The biggest name in combat sports is set to make history in Saskatchewan tonight as the Ultimate Fighting Championship debuts at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
It’s the first time the promotion has crossed into Saskatchewan since the government set up a provincial athletics commission earlier this year. Recognizing the Canuck fan-base, the UFC brought a star-studded crop of Canadian UFC talent, with seven fighters in total competing Sunday.
Headlining the under card is London, Ont., Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout, who told reporters during fight week he’s hungry to get back into the win column after dropping two of his last fights. Stout is set to face newcomer Frankie Perez who lost his only appearance in the octagon. The first preliminary fight is set to go at 4 p.m. and features six fights, four which include Canadians.
The main card opens with a women’s strawweight (115 pounds) bout between Montreal, Que., Valerie Letourneau and 6-0 Ukrainian Maryna Moroz. Undefeated Canadian lightweight, Chad Laprise looks to keep a clean record facing off against experienced Brazilian Francisco Trinaldo who comes into Sunday’s fight with a three-fight win streak.
The final three fights all come with their own storylines.
Coming in with fresh legs Rimouski, Que., Patrick “The Predator” Cote wants to keep up his near-perfect record (16-1) on home soil when he touches gloves with UFC veteran and grinder Josh Burkman.
In the co-main event, Brazilian Erick Silva seeks to continue his rise to UFC welterweight (170 pounds) supremacy, riding a two-fight win streak while holding six performance-of-the-night bonuses. Standing in Silva’s way is young-gun Neil Magny, who was added to the card just two weeks before the event to cover for an injured Rick Story. Holding a 15-5 record, Magny’s last fight was Aug. 1, 2015 when he tapped out to Damien Maia for the submission of the night.
Two top-ranked featherweights Max Holloway (#5) and Charles Oliveira (#7) close out the event, with potential title-implications. Both warriors enter the octagon holding multiple-fight win streaks; five for Holloway and four for Oliveira. Both fighters hold opposite fighting styles with Holloway coming from a primarily kick-boxing and striking background, while the Brazilian Oliveira is known more for his ju-jitsu and submission game. Oliveira is tied with the third-most submission wins among active UFC fighters with seven.
The live broadcast of UFC Fight Night Saskatoon begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are still available online at Ticketmaster.