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MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 9 event, and you can join us for live play-by-play and official results beginning at 5:15 p.m. ET (2:15 p.m. PT).
The event takes place at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The event streams on ESPN+.
Former lightweight title challengers Al Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Donald Cerrone (35-11 MMA, 22-8 UFC) meet in the main event. Derek Brunson (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) takes on Elias Theodorou (15-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in the middleweight co-feature.
Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results beginning at approximately 5:15 p.m. ET for the ESPN+ prelims and 8 p.m. ET for the main card on ESPN+.
To discuss the show, be sure to check out our UFC on ESPN+ 5 discussion thread. You can also get behind-the-scenes coverage and other event notes from on-site reporter Mike Bohn (@mikebohnmma) on Twitter.
Enjoy the fights, everyone.
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Brad Katona vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Round 1 – Katona light on his feet in the center. Dvalishvili teases a few teases a few charges but stays patient for now. Dvalishvili with a stiff low kick. He fires a leaping knee that comes up a little short. Katona misses a left hand but follows up and scores with a right before kicking the leg. Big punches traded. Both men looking explosive to start. Dvalishvili with a right hand, but Katona takes it and answers back with a counter. Dvalishvili continues to find the mark with big punches. He changes levels and scores a takedown but then backs away as Katona scrambles underneath. On the restart, Katona shoots inside. Dvalishvili defends against the fence. He lands a little knee inside. Dvalishvili defending well. He switches off the cage. Dvalishvili hooks the leg and it takes some work, but he’s able to score with the trip. Short punches exchanged on the floor. Katona able to work from guard, but he finishes on his back with Dvalishvili pounding away. MMA Junkie gives the first to Dvalishvili, 10-9.
Round 2 –
Records: Merab Dvalishvili (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC), Brad Katona (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Mitch Gagnon vs. Cole Smith
Round 1 – Touch of gloves starts the night. Gagnon takes the center. He slips under an early punch and drives Smith to the cage. Smith defends well against the fence and grabs a kimura grip. Gagnon working to keep his arm tucked. He’s trying to circle around to the back as he continues to defend the potential submission attempt. Smith eventually has to let go but he does prevent the pass to the back. Gagnon shoots again, but Smith defends it and then returns the favor, pressing the action to the fence before pulling him down to the floor. Gagnon quickly back on his feet, but he’s still defending against the fence. Smith with his head inside, and Gagnon tries to grab the neck. Smith has to abandon the attempt and pull away, and they reset in the center. Smith kicks the legs a bit. The taller man using his range. One minute remains, and Smith’s corner yelling at him to keep the range. Gagnon able to work inside, but Smith again drives him to the cage and looks to control. They trade and elbows and knees at the end. MMA Junkie gives the first to Smith, 10-9.
Round 2 – Gagnon trying to push the pace to start. Smith retreating and looking to keep his range. Kicks from Smith landing to the body and legs. Smith using front kicks to target the body, and he’s having success. The repeated kicks also keeping his opponent at range. Gagnon trying to walk forward and strike, and he’s able to again work into the clinch. Smith battles out and then slides around to the back, dragging his opponent to the floor and immediately locking in a body triangle. Two minutes remains, and Gagnon is defending. Smith squeezes with the right arm on the chin, but he can’t get the choke fully in place. Smith switches arm and cranks the neck, but Gagnon is able to battle through it. He works to escape, and Smith has to adjust to stay on the back. Scramble in the final seconds, and Smith tries to move to mount, but Gagnon is able to sweep. Too late to do anything with it. MMA Junkie gives it again to Smith, 10-9.
Round 3 – Gagnon works out quickly again, and he tries to punch his way into a takedown. Smith able to move away with relative ease. Gagnon presses to strike, and he lands a huge left hand. Smith is wobbled. Gagnon sees it and rushes forward. The action goes to the floor, and Gagnon moves to the armbar. Smith able to scramble free despite being dazed. Gagnon still going full speed and locks in a guillotine and falls to guard. Smith in trouble. He tries to slam out of it, but he can’t. He frantically works through the guillotine and pops his head free. Gagnon tries to get the arm once again, but Smith is able to pull it free. Unbelievable sequence of events, but Smith is now free and slips around to the back. Gagnon on his knees, and Smith has the left arm under the neck. No room to work in the choke, but Gagnon is now exhausted. Smith’s corner calling for him to strike. He’s tired, too. Gagnon tries to scramble, and Smith slips to the back. He’s got the rear-naked choke in tight, but Gagnon refuses to give up. His mouthpiece comes out, but he survives the hold. Unbelievable. Smith working for the choke, but he runs out of time. Crazy finish. MMA Junkie gives the final round to Gagnon, 10-9, but awards the fight to Smith, 29-28.
