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Cirkunov, Aubin-Mercier among prelim winners at UFC 206

Read on for UFC 206 prelim results...
CIRKUNOV vs. KRYLOV

The eighth consecutive win by Toronto’s Misha Cirkunov was his biggest to date in the UFC, as he submitted Ukraine’s Nikita Krylov Saturday at Air Canada Centre in a highly anticipated UFC 206 showdown of light heavyweight contenders.

Krylov was busy with his striking as the bout began, particularly with his kicks, but Cirkunov was unbothered as he put steady pressure on his opponent, scoring two takedowns before Krylov answered with one of his own. Cirkunov swept his way out of trouble and rose to his feet, landing a hard left hand that dropped Krylov. Cirkunov went on to lock in a guillotine choke, and it was game over, with Krylov tapping out at 4:38 of the first round.

The No. 13-ranked Cirkunov ups his record to 13-2 with the win; the No. 8-ranked Krylov, who saw a five-fight winning streak snapped, falls to 21-5.

More from UFC 206: Full results | Holloway claims interim belt, calls out Aldo | Cowboy gets walkoff KO, Swanson, Gastelum also win | Cirkunov, Aubin-Mercier among prelim winners at UFC 206 | Vannata kicks way to victory in FIGHT PASS prelims
Backstage interviews: Max Hollway, Donald Cerrone, Cub Swanson, Kelvin Gastelum, Emil Meek, Lando Vannata
Octagon interviews: Donald Cerrone, Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi
UFC FIGHT PASS subscribers: Replay the first three bouts here | Order UFC 206 digital replay now!


AUBIN-MERCIER vs. DOBER

Former The Ultimate Fighter Nations winner Olivier Aubin-Mercier continued to show off the evolution of his MMA game, submitting Drew Dober in the second round of their lightweight matchup.

Montreal’s Aubin-Mercier cracked and bloodied Dober with a left hand in the second minute of the first round, prompting Dober to get a little reckless in search of payback. In the process, Aubin-Mercier continued to land – not a lot, but enough.

Dober evened the score with a left to the head that put Aubin-Mercier on the deck early in round two. After taking some ground strikes, Aubin-Mercier was able to grab a leg and reverse position, and moments later he took his opponent’s back with a little less than three minutes remaining and sunk in his trademark rear naked choke, forcing Dober to tap out at the 2:57 mark.

With the win, Aubin-Mercier ups his record to 10-2; Denver’s Dober falls to 17-8 with 1 NC.

PEREIRA vs. LETOURNEAU

Unbeaten strawweight newcomer Viviane Pereira scored a significant upset in her Octagon debut, taking a split decision over No. 9-ranked Canadian Valerie Letourneau.

Pereira (12-0) had difficulty closing the distance on Letourneau, who had a six-inch height advantage, and when she did get close with a kick, Letourneau grabbed it and used it to put the fight on the mat. On the ground, Letourneau landed hard shots, but with a little over 90 seconds left in the frame, Pereira was able to get upright.

Letourneau (8-6), who came in overweight for the bout at 117.5 pounds, easily pecked and poked at Pereira from long range for much of round two, but Pereira finally got into the scoring column thanks to a takedown with under two minutes to go. Letourneau was back up fairly quickly, and it was back to sticking and moving.

Pereira got closer with her strikes in the final round, and it may have been her aggression that allowed “Sucuri” to get the victory via scores of 29-28 twice and 28-29.

GAGNON vs. LOPEZ

In his first fight since December of 2014, Ontario’s Mitch Gagnon nearly finished Matthew Lopez in the opening round, but Lopez roared back to take a close unanimous decision victory in bantamweight action.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 29-27 for Lopez, now 9-1; Gagnon falls to 12-4.

A little over two minutes into the first round, Lopez got dropped hard by a left hook and nearly stopped, but remarkably, he was able to survive, improve his position and get back to his feet, staying out of trouble for the rest of the round.

Gagnon got the bout back to the mat in round two, only to be reversed by Lopez, who seemed completely recovered from the danger of the previous frame. With 90 seconds remaining, Lopez nearly locked in a rear naked choke, and while Gagnon escaped, it was a clear round for Lopez.

An inadvertent low kick by Gagnon brought an immediate halt to the action seconds into round three, but after a brief break, the fight continued and Lopez got the Canadian to the mat.  With a little under three minutes left, the two rose and exchanged punches before clinching against the fence. After breaking, it was another takedown by Lopez, and he kept Gagnon on the mat until the final horn.

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