The opening fight of UFC 161 in Winnipeg sees Yves Jabouin (18-8 MMA, 4-4 UFC) take on Dustin Pague (11-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC) in the bantamweight division. It's Jabouin's first fight in Canada since 2011 and Pague's first trip up north.
Jabouin recently saw his unbeaten run at 135 lbs end, while Pague inched closer to possible UFC release with a 3rd defeat in his last 4 fights. UFC 161 prelims on Facebook streams live on the UFC's FB page at 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT. The remaining prelim fights air on FX at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Jabouin: 34 years old | 5'6" | 66" reach
Pague: 25 years old | 5'9" | 74.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Jabouin first burst onto the major MMA scene with a run in the WEC, where he went just 1-2 but engaged in a memorable war with Mark Hominick at WEC 49 in Edmonton. The Canadian striker then made it to the UFC, only for Pablo Garza to submit him sensationally with a flying triangle choke. His 3rd loss in 4 at featherweight soon prompted a move to bantamweight, where he won his first 3, including a destruction of Jeff Hougland. Yves took a major step up in competition last September vs. Brad Pickett, but "One Punch" did as his nickname states and knocked out Jabouin with one uppercut.
Pague made it to the bantamweight semifinals of TUF 14, winning "Fight of the Season" honors after his submission win over Louis Gaudinot. His UFC run has been anything but stellar, as he's gone just 1-3 since losing to T.J. Dillashaw in the TUF semis. Pague's only win came against Jared Papazian by submission back in June 2012. To Pague's credit he took on all 4 of his fights in just an 8-9 month span, and after a 10 month layoff he's in a must-win situation.
Why should you care?
I can't really sell this as a fight you should care about, but Jabouin is normally entertaining to watch no matter the outcome so we should get some entertainment right off the bat.