Result: Cole Smith def. Mitch Gagnon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Photos: Cole Smith vs. Mitch Gagnon photos
Records: Mitch Gagnon (12-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC), Cole Smith (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Judging: Patricia Vandermeer (29-28, giving Smith rounds 1 and 2), Jason Rodgers (29-28, giving Smith rounds 1 and 2), Dave Tirelli (30-27)
Arjan Bhullar vs. Juan Adams
Round 1 – Bhullar looking to move forward from the start, but Adams able to slips away and fire a few punches inside. Adams trying to keep distance, and he laces out a few stiff jabs. Adams swarming with punches, and Bhullar has to slip off the fence and back to the center. Bhullar lands a crisp jab. Another left hand lands, but Adams now closes range and clinches. Bhullar pulls away and lands another left. Clinch again, but Bhullar with a nice uppercut before pulling away. Adams certainly has the power advantage, but he’s struggling to track Bhullar down at the moment. Bhullar trying to be a moving target. He lands another jab. Adams finally able to press Bhullar to the cage and lands a nice knee, but Bhullar able to move off the fence. Adams trying to pace himself, but the pace seems to be wearing on him. Bhullar locks the body, but he runs out of time before the bell. MMA Junkie gives the first to Bhullar, 10-9.
Round 2 – Adams comes out throwing at full force, but Bhullar survives the bullrush. They clinch, and Bhullar lands a few uppercuts inside. He changes levels and gets deep on a single, and he spins a bit to get his opponent off-balance and to the floor. Adams in half-guard and looking to rise, but Bhullar counters well and presses him back to the floor. Big strike from Bhullar knocks his opponent’s mouthpiece out. Bhullar seems content to stay in half-guard, and Adams is able to buck and roll and get back to the feet. Quick timeout to replace the mouthpiece. Adams presses to the clinch on the restart. Bhullar able to slip off the fence, and he’s got double underhooks. Adams able to recover and push away. Adams jabs when he has space. He’s lost some zip, but still dangerous. Back to the clinch. Short punches from Bhullar, and Adams loses his mouthpiece again. They round finishes there. MMA Junkie leans again toward Bhullar, 10-9.
Round 3 – Adams comes out very quickly, but that initial rush is survived, and he quickly settles to a more manageable pace. Big punches from Adams, but they don’t seem to be bothering Bhullar. Adams initiates the clinch, but Bhullar is able to press him to the cage. Nothing there, so he backs to the center. Adams again pushing with straight punches and lands a big knee inside, but he turns to the clinch. Again nothing there. Adams having some success at range. Not a ton of zip, but his punches are just naturally heavy. But in the clinch, he’s being outworked, and Bhullar is wisely using uppercuts before moving away. Another big knee from Adams. Less than two minutes. Big uppercut from Adams. Still, Bhullar walks through it. They’re back in the clinch, with Bhullar pressing in from the outside. He changes levels and again gets the takedown. Adams again has half-guard. He’s holding tight underneath. Bhullar trying to work but doesn’t get a ton of damage. Bhullar finishes on top. Close round, but MMA Junkie leans slightly toward Adams, 10-9. Still, Bhullar gets the fight, 29-28. Could be 30-27.
Result: Arjan Bhullar def. Juan Adams via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Photos: Arjan Bhullar vs. Juan Adams photos
Records: Juan Adams (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Arjan Bhullar (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC)
Referee: Yves Lavigne
Judging: Patrick Buckley (29-28, giving Bhullar rounds 2 and 3), David Therien (29-28, giving Bhullar rounds 2 and 3), Dave Tirelli (30-27)
Kyle Nelson vs. Matt Sayles
Round 1 – Sayles with an early low kick, but Nelson jabs over the top. Nelson holding the center and looking to press. Sayles moving well on the outside, and the low kicks are sharp. Sayles moving and kicking the legs before punching to the body. Nelson throwing big strikes in reply, Everything coming with full power, but he has yet to really land clean just yet. Sayles thinks takedown, but it’s not there. Nelson with a big shot over the top. Wild scramble. They reset, and Sayles is able to throw his opponent to the floor. Sayles has the leg trapped as he follows to the canvas, and he starts unleashing punches. Big hammerfists landing. Nelson looking to roll to the leg. He finally kicks out and looks for the kneebar and the toe hold. Sayles thinks of doing the same but elects to instead switch back to the dominant sport. He gets to mount, and Nelson rolls. Sayles on the back. Nelson turns again, and Sayles is in mont. He’s punching away. Nelson moves just enough to stay alive, and he actually scrambles back to his feet at the close. MMA Junkie gives it to Sayles, 10-8.
