It was announced earlier this week that the co-main event for UFC Fight Night 74 in Saskatchewan will be a welterweight contest between Brazil’s Erick Silva and Octagon veteran Rick Story. The bout was scheduled to take place as the co-headliner for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 70 in Florida, but has been rescheduled due to Silva being unable to secure a VISA in time for the contest. This was not the only welterweight contest added to this card, as veteran Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman is now set to take on Canada’s own, Patrick “The Predator” Cote. This will be a rare “winner vs loser” match-up, as Cote is coming off a unanimos decision win over Joe Riggs, while Burkman was submitted by “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim in his most recent Octagon outing. A couple of ladies have also been added to the card, as Canadian Valerie Letournou will look to make it three in a row inside the Octagon when she squares off against the Ukraine’s Maryna Moroz in this women’s 115-pound contest. The Ukrainian made a splash in the UFC’s women’s strawweight division with her first round armbar submission upset of Joanne Calderwood in her promotional debut. She did not get the title fight she was hoping for, but she has a different difficult test ahead of her in the French-Canadian. It will be the Battle of the Chris’, as Chris Beal and Chris Kelades will go to war in an effort to return to the win column following their latest UFC outings, which resulted in defeat. This is a scrap that could be a sleeper come time for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. Yves Jabouin vs Felipe Arantes is the other bantamweight addition to the UFC Fight Night 74 fight card in Saskatchoon. It is a solid pairing of strikers who look to return to the win column following recent shortcomings inside the Octagon. Three Canadian favorites who have been confirmed for the fight card but have yet to be assigned opponents are lightweight veteran Sam Stout, and TUF: Nations finalists and lightweights Chad Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Their opponents and match-ups will likely be booked and confirmed by week’s end. Playing the role of UFC matchmaker, I would pair Sam Stout with Joe Ellenberger, as I think that is a match-up that makes a lot of sense. I would pair TUF: Nations winner Chad Laprise with anoter TUF winner in Efrain Escudero in a match-up that would send one fighter up the promotion’s 155-pound ladder, and the other back to the drawing board. Finally, in a fight I would pay to see, I would pair Olivier Aubin-Mercier with Dustin Poirier. Both fighters ride two-fight winning streaks in the UFC’s lightweight division and would be eager to take each other out in an effort to go 3-0. Porier is hoping for a ranked opponent, but considering most are booked or injured, I think he would jump at the opportunity to head to enemy territory to take on (and possibly out) a Canadian fan favorite in Aubin-Mercier. The main event of the evening for UFC Fight Night 74 in their inaugral trip to Saskatchewan, Canada will be a featherweight contest set for five rounds between top contenders Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira and Max “Blessed” Holloway. For any fight fan, this Brazilian vs Hawaiian scrap is one of the most-looked-forward-to fights of the year. Oliveira will look to extend his four-fight winning streak to five, while Holloway will look to extend his streak of six to seven. At only 25 and 23 years of age, they are amongst the youngest fighters in the division. Considering their talent and ever-growing skill-set, it’s safe to assume that regardless of the outcome to this contest, both of these 145-pounders will get a title shot without having yet reached three decades in age.
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