UFC 152 Grading the Canadians: Grant and Gagnon Pass with A's
UFC 152 is in the bag and by some accounts, it can be deemed a very successful event. According to numbers reported by MMAjunkie.com, the overall live gate numbers were down from the previous event in Toronto, but were strong in comparison to recent events this year.
Fans were out in abundance at many UFC events held throughout fight week and the buzz around event was certainly in the air.
Canadian fighters went 3-1 in their fights, with Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia lightweight, TJ Grant, putting on a Fight Of The Night performance in his methodical beat down of Evan Dunham.
I always throw out a post-fight report card on the Canadians after UFC events and here it is for UFC 152.
Grant defeated, in my opinion, one of the top-20 ranked lightweight's in the world in Evan Dunham last night. Grant has never displayed such a game of technical Muay Thai striking and boxing. It just shows how much he has improved as a fighter and how hard he has been working at his game.
He battered Dunham to the body and took the best that Dunham could give and kept coming. It was a beautiful, courageous performance by Grant, and it should set him up against a real big name in his next fight. Possibly, a shot against a Jamie Varner, Melvin Guillard or Mac Danzig would be a natural next step for him.
Who do you think TJ Grant Should Fight Next?
Ontario's own Mitch Gagnon was looking to bounce back in his second fight in the UFC against lanky submission fighter Walel Watson. Gagnon effectively slipped a Watson superman punch and then countered to the button on the chin. The blow was the beginning of the end for Watson, as Gagnon followed him down and secured the rear-naked choke at 1:09 of the fight.
It seemed easy, but an emotional Gagnon nailed it on the head after when he said that he was more calm and patient in his attempt to finish this time around. He had Bryan Caraway hurt in his debut, but then gassed himself out trying to end the fight and ended up on the losing end. Gagnon is another young, improving featherweight and could be up for a very intriguing step up matchup in the very near future.
Toronto native and Canadian MMA pioneer Sean Pierson did what he had to do to take home a victory in his fight against Lance Benoist last night. He was very technically sharp in his boxing at times, but he was equally as ordinary in many other aspects of his game and narrowly escaped it being stopped.
Do you think UFC 152 Was A Successful Event?
Pierson did secure a couple nice takedowns on Benoist that contributed to his win, but I can't help but think that Pierson is in a tough predicament in any matchup against a bigger name. Pierson should be able to deliver a more emphatic and dominant win against a guy like Lance Benoist.
Roger Hollett has earned a lot of wins in the smaller promotions of professional MMA, and he got his long awaited UFC debut last night. Fighting Matt Hamill, who was coming out of retirement, was the perfect opportunity for Hollett to catch a rusty name and beat him in the process. He just simply couldn't do it.
Hamill looked as sloppy and plodding as many thought he would be, but his takedowns and wrestling were still enough to gain a victory. Hollett just looked hesitant to really let go with anything and he waited for the older fighter to engage first. Hamill took him down at will and made it a tough night for the Halifax native.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA and guest blogger for Sportsnet.ca.
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