Round 2 – Nelson again pressing forward, but Sayles moves well on the outside and avoids the rush. Nelson shoots in and gets the takedown, but Sayles quick to rise. Nelson stay with it and tries to grab the neck, but Sayles able to roll through and take the top. Nelson again threatens with the guillotine, and Sayles has to scramble away and reset on the feet. Nelson keeps the pressure high and again looks for the takedown. He pull Sayles to the floor. Sayles tries to turn and rise, but Nelson slips around to his back. He gets the figure-four around the body and begins looking for the choke. Sayles trying to turn inside, but there’s no room. He’s got to defend the choke for now, battling the hands. Nelson gets the left arm under the chin. Sayles pulling the right hand away. Nelson wants the Gable grip, but he just can’t get the squeeze. He gives up and switches arms, but he’s not under the neck. He’s dominant on the floor, but Sayles is able to survive. MMA Junkie gives the second to Nelson, 10-8.
Round 3 – Nelson now presses the pace again, but Sayles defends his takedown and briefly controls the neck before pulling away. Sayles laces out a few straight punches before stuffing another takedown attempt. His corner doesn’t want him to engage on the floor, so he backs away. Nelson gets inside again on a takedown, but Sayles defends well against the fence and is able to so stay upright. Sayles certainly tired, and his strikes have lost some zip. Nelson shoots again, and Sayles again stuffs it, falling immediately to mount. Big moment there, and Sayles quickly sets up the arm-triangle choke. It’s in. He dismounts and squeezes, and this is over.
Result: Matt Sayles def. Kyle Nelson via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:16
Photos: Matt Sayles vs. Kyle Nelson photos
Records: Kyle Nelson (12-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC), Matt Sayles (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Referee: Todd Anderson
Kyle Prepolec vs. Nordine Taleb
Round 1 – Prepolec the smaller man and measuring out the range. He blocks a Taleb high kick. Taleb kicks the legs and then again has a high kick blocked. Prepolec trying to move forward, but he eats a jab. Slapping low kick from Taleb. His kicks are nasty early. Prepolec tries to move inside, but he’s pushed away. Prepolec kicks the legs and then has to slip a big punch over the top. Taleb very relaxed. He lands a right hand. Moderate pace from both men. Taleb doing a good job of controlling range and using both kicks and punches to keep his opponent at range. Prepolec tries to rush in. Taleb moves well. Big right hand lands for Taleb. Leg kicks continue to do damage for Taleb. Big swing and a miss for Prepolec. He’s got to make something happen. He comes up short on a spinning backfist. MMA Junkie gives the first to Taleb, 10-9.
Round 2 – Prepolec a little more aggressive to start the second, but Taleb is so quick in his movements. Prepolec letting his hands go, but Taleb is dealing with it well, staying just out range and countering well. The low kicks continue to do damage for Taleb. He’s incredibly relaxed on the feet. Prepolec’s body reddened. His legs are beat up, as well. Taleb clips him up top, and Prepolec is briefly wobbled, but he’s durable. Prepolec complains of an eyepoke, and he takes only a brief timeout. Prepolec misses on a leaping kick on the restart. Taleb tries to counter and wides up stumbling a bit. He smiles at his mistake and then goes back to absolute precision work with his sharp kicks and straight punches. Prepolec trying to get things going, but he’s just outgunned. Taleb cruising. Round ends, and MMA Junkie gives it to Taleb, 10-9.
Round 3 – Prepolec still spirited to star the third. He’s moving well and looking to mix it up a little. Taleb has just been technically perfect so far. Taleb high kick blocked. Prepolec is in the center, and he’s trying to press the action, but Taleb moving well and avoiding the attacks. Huge leg kick for Taleb. Prepolec has to be hurting, but he’s trying to do anything he can. Taleb chops the leg again, then slips away from the rush. Another high kick blocked. Taleb throwing those at full force. He kicks to the body. Just vicious stuff. Prepolec willing to mix it up, but Taleb just technically sound. Big kick to the body for Taleb. He chops the leg, as well. Prepolec is going to be sore tomorrow. Still, he’s not backing down. Finally, Prepolec almost falls on nasty low kick. Round ends, and it’s all Taleb. MMA Junkie gives him the round, 10-9, and awards him the fight 30-27.
