UFC Calgary Fight Pass Preliminary Results and Recap

Randa Markos, UFC Calgary ceremonial weigh-ins
Randa Markos Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Plenty of Canadian talent peppered the Fight Pass preliminary card at UFC Calgary on Saturday night.

The UFC made a big return to Calgary on Saturday, July 28, looking to make up for a debut in the city that was absolutely dismal. Coming through on Dana White’s promise that he “owed” Calgary one, the promotion stacked the card, with a trio of former champions topping the bill. Jose Aldo, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Eddie Alvarez were all in town. That made UFC Calgary an impressive event for free TV.

Earlier on in the evening, however, there was a wealth of Canadian talent filling out the UFC Fight Pass prelims. In the featured fight on the streaming service, TUF veteran Ross ‘The Real Deal’ Pearson looked to improve on a win against Mizuto Hirota at UFC 221. That win snapped a four fight losing streak. Opponent John Makdessi, meanwhile, was 2-1 in his last three heading into the fight. The Halifax-born fighter was looking to build off a a December victory over Abel Trujillo.

Also fighting early at UFC on FOX 30, Canada’s Randa Markos and Alexis Davis. They’d be taking on Nina Ansaroff and Katlyn Chookagian, respectively.

Check back come fight time for full results and a recap of the early action from UFC Calgary!

Devin Powell vs. Alvaro Herrera

Kicking off the UFC Calgary card, Devin Powell was looking for his first UFC victory against Alvaro Herrera at lightweight. Powell pressed the action early, going to the body with a kick, but ate a counter. An exchange saw him look for an early takedown, which Herrera shook off. Herrera was geting the better of things on the feet, and after another failed takedown attempt he clipped Powell, dropping him. Powell invited him into his guard, but Herrera declined that invitation. Just when it looked like Herrera had it in the back, Devin Powell connected with a HUGE kick to the body. A second followed! Almost identical, and it landed with a crack each time.

Herrera was seen walking to the back gingerly afterward, and Devin Powell had the first win of his UFC career!

Devin Powell def. Alvaro Herrera by knockout (body kick), Round 1, 1:52

Randa Markos vs. Nina Ansaroff

Randa ‘Quiet Storm’ Markos currently sits at spot #12 in the strawweight division and tonight she’ll face the #13 ranked Nina Ansaroff to see which woman deserves to crack the top ten.

In round one, the two touched hands at the center of the Octagon to begin the bout and Ansaroff decided to fire off an early leg kick to get things started in the opening seconds. Ansaroff threw another leg kick before Markos went for a single leg and forced Ansaroff up against the cage. Markos managed to get her head lower than Ansaroff, and wrestled her to the mat, landing some punches to Ansaroff’s head before taking her back.

On the ground, Randa lost the advantageous position she had but wound up on top in full guard where she was able to land sound ground and pound before Ansaroff managed to scramble to her feet. At the end of the first, 10-9 Markos.

Round two saw Ansaroff go back to the calf kick that she found success with earlier, and those kicks seemed to really bother Randa, who had now switched stances and danced her way around the Octagon for the opening minute of the second round. Markos shot for a takedown, but Ansaroff stepped out of it with ease. Ansaroff had landed nine leg kicks to that point, none of which had been checked.

Ten kicks landed now, as Markos’ lead leg was starting to get red. Ansaroff had gone for a few head kicks as well, but she wasn’t able to land a clean shot. Markos charged forward and landed a nice combination at the four-minute mark that briefly stumbled Ansaroff.

Randa landed a few right hands to finish the second round. 10-9 Ansaroff. Close round, but the most effective offense of the round was no doubt the leg kicks of Ansaroff.

In the third, Randa’s leg had begun to change from shades of red to darker shades of black and blue. She seemed desperate to land a takedown.

Markos successfully landed her first takedown attempt, but hadn’t been able to do so in the nine attempts since. Ansaroff had also taken over in the significant strikes category, though she’d landed less shots to the head. Ansaroff managed to end the third, and likely claim the round.

Ansaroff inexplicably used her post-fight interview with Jon Anik to not call out anybody specifically, but mentioned she wanted someone in the top ten. That was a wasted opportunity to build towards a future match-up, as it usually is. Guess we can’t expect every fighter to cut promos after their fights conclude.

Nina Ansaroff def. Randa Markos by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Dustin Ortiz vs. Matheus Nicolau

Matheus Nicolau started the bout with a leg kick as both fighters danced around the center of the Octagon. Dustin Ortiz threw a head kick that Nicolau avoided, then was swept off his feet by a Nicolau leg kick.

