Making his UFC debut, Cole Smith earned the unanimous decision victory over Mitch Gagnon. The bout was the first of the night, opening up the proceedings in Ottawa.
Mitch Gagnon was a former top bantamweight prospect before essentially falling off the map in 2014. Gagnon went 8-1 on the Canadian circuit with eight submissions before signing with the UFC. After a Fight of the Night loss against Bryan Caraway in his promotional debut, Gagnon won four straight fights with three submissions.
He then was the first to fight Renan Barao after the Brazilian lost his title to TJ Dillashaw, losing by third-round submission. After two years away from the sport, Gagnon returned in 2016 and lost by decision. Gagnon pulled out of a fight in 2017 and has not fought since 2016.
Replacing Brian Kelleher in this fight will be Canadian prospect Cole Smith. Smith is 6-0 in his career with five stoppages. He last fought in January, winning by first-round rear-naked choke.
Early round 1 Gagnon wasted no time shooting for a takedown but Smith used a kimura to defend. Gagnon still was aggressive for the takedown but Smith is defending very well. Smith would try for a takedown against the cage where he got his hands clasped and dumped Gagnon down just briefly. After three and a half minutes of grinding, they separate. A few leg kicks from Smith and a few wild hooks from Gagnon the closing seconds of the round would close back in the clinch.
Cagesside Press scores round 1 a 10-9 for Smith.
Smith starting off round 2 with a lot of kicks keeping Gagnon on the outside as his corner advises. Gagnon looking to counter but Smith is feinting and circling frustrating Gagnon. Against the cage, Smith would scramble to the back and jumping in with his hooks taking Gagnon down. Smith kept control of the back with the body triangle for basically the last two minutes with a neck crank attempted.
Cageside Press scores round 2 and 10-9 for Smith.
Round 3 Gagnon comes out aggressive and eventually catch Smith dropping him against the cage with a right hook. Gagnon went for an armbar that was deep but Smith escaped and got the takedown of his own. Smith would hold the top position taking the back and almost choking Gagnon out after surviving a guillotine from Gagnon.
Cageside Press scores round 3 a 10-9 for Smith.
— UFC (@ufc) May 4, 2019
First Octagon appearance ✅
— UFC (@ufc) May 4, 2019
Cole Smith def. Mitch Gagnon by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)