UFC on ESPN +9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy

Preview and Predictions for UFC on ESPN+9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 
This Saturday the UFC visits our neighbors to north with a stacked fight night card for UFC on ESPN+9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy, LIVE from the in Ottawa, Canada 🇨🇦. Long Island’s own, Ragin’ Al Iaquinta headlines in his third straight main event against the man with the most wins in UFC history, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who drops back down to Lightweight for this can’t miss matchup. 
Action starts this evening on ESPN+ with:
   Prelims              5:00PM/ET   Main Card         8:00PM/ET

UFC Ottawa Main Card Predictions 
Marc-Andre Barriault (+150) vs. Andrew Sanchez (-170)
Canadian “Power Bar” Marc Andre Barriault (11-1-0) will make his UFC debut against Ultimate Fighter Season 23 Champion,  Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez (10-4-0). Andrew Sanchez is 2-2 in the UFC since defeating Khalil Rountree at Light Heavyweight to win the TUF 23 finale back in July 2016. Despite the mixed results since dropping down Middleweight, Sanchez picked up a Unanimous Decision win in his last Octagon appearance at UFC Lincoln last August   against Markus Perez. “Power Bar” Barriault makes his promotional debut riding a current eight fight win streak highlighted by five KO/TKOs. I’m gonna go with the Canadian to get the job done in front of the home crowd. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Spivak via Second Round KO 
D’Bo’s Picks: Sanchez via Decision
Walt Harris (-170) vs. Sergey Spivak (+135)
“The Big Ticket” Walt Harris (18-7-0, 1NC) welcomes undefeated newcomer Sergey “the Polar Bear” Spivak (9-0-0) to the UFC in a Heavyweight matchup. The Big Ticket is 4-4, 1 NC in nine bouts since joining the UFC in 2014. Harris had a win against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232 overturned, and ruled a No Contest as Harris would later test positive for a tainted supplement. Fighting on the regional fight scene, Ukrainian Sergey Spivak has finished each of his first nine opponents with a mixture of  knockouts and submissions. I think Spivak is going to remain undefeated and make a strong first impression by getting a stoppage win over the more experienced Walt Harris. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Spivak via First Round KO 
D’Bo’s Picks: Harris via First Round KO 
Brad Katona  (+150) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (-170)
Undefeated Ultimate Fighter Season 27 Champion Brad “Superman” Katona (8-0-0) will face Long Island’s Merab Dvalishvili (8-4-0) Merab, who is a native of Tbilisi, Georgia, trains alongside the likes of Al Iaquinta, Aljamain Sterling and Chris Weidman at LAW MMA in Garden City, New York. After two controversial losses to Frankie Saenz and Ricky Simon to start his UFC career, Merab earned his first UFC win by soundly defeating Terrion Ware at UFC Moscow last September. Merab is nicknamed “the Machine” by his teammates for his relentless nonstop pace and his never ending gas tank which he put on display against Ware, and everyday at LAW MMA.  Brad Katona is a Canadian, who trains out of SBG Ireland. Katona has great cardio and stays very active, forcing his opponents into making mistakes. Katona defeated Jay Cuccinello last July at the Ultimate Fighter 27 finale to earn his UFC contract and then defeated Matthew Lopez by Unanimous Decision in his official Octagon debut at UFC 231 in December. This two fighters are very similar in style, but I believe Merab has a significant edge in striking and should be able to neutralize the wrestling ability of Katona to earn his second straight win. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Dvalishvili via Second Round TKO 
D’Bo’s Picks: Dvalishvili via Decision
#10 Cub Swanson (+140) vs. Shane Burgos (-160)
“Killer” Cub Swanson (25-10-0) will throw down with “Hurricane” Shane Burgos (11-1-0) in what should be a fast paced Featherweight contest. After ripping off a four fight win streak that began in 2016, Cub Swanson has hit a rough patch as of late, having lost his last three inside the Octagon to top Featherweights Brian Ortega, Frankie Edgar, Renato Moicano. Hurricane Shane improved to 4-1 and rebounded from his first professional loss to Calvin Kattar, by submitting Kurt Holobaugh with an Armbar in the First Round of the bout at UFC 230 last November. Burgos is a well polished prospect from Tiger Shulman MMA whose stock would continue to be on the rise with a strong performance against a perennial contender like Cub Swanson. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Burgos via Second Round TKO 
D’Bo’s Picks: Swanson via First Round Submission 
#9 Derek Brunson (-110) vs. #13 Elias Theodorou (-110)
 Derek Brunson (18-7-0) meets Elias “the Spartan” Theodorou  (16-2-0) in a battle between two ranked Middleweights. Elias Theodorou has quietly won his last three fights with Decision wins over Eryk Anders, Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly. The Spartan has now won five of his last six and is looking for another win over number nine ranked Derek Brunson. Brunson is coming off back to back disappointing knockout losses to Israel Adesanya and Ronaldo Souza, and has now lost four of his last six fights. I agree with the oddsmakers and believe that this is a very evenly matched fight, but if I have to choose, I will take The Spartan Elias Theodorou to get the job done. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Theodorou via Second Round Submission 
D’Bo’s Picks: Brunson via Second Round KO 
MAIN EVENT 
Al Iaquinta (-125)  vs. Donald Cerrone (-105)
Lightweights Ragin’ Al Iaquinta (14-4-1) and Donald “Cowboy”Cerrone (35-11-0,1NC) headline a sizzling UFC Ottawa Main Event. Both Donald Cerrone and Al Iaquinta are coming off of confidence boosting performances, and I expect a great battle between the two. Representing Wantagh, Long Island, Al Iaquinta will be competing in his third consecutive Main Event slot. Ragin’ Al has become must watch TV.  Al Iaquinta earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his decisive win over Kevin Lee in their rematch at UFC Milwaukee in December. Ragin’ Al has won five of his last six and remains right there in Lightweight title contention.  Cerrone has won three of his last four fights including a sensational Second Round KO of Alexander Hernandez in his record setting 22nd UFC win at UFC Brooklyn in January. This fight should be a treat for all fight fans, and I’m rolling with Long Island’s Al Iaquinta to get the job done! Let’s go Al!!
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Iaquinta via Fourth Round TKO
D’Bo’s Picks: Iaquinta via First Round KO 

Next week,  the UFC will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 🇧🇷 for UFC 237: Namajunas vs. Andrade. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!! 👊🏻 🔌 

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