A slick combination landed for Nicolau including a heavy right hand that Ortiz shook off. Ortiz went to the head kick again but it missed. Nicolau landed a body kick that was answered by an Ortiz jab.

With about 90 seconds remaining, Ortiz threw a head kick that missed, but followed it up with another that finally connected. Nicolau fell backwards and Ortiz jumped on top for the finishing blows. Another first-round KO for the flyweight contender.

Dustin Ortiz def. Matheus Nicolau by KO (head kick), Round 1 (3:49)

Alexis Davis vs. Katlyn Chookagian

With Randa Markos having dropped a decision to Nina Ansaroff just two fights prior, Alexis Davis was looking to get one back for Canada’s women on Saturday at UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary. Walking to the octagon to Rage Against the Machine’s Know Your Enemy, she certainly got the juices flowing, and the crowd roaring.

The pair would feel each other out early, Chookagian circling on the outside. From there she’d look to counter, as Davis initiated with combos. Davis would strike low with an outside kick, but Katlyn was finding some success with her counters. Still, as the advice goes, it’s hard to win a fight when you’re moving backwards. Davis was showing some damage around the eyes, but landed a high leg kick and continued to press. Chookagian returned fire with her own kicks, all as the dizzying merry-go-round in the cage continued.

The dance continued in round two; Davis pressing, Chookagian circling away, landing counters. If it’s hard to win a fight moving backwards, it’s equally hard to win a fight if your opponent isn’t there to be hit.  Davis’ leg kicks, however, were begging to take a great effect on Chookagian, and she was just a little bit ginger on her left leg. She switched stances a couple of times, and the redness was spreading up to the thigh as Alexis Davis continued to hack away at it. Heading into the third, the question was whether David could fell the tree she’d been chopping away at.

Almost immediately, Alexis Davis attacked the leg in the third. With Chookagian’s momentum slowed, she was able to close distance in a more timely fashion, but the American remained a dangerous foe. Davis, bloodied, ate a kick to the body. Cutting off the cage, she was giving as well as getting in the exchanges. Davis attempted a trip about ninety seconds in, then tried to muscle her opponent to the ground, only to be fought off. The third round remained a tightly contested one, and with a minute to go, the Saddledome broke out in “Davis! Davis!” chants. She’d score a late takedown, which Chookagian converted to an arm-bar attempt as the bell rang. Ultimately, however, Chookagian’s constant movement and counters did enough to earn her the win on all three scorecards, putting Canada down early in the evening.

Katlyn Chookagian def. Alexis Davis by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson

Makdessi vs. Pearson opened with a leg kick from the Brit, followed by another. A third would come before Makdessi really got off any offense of his own. He’d touch Pearson’s leg a couple of his times while finding range with his hands, while Ross Pearson continued to work in the low kicks. Makdessi would go to the body with a kick that landed with a thud, but it was Pearson seeming to have the advance early. The Canadian was showing a bit of damage to the left eye by the time the first round, somewhat uneventful, came to a close.

Round two opened with the pair engaging almost immediately, but this time, Makdessi was able to back Pearson up a little, and throw in a spinning back kick. As the frame progressed, Makdessi seemed to open up and find his range, the exchanges became more of a back-and-forth, and Pearson’s mouth was open, as he appeared to be tiring.  By the end of the frame, Makdessi seemed to have figured out his timing.

Round three opened with Pearson throwing hard. Makdessi was clearly  the fresher fighter. A low blow by Makdessi paused the action just over a minute in. Back underway, Pearson shot for a single leg, driving Makdessi into the cage. The pair were throwing fast and furious now. Pearson connected to the side of the head; he was winging hooks and uppercuts. Makdessi was still light on his feet and circling out of the way. Pearson was getting lit up in the final ninety seconds however, wobbled and bloodied as the pair traded. Makdessi still had to be wary, but was pulling ahead. Pearson went down, but more of a slip than a knockdown. Pearson would throw Makdessi down in the final minute, but he was right back up.  The final minute saw Makdessi fire off a spinning back kick that went just high, and resulted in them both landing on the canvas.

John Makdessi def. Ross Pearson by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)

UFC Calgary Fight Pass Preliminary Results:

John Makdessi def. Ross Pearson by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)
Katlyn Chookagian def. Alexis Davis by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Dustin Ortiz def. Matheus Nicolau by KO (head kick), Round 1, 3:49
Nina Ansaroff def. Randa Markos by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Devin Powell def. Alvaro Herrera by knockout (body kick), Round 1, 1:52