UFC 186 Preview

ufc_1862014 was a rough year for UFC fans in two of the country’s biggest UFC hotbeds as they went the entire year without a fight.

Only a few years after the UFC set out plans to regularly travel to Montreal and Toronto every year the UFC pulled both of the fights that were to take place in those cities.

The Toronto fight was moved to Las Vegas after the schedule worked out to be a rematch of Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones, a fight card that was ravaged by injuries including one that changed the main event.

The Montreal fight was to take place in December but scheduling could not be figured out with Bell Centre and the trip to Montreal never happened.

It wasn’t that Canadians got completely blanked as the UFC travelled to Vancouver, Quebec City, and Halifax last year, but two of the biggest areas for the UFC never got a fight.

There is no fight scheduled or expected for Toronto in 2015 but for Montreal the reaction has been a quick one.

The UFC will return to Montreal this weekend with UFC 186 in a card that was originally going to make a big impact.

Unfortunately for fans that have been waiting over a year for a fight to return to the city that card has been destroyed by injuries.

Originally the plan was to make a triumphant return to the place where the UFC planted their flag in Canada.

It was the first ever Canadian city to host a UFC event and has always been a place where the UFC has been widely accepted and the UFC wanted to return with a big card.

That was the case when they announced that the Dillashaw-Barao rematch was going to take place along with a second title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Kyoji Horiguchi.

Along with these two title fights a title contender fight between Hector Lombard and Canadian Rory MacDonald was planned.

The card was a major one with fights that were set to change the face of plenty of weight classes.

Then a number of major issues arose that changed the face of the card as three fights were taken off over the last few months.

First was the Dillashaw-Barao rematch that was cancelled and moved to July when Dillashaw fractured a rib in training.

Then Rory MacDonald was removed from the card for an opportunity to fight Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title also in July, albeit on a different card.

The changes were not finished there though as the card was also supposed to involve the return of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to the UFC.

Then a contract dispute with Bellator got in the way as the rival promotion filed an injunction that would prevent Jackson from fighting in any other promotion.

That injunction was approved by a judge and Jackson was removed from the card. That was until this week, when another judge overturned the ruling allowing Jackson to fight on the card.

Originally scheduled as a light heavyweight fight Jackson’s return will be a catchweight fight but more importantly that fight is happening.

After all of the changes to the card some good news has given a boost for the return to Montreal as one of the most popular fighters in UFC history returns to the octagon.

It is a big fight for the Montreal fans but even bigger for Jackson who left the UFC after three straight losses and signed a new deal with Bellator.

That relationship was not a great one for Rampage as the contract including fights along with movie and TV deals and many of those promises were not kept.

So Rampage decided to leave the promotion and return to the UFC while Bellator attempted to block him from fighting.

With all of that resolved Jackson gets back to fighting and will take on Fabio Maldonado in his return to the octagon.

Both fighters have plenty of work to do if they want to make any impact on the light heavyweight division as neither have done much.

For Rampage it is starting brand new after winning every fight he had in Bellator while for Maldonado has own only one fight heading into UFC 186 and is currently ranked #12 in the division.

With two fighters looking to prove something there is sure to be some fireworks and a loud crowd that will welcome Rampage back to the UFC.

All of the changes to the card have changed the face of the night but one fight has remained as the title fight between Johnson and Horiguchi.

It will feature the man who is one of the most dominant fighter in the UFC right now against one of the most powerful fighter in the flyweight division.

Johnson has been the only flyweight champion in the UFC and so far there have not been many fighters that have challenged him in the octagon.

He is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC and there are few fighters that can keep up with his speed.

With his ability to wrestle and strike while moving around the octagon at the fastest speed of anyone in the UFC, Johnson is a tough fighter to beat.

In the last three years nobody has been able to beat him and he only gets better with every fight.

Hi opponent, Horiguchi is a typical flyweight in the fact that he has the speed that most do but he is different in the fact that he is one of the few flyweights that can knock people out.

Despite the fact that they were to be the co-main event they now take on the main event title and get to highlight the lighter weight classes once again.

The fight itself might not be exactly what fans want as Horiguchi has power but will find it tough to land on Johnson as he moves around the octagon.

On the other hand Johnson is a very technical fighter who can impose his will in the octagon while avoiding the best of his opponent.

He will do the same in this fight as he takes the unanimous decision win and remains a dominant champion.

As for the fans in Montreal they get a card full of Canadian fighters, the return of a crowd favourite, and a title fight. All in all not a bad way to return to the original Canadian stop on the UFC calendar.


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