SASKATOON – Max Holloway’s first main event was bittersweet.
The Hawaii product defeated Brazilian Charles Oliveira in the first round of UFC Fight Night 74 on Sunday in a bout that was stopped due to injury.
The featherweight fight ended at 1:39 after Oliveira started to favour his right shoulder following an exchange. The seventh ranked UFC featherweight went down and the fight was stopped, giving fifth-ranked Holloway (14-3) a knockout victory at the SaskTel Centre. Oliveira (20-5) was carried away on a stretcher.
“It sucked,” said Holloway. “I train super hard, but it comes with the territory. My prayers go out to Charles.”
“At the end of the day, these guys have to understand that he is ranked number seven in the world, so he probably only does this, and he gets money probably only fighting. Injuries set you back. If you can’t fight, you can’t pay your bills. It is sad to see.”
Neil Magny (16-5) won a split decision over Brazilian Erick Silva (18-6) in the night’s co-main event. The fight had action in the first round but became a stand-off boxing match for the following two.
One judge scored the welterweight tilt 29-28 in Silva’s favour, while Magny topped the scorecards of the two other judges 29-28 and 30-27. Magny entered the fight coming off a loss at UFC 190 on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which had ended a seven fight winning streak.
Canadian Patrick Cote, of Rimouski, Que., dropped Josh Burkman with a punch to the temple early in the third round of his welterweight fight. Cote finished off Burkman through a knockout at 1:26 of the third.
Cote received the night’s loudest cheers from the crowd of just over 7,200 and the tilt was later deemed as fight of the night.
“We have a ton of respect for each other,” said Cote, who improved to 23-9. “At the same time, we’re in there to fight and to give a good show, and that is what we did.”
Brazilian Francisco Trinaldo came out with an impressive lightweight victory over Montreal’s Chad Laprise. Trinaldo put Laprise on the canvas with a big right and proceeded to ground pound a knockout win at 2:43 of the first round.
Montreal’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier got past Tony Sims by unanimous decision. Aubin-Mercier had a decided edge in ground control in the lightweight fight.
Valerie Letourneau, of Montreal, downed Ukraine’s Maryna Moroz by unanimous decision in a women’s strawweight tilt.
Chris Kelades of Cole Harbor, N.S., prevailed in a split decision over Chris Beal in a preliminary fight.
Two judges scored the fight 29-28 in Kelades’s favour, while the third had it 30-27 in favour of Beal.
“I am 34, but I honestly feel 24. That is not even a joke,” said Kelades (9-2). “Physically, this is the best I have ever been as far as shape, conditioning, mindset and everything.”
“Now it is just experience. It just racking up the time inside that cage to where I feel comfortable enough to do the things that I do in training in a fight. That just comes with fights.”
Canadian Shane Campbell claimed a unanimous decision over Elias Silverio in a lightweight preliminary fight. Silverio came out hard in the first four minutes of the first round getting on top of Campbell, before the Kelowna, B.C., native gained control of the fight.
Campbell felt he had lost the first round but was confident about his odds in the final two. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 in Campbell’s favour.
“I knew that he was gassed,” said Campbell. “I felt that he was a little more gassed than I was, and that was what my corner said.”
Brazil’s Felipe Arantes, who earned a performance bonus, took down Montreal’s Yves Jabouin with a slick arm bar submission at 4:21 of the first round in a bantamweight fight.
Frankie Perez, who also earned a performance bonus, prevailed by technical knockout just 54 seconds into his match with Sam Stout of London, Ont. Lativa’s Misha Cirkunov, who resides in Toronto, beat Daniel Jolly by knockout at the 4:45 mark of the first round in a light heavyweight preliminary bout.