Result: Nordine Taleb def. Kyle Prepolec via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 20-27)
Photos: Nordine Taleb vs. Kyle Prepolec
Records: Kyle Prepolec (12-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Nordine Taleb (15-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC)
Referee: Jerin Valel
Judging: Saleem Haniff (30-27), Jason Rodgers (30-27), Eric Colon (30-27)
Aiemann Zahabi vs. Vince Morales
Round 1 – Zahabi takes the center, and Morales moves laterally on the outside. Leaping kick to the body by Zahabi blocked. He’s patient in the center, trying to pick his shots. Morales moving well and providing much of a target. Both men pumping out their jabs from range. Neither man really controlling the fight just now. Morales’ movement impressive, and it’s making it tough to find him. Zahabi does land with a big kick to the body. Morales with an uppercut and right over the top. Morales firing punches in bunches, but Zahabi covering well and not allowing anything to land too clean. Morales pressing the action now. Zahabi reacting well, but he’s a step behind late in the frame. Round finishes on the feet, and MMA Junkie leans toward Morales, 10-9.
Round 2 – Zahabi ducks down early and thinks takedown, but it’s not there. He throws a high kicks that’s blocked. Morales still sticking with his punching combinations, although he does add a low kick behind it. Both men moving well. Uppercut lands for Morales. Morales starting to find his range a bit more now, but neither man is really in control. Zahabi finally decides to sell out on the takedown, and he grabs the body and brings the action to the canvas. Morales in a seated position, and he’s able to scramble up to his feet. They return to a comfortable routine. Morales does have a small cut over his left eye. Another close round. MMA Junkie leans slightly toward Zahabi, 10-9.
Round 3 – Morales gets to the center. Both men still have plenty of energy. Zahabi lands a spinning backfist. Morales shakes it off. He’s quickly back on the atack and lands a nice uppercut. Two hooks land. Morales trying to pressure. He’s dialed in and happy to box. Zahabi kicks the leg. Back and forth on the feet. Zahabi changes levels, but it’s not there. Two minutes remain. Both men are moving well, but neither really putting a stamp on it right now. Morales the one pushing the pace, though, and his volume is high. Zahabi shoots in gets the fight to the floor, but he can’t keep the action there. Morales immediately back to his feet. He’s pushing forward, and he stuffs another takedown. Fight ends on the feet. MMA Junkie gives the final round to Morales, 10-9, and awards him the fight 29-28.
Result: Vince Morales def. Aiemann Zahabi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Photos: Vince Morales def. Aiemann Zahabi photos
Records: Vince Morales (9-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Aiemann Zahabi (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Judging: Kevin Costello (29-28, giving Morales rounds 2 and 3), Jason Rodgers (29-28, giving Morales rounds 2 and 3), Dave Tirelli (29-28, giving Morales rounds 1 and 3)
Macy Chiasson vs. Sarah Moras
Round 1 – Moras wastes no time in rushing forward and grabbing the body and taking her foe immediately to the floor. Guard underneath for Chiasson. She’s keeping the action tight for now. Moras not really able to posture and strike. Chiasson tries to get the legs up the back, but she’s not able to get any real submission attempt in place. Moras advances on the left side and briefly has room to drive in a few punches and elbows. Chiasson scrambling underneath, but she can’t get back to guard. Moras not doing a ton of damage, but she’s in control. Chiasson finally able to work up to her knees, and she pushes over and is on top. Less than a minute, and Chiasson starts teeing off. She’s landing big punches while she’s on top. Moras trying to recover. She’s taking some big damage. Moras tries to attack the arm, but she runs out of time. MMA Junkie gives the round to Chiasson, 10-9.
Round 2 – Chiasson throws a kick, and Moras is immediately looking for a takedown. Scramble for position, and it’s Chiasson who is able to get top position. Chiasson with punches and elbows from the top. She tries to move out to side control but can’t quite get past the leg. Cross-face for Chiasson. She’s punching and trying to advance to mount. It takes some effort, but she does get all the way to mount, setting up her base and looking to punch away. They’re landing clean, and Moras turns. Punches keep coming, and this fight is over.
