The lineup for Ultimate Fighting Championship s debut in Calgaryis close to full, with the card being headlined by one of the toppound-for-pound athletes in the sport. Er, not that one. Despite UFC s efforts, reigning light heavyweight champion JonJones will not defend his title against Dan Henderson at UFC 149 onJuly 21 at Calgary s Scotiabank Saddledome. Instead, the originalheadliner featherweight champion Jose Aldo will remain on thecard and put his title on the line against Erik Koch. |
UFC officials last month believed a Jones-Henderson title fight forCalgary was all but booked, which would have allowed the company toshift Aldo to UFC 147 on June 23 in his home country of Brazil. Butbetween Aldo wanting more time to prepare and Jones still banged upfrom a physical title defence last month against Rashad Evans, thefeatherweight title bout will serve as the Calgary main event,Postmedia has confirmed. The 25-year-old Aldo (21-1) has not lost in more than six years. Inthe most recent Yahoo! Sports media poll in which Postmedia isrepresented Aldo was ranked third in the pound-for-poundrankings behind only UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva andJones. Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who has long beenNo.
2 in the rankings, is inactive due to a knee injury and was noteligible for the most recent rankings. Koch (13-1) is on a four-fight winning streak, most recentlybeating Jonathan Brookins in September. Other bouts expected for UFC 149: Former light heavyweight champion Mauricio (Shogun) Ruaagainst Thiago Silva. Michael Bisping versus Tim Boetsch in a middleweight matchmoved from UFC 148 on July 7 to the Calgary card. Heavyweight legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira versus CheickKongo.
Thiago Alves against Yoshihiro Akiyama in a welterweightcontest. Edmonton native Ryan Jimmo, making his UFC debut, againstAnthony Perosh in a light heavyweight contest. Ajax, Ont. native Antonio Carvalho versus George Roop in afeatherweight match. Calgary s Nick Ring against Court McGee in a middleweightbout.
Mitch Gagnon, a Sudbury, Ont. native, versus Bryan Caraway ina bantamweight contest. Saskatoon s Mitch Clarke against Anton Kuivanen in alightweight match. There remains the likelihood of one or two more matches being addedto the card.
Among the notable names currently absent isEdmonton s Jason MacDonald, one of the icons of Canadian mixedmartial arts. He is currently scheduled for a bout May 15 againstTom Lawlor at UFC on FUEL, but MacDonald has expressed a strongdesire to compete at UFC 149 in what he says would be hisretirement bout. Tickets for the event go on sale May 10 to members of the UFC FightClub, May 11 to subscribers to the UFC newsletter and May 12 to thegeneral public. The arena is expected to seat around 20,000 peoplefor the event. UFC 149 will be the company s ninth event in Canada, followingfour in Montreal, two in Toronto and two in Vancouver.
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