2
Yves Jabouin (18-8) vs. Dustin Pague (11-7)
Bantamweight is definitely the perfect home for Yves Jabouin, but his last fight proved that he would likely have to avoid top tier fighters in the 135-pound division. His opponent, Dustin Pague, is hanging by a thread as he is currently 1-3 in the UFC but a win over Jabouin would be the biggest of his career.
Jabouin is a solid striker and will want to keep the fight standing. His quickness and power can dictate the bout as long as it stays on the feet. Pague will likely want to get the fight to the ground, considering he will not be able to keep up with Jabouin on the feet. Pague is not necessarily new to the fight game, but he has not seen the top competition that Jabouin has fought against.
Prediction: Jabouin via TKO Round 2