Result: Macy Chiasson def. Sarah Moras via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:22
Recap: Macy Chiasson rallies, pounds out Sarah Moras
Photos: Macy Chiasson vs. Sarah Moras photos
Records: Macy Chiasson (5-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Sarah Moras (5-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC)
Division: Women’s bantamweight
Referee: Yves Lavigne
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
Round 1 – Sanchez stays outside early and lands a low kick. Barriault has the center and is studying for now. Sanchez dives from range and is able to get Barriault to a seated position. Sanchez hooks the right leg to keep his opponent on the floor. Barriault has his back against the fence, and Sanchez doing a good job of keeping the legs trapped. Suffocating work. Barriault trying to do anything he can to get free, but Sanchez adjusting well and remaining heavy on top. Halfway mark, and Barriault finally able to crawl up to his feet. They strike inside, and Sanchez finally has to back away. Barriault looking to strike, and he throws out a big left hand. Less than a minute, and Sanchez changes levels and gets another takedown, but this time Barriault is immediately back to his feet. Sanchez content to strike, as well, at least for now. Round ends there, and MMA Junkie gives the first to Sanchez, 10-9.
Round 2 – Barriault wants to stay on his feet, and he stuffs an early takedown attempt from Sanchez. Barriault holding the center and looking to strike, but he’s also a little bit hesitant, knowing he might have to defend a takedown at any moment. Sanchez looks good on his feet, moving well on the outside and throwing straight punches, as well as firing a few kicks to the body. Barriault catches a kick and gets Sanchez off-balance, but he doesn’t want the floor. Barriault throwing with power, and he’s just missed on a few big ones. Uppercuts land clean for Barriault. Sanchez changes levels, but he’s again stuffed immediately. Still, Sanchez rifles off a few punches. Barriault answers with more brutal uppercuts. Big shots from Barriault. Sanchez wearing it well, but he took some big ones there. Less than a minute. Two-punch combination from Barriault. Sanchez showing a chin. He needs a takedown. Big punches coming from Barriault in the final seconds. Sanchez survives until the bell. MMA Junkie gives it to Barriault, 10-9.
Round 3 – Sanchez takes the center and looks to attack. Barriault looks lively after the big finish in the second. Barriault unleashes a big punch but eats one in reply. Hard shots from both men. Sanchez looks takedown, but Barriault pushes him away. Sanchez with an uppercut. Sanchez not totally outgunned on the feet, but Barriault seems to pack more power. Sanchez dives from range. He doesn’t get it, but he stays tight to the body. Barriault warned for grabbing the fence but stays upright. Sanchez with underhooks and pushing in from the outside. Sanchez gets the body wrapped, and he’s able to grapevine the leg and score a huge takedown halfway through the round. Barriault turns and gets to his feet, but that allows Sanchez to slip around to the back. Barriault keeps battling, and he’s able to turn inside and face his opponent. Barriault tries to move free, but Sanchez absolutely won’t let him free. Sanchez holding on to the leg with less than a minute. Barriault sprawling well, but it’s all defense right now. He’s not being offered a chance to counter. Sanchez won’t relent on the takedown. Barriault tries to fall to a guillotine at the bell, but Sanchez pulls his head out before it sounds. MMA Junkie gives the round to Sanchez, 10-9, awarding him the fight 29-28.
Result: Andrew Sanchez def. Marc-Andre Barriault via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Records: Marc-Andre Barriault (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Andrew Sanchez (11-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Referee: Todd Anderson
Walt Harris vs. Sergey Spivak
Round 1 – Harris paws a jab as Spivak sits with his right hand cocked at the chin. Harris with a flurry of punches, but Spivak covers well. Still, Harris is incredibly comfortable, and he continues to unleash punches. Knees come in, as well, and Spivak falls to the canvas. Harris wailing way with punches. He’s slipping a bit as he strikes, but he adjusts and continues pounding, and this fight is over. Quick work.
Result: Walt Harris def. Sergey Spivak via TKO (knees, punches) – Round 1, 0:50
Records: Walt Harris (13-7 MMA, 6-6 UFC), Sergey Spivak (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Referee: Jerin Valel
Cub Swanson vs. Shane Burgos
Round 1 –
Records: Shane Burgos (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Cub Swanson (25-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC)
Rankings: Swanson No. 14
Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
Round 1 –
Records: Derek Brunson (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC), Elias Theodorou (15-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC)
Rankings: Brunson No. 10, Theodorou honorable mention
Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone
Round 1 –
Records: Al Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC), Donald Cerrone (35-11 MMA, 22-8 UFC)
Rankings: Iaquinta No. 4, Cerrone No. 15
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