UFC 206: Holloway vs Pettis Results, Live Stream, Fight Card and News. Remember when the UFC wined and dined Toronto? Brought us chocolates and flowers. Flattered us. Called us the Mecca of the MMA world. Said our fight fans were among the best around.

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Oh, what a relationship we had. It seemed so perfect. They brought us cards with names such as Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones, Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida and Jose Aldo. We thought it would never end.

And then they walked away, turned their back on us, ghosted us.

They found others they liked better. Las Vegas, New York City. All we could do was sit and watch as the months turned into years without an event in one of North America’s largest markets.

Well, finally, our time has arrived. After more than three years, the UFC has returned to Hogtown.

But they haven’t busted down the front door proclaiming their undying loyalty to us and showering us with a blockbuster card.

Instead, they have returned with a card that, well, seems more suited to a Fight Night in Moncton. (No offence to Moncton, a fine town if ever there was one.)

No, the blockbuster event we were all hoping for has already taken place many times, most recently in November at UFC 205 in New York, where three title fights were on display, including Conor McGregor taking the lightweight crown from Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.

And what does Toronto get for its main event? Fifth-ranked Anthony Pettis, with just one bout under his belt in the 145-pound division, battling No. 2 Max Holloway for the interim featherweight crown. And, not surprisingly, although these are two dynamic fighters — Holloway is riding a nine-fight win streak — fans are underwhelmed.

There have even been tweets from loyal MMA followers to boycott UFC 206, which is set to go Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre, due to its lack of punch — some calling it the worst pay-per-view card ever — and the absence of a fighter named GSP.

With a crowded fight calendar — there is even a Fight Night in Albany, N.Y., on Friday — this is just another event crammed into an overflowing schedule.

Not that the UFC didn’t try. Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson were slated to battle it out for the light-heavyweight crown in the main event before Cormier had to pull the plug due to injury. How hard the organization tried to fill the hole, though, we’re not entirely sure.

At any rate, the UFC 206 festivities kicked off on Wednesday with open workouts held at venerable music house Massey Hall. And, though it was free to the public, Joe Rogan will undoubtedly draw a larger crowd when he hits the stage there on Friday night for a stand-up set.

It’s not that this card isn’t without some intrigue. But much of it comes from what is happening outside UFC 206 rather than in it.

For some reason, Dana White and company decided to relieve McGregor of his featherweight belt after he defeated Alvarez and give it back to Aldo, the long-time holder of the division crown and the man McGregor disposed of with just one well-place blow to the jaw 13 seconds into UFC 194. Then the UFC announced that Pettis-Holloway, originally a three-round contest, would be fighting for five rounds and the interim featherweight crown when what the bout really is — as Pettis himself points out — is a guaranteed shot at Aldo for the title.

“We all saw what Conor McGregor did to Jose Aldo, there’s no denying that,” Pettis told a scrum of reporters on hand for the open workouts.

“A technicality made Jose Aldo the champ (again). We’ll deal with that after we get out of here.

“It wasn’t my decision to make this a title fight. This is Merry Christmas to me, thank you. For me, it’s a guaranteed shot. You never know, because in the UFC they can say if you win the next fight, you get a title shot and then you won’t see one for two years. But this right here is a guaranteed shot at one of my goals to accomplish, a two-division weight champion. It’s a golden ticket to the next step and that featherweight belt.” (Pettis previously held the lightweight belt.)

Then there is the buzz surrounding popular ‘Cowboy’ Donald Cerrone being among a group of fighters who just last week formed an association looking to get a bigger piece of the pie for the combatants in the UFC stable.

Cerrone, who will fight fellow veteran and former training partner Matt Brown in a welterweight tilt, got a warm welcome from the three-quarters-empty hall when he entered, deciding to forego workouts because his coaches had not arrived in Toronto yet and opting instead for a meet-and-greet.

“There’s a lot of things I think the sport needs: Retirement pension, health care,” Cerrone said in regard to the newly formed Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association. “I’m more just voicing my opinion of what I think this sport needs.”

White said during a podcast on Monday that he was a bit disappointed that Cerrone, whom the UFC prez has helped out of a jam or two, didn’t contact him to let him know he was joining the association.

“I spoke to Dana and he’s coming to town and we’re going to go to dinner and talk … Like Dana said, I called him and he helped me out, that’s true man. I was in a bind (for a boating confrontation that got out of hand), he got the best lawyers and saved my ass. He’s right, I probably should have called him.”

So there is intrigue outside the octagon. Hopefully, there will be plenty inside as well on Saturday.

 

News Source By.. torontosun.com