UFC on Fox 26 Prelims: Replacement Jan Blachowicz Outstrikes Jared Cannonier to Decision

By Brian Knapp Dec 16, 2017
Jan Blachowicz not long ago was dead in the water in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight division. The wind appears to have returned to his sails.

A punishing jab, punch-kick combinations and well-timed takedowns pushed the former KSW champion to a unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier in the featured UFC on Fox 26 prelim on Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Blachowicz (21-7, 4-4 UFC), who replaced a suspended Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on short notice.

Cannonier (10-3, 3-3 UFC) tried to offset the experienced Pole’s advantages with occasional combos of his own, powerful overhand rights and those patented MMA Lab calf kicks. Blachowicz staggered him with head kick in the first round, floored him with a two-punch volley in the second and secured multiple takedowns over the final 10 minutes, all while withstanding a late rally from an aggressive and desperate opponent who seemed to know he was behind on the scorecards.

Blachowicz has recorded back-to-back victories after going 1-4 in a five-fight stretch between April 11, 2015 and April 8, 2017.

Related » UFC on Fox 26 Round-by-Round Scoring

Marquez Guillotine Submits Stewart

Syndicate MMA standout Julian Marquez submitted Darren Stewart with a guillotine choke in the second round of their preliminary middleweight confrontation. A replacement for the injured Vitor Miranda, Stewart (7-3, 0-3 UFC) conceded defeat 2:42 into Round 2.

Marquez (7-1, 1-0 UFC) was the last man standing in a bull-in-a-china-shop brawl where technique went out the window in favor of crowd-pleasing Toughman exchanges in close quarters. Stewart emptied his gas tank with a series of takedowns and wild punch sequences. Spawned by Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series, Marquez took his best shots and kept firing back. Midway through the second round, a fatigued Stewart shot on a weak double-leg attempt and became entrapped in a crouching guillotine from the bearded Kansas City, Missouri native. Marquez squeezed and elicited the tapout just as Stewart lost consciousness.

Laprise Weathers Knockdown to Stop Bofando

“The Ultimate Fighter Nations” winner Chad Laprise disposed of Galore Bofando with punches in the first round of their undercard showdown at 170 pounds. Bofando (5-3, 1-1 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:10 into Round 1. His two previous losses had come by disqualification.

Laprise (13-2, 6-2 UFC) hit the deck on the end of a three-punch combination, survived the ensuing onslaught and switched gears. He executed a trip takedown, operated from side control and climbed to full mount. Bofando was a fish out of water on his back. Laprise dropped unanswered punches on the flailing Congolese welterweight, forcing referee Yves Lavigne to step in after a sustained burst.

The 31-year-old Laprise has finished his last three opponents, two of them inside one round.

Taleb Head Kick Freezes Roberts

Tristar Gym and Tiger Muay Thai representative Nordine Taleb knocked out Danny Roberts with a head kick and follow-up punches in the first round of their brief welterweight pairing. Roberts (14-3, 3-2 UFC) met his end 59 seconds into Round 1, as he lost for the second time in three outings.

Taleb (14-4, 6-2 UFC) walked through some heavy artillery -- a kick glanced off his head during in the opening moments -- and backed the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship veteran to the fence. He then made some foot-to-face contact that froze Roberts against the cage and rendered him defenseless against the straight right hand that Taleb fired behind it. The Englishman collapsed to his knees, where he was met with a few more punches before referee Jerin Valel had seen enough.

Still going strong at 36 years of age, Taleb authored the first sub-minute finish of his 18-fight career.

Efficient Makdessi Outpoints Trujillo

Damaging leg kicks and efficient combination punching carried Roufusport’s John Makdessi to a unanimous decision over Abel Trujillo in a three-round undercard clash at 155 pounds. Makdessi (15-6, 8-6 UFC) swept the scorecards with matching 30-27 marks from all three judges.

Trujillo (15-8, 6-4 UFC) fought in explosive bursts but too often found himself swinging at air and had no luck with his takedowns. Makdessi hobbled the four-time NAIA All-American wrestler with kicks to his lead leg and then picked his spots with punches to the head and body. About all that went wrong for the Canadian were two fouls in the first round, where he inadvertently poked Trujillo in the eye and accidentally landed a kick to the groin. Neither infraction resulted in a point deduction from referee Dan Miragliotta.

Makdessi, 32, has won twice in his last three appearances.

Di Chirico Knee KOs Bamgbose

Alessio Di Chirico knocked out former Ring of Combat champion Oluwale Bamgbose with a crushing knee strike in the second round of their preliminary middleweight affair. Di Chirico (11-2, 2-2 UFC) brought it to a close 2:14 into Round 2, evening his record inside the Octagon.

Bamgbose (6-4, 1-4 UFC) abandoned the reckless approach for which he had become known but overcorrected in the process. He did almost nothing but circle for the better part of seven minutes, frustrating Di Chirico, referee Herb Dean and an increasingly restless crowd. Bamgbose crashed forward midway through the second round, wandered into the Thai clinch and took a knee to the temple. He crashed to the canvas face first and motionless.

The 30-year-old Bamgbose has lost three fights in a row.

Mein Mauls Listless Silva

Jordan Mein won for the first time in more than three years, as he cruised to a lopsided unanimous decision over Erick Silva in a three-round undercard scrap at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Mein (30-12, 4-4 UFC): 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.

Silva (19-9, 7-8 UFC) looked lost. Mein carved up the former Jungle Fight champion with crisp body-head combinations during their initial exchanges but enjoyed real success on the mat. He struck for takedowns in all three rounds and ripped into Silva with punches, elbows and forearm strikes from top position. The Brazilian was powerless and might have submitted to a rear-naked choke had it not been for the final bell in Round 3.

The 33-year-old Silva has lost four of his last five bouts and faces an uncertain future in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.


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