UFC will return to Ottawa with a thrilling lightweight battle between No. 4 ranked contender Al Iaquinta and No. 9 Donald Cerrone. In a clash of middleweight contenders, No. 8 ranked Derek Brunson looks to re-assert himself in the title picture against No. 14 and Ontario native Elias Theodorou.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: IAQUINTA vs. COWBOY will stream live from Canadian Tire Centre exclusively on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 4 with prelims kicking off on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. ET. All UFC live events on ESPN+ will also be available in English and Spanish.
A talented grappler with knockout power, Iaquinta (14-4-1, fighting out of Wantagh, N.Y.) returned to action in December with a spectacular win over Kevin Lee. During his UFC stint he’s picked up impressive wins against Diego Sanchez, Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson. He now aims to build on his momentum with a victory over one of the biggest names in MMA.
A perennial favorite who’s equally dangerous striking as he is on the mat, Cerrone (35-11 1NC, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) stormed back into the lightweight division with a show-stealing victory over Alexander Hernandez. He also holds highlight-reel victories against Edson Barboza, Mike Perry, Matt Brown and Rick Story. Cerrone is now ready to continue his climb back up the 155-pound ranks.
A NCAA Division II wrestler with heavy hands, Brunson (18-7, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.) has fought the who’s who of the 185-pound division. During his UFC run, he’s delivered spectacular knockout wins against former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Uriah Hall, Sam Alvey and Ed Herman. He now looks to make a statement on enemy territory against a rising contender.
Winner of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia, Theodorou (17-2, fighting out of Toronto, Canada) aims to crack the middleweight top 10. An unorthodox and diverse fighter, he has picked up hard-fought victories over Eryk Anders, Trevor Smith, Cezar Ferreira and Sam Alvey. He’s now set to stake his claim as a title contender against one of the division’s most battle-tested competitors.
Announced bouts on the card include:
-Submission ace and No. 9 ranked heavyweight contender Aleksei Oleinik (57-11-1, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) makes 70th professional appearance against dangerous Walt Harris (11-7 1NC, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala.).
-The Ultimate Fighter winner Brad Katona (9-0, fighting out of Winnipeg, Canada) aims to remain undefeated when he takes on gritty Merab Dvalishvili (8-3, fighting out of Long Island, N.Y. by way of Tbilisi, Georgia)
-Tristar Gym’s Aiemann Zahabi (7-1, fighting out of Montreal, Canada) is back in action against Vince Morales (7-2, fighting out of Ontario, Ore.)
-Marc-Andre Barriault (11-1, fighting out of Quebec City, Canada) makes his highly anticipated debut against Andrew Sanchez (11-4, fighting out of Fairfield, N.J.)
-Nordine Taleb (14-6, fighting out of Montreal, Canada) takes on fellow welterweight KO artist Siyar Bahadurzada (23-7, fighting out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands by way of Kabul, Afghanistan)
-Arjan Bhullar (8-1, fighting out of Vancouver, Canada) battles unbeaten Juan Adams (5-0, fighting out of Houston, Tex.) in a clash of rising heavyweights
-Mitch Gagnon (12-4, fighting out of Sudbury, Ont., Canada) returns against tough Brian Kelleher (19-10, fighting out of Seldan, N.Y.)
-Sarah Moras (5-5, fighting out of Kelowna, B.C., Canada) takes on Leah Letson (5-2, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) in a battle of The Ultimate Fighter veterans
-Kyle Nelson (12-2, fighting out of Huntsville, Ont., Canada) drops down to featherweight against Matt Sayles (6-2, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.)