Skip to main content


After confusing ending to last fight, Canada's Jourdain looks to get back on track

Charles Jourdain UFC Charles Jourdain - Getty Images

Canadian featherweight Charles (Air) Jourdain can't wait to have his arm raised in victory. For real, this time.

At the wrong end of a split decision against Sean (The Sniper) Woodson at UFC 297 in Toronto in January, everyone in the cage misheard announcer Bruce Buffer's reading of the judges' scorecard and thought Jourdain had won, with referee Jeron Valel raising the wrong hand as Buffer's verdict was partially drowned out by the loud crowd.

"One hundred percent, I thought he (was) saying 'Charles,'" said Jourdain.

It was up to Daniel Cormier, former UFC champion-turned-analyst who was in the cage to interview the winner, to set things straight.

"Guys, Sean Woodson won the fight," said Cormier.

Woodson was equally confused.

"I couldn't hear who they finally said. It sounded like they said Charles," the American said later. "I wasn't sure. I looked over and Charles' team was celebrating. I knew it was a close fight … So I just assumed it was him.:"

"It was just crazy," he added. "I went from being like extremely low, I accepted the loss, thought I lost and they told me I won. Elated, super-happy, roller-coaster crazy."

Jourdain buried his head in his hands and turned away. But the confusion wasn't what bothered him.

"I was more angry at myself," he said. "I'm not a big blame guy, pointing fingers at the judge or whatever. I underperformed. I didn't perform to the best of my ability."

The 28-year-old from Beloeil, Que., returns to action Saturday against Brazil's Jean (Lord) Silva (12-2-0) on the undercard of UFC 303 in Las Vegas.

Jourdain (15-7-1) is joined by fellow Canadians Gillian (The Savage) Robertson and Marc-Andre (Powerbar) Barriault on the UFC card, which was slated to be headlined by Conor McGregor's return to action after a three-year absence from the cage.

But the mercurial Irish star's comeback bout against Michael Chandler was derailed by a broken toe. Instead, Brazilian Alex Pereira (10-2-0) will defend his light-heavyweight title against former champion Jiri Prochazka (30-4-1) in the main event.

Pereira stopped the Czech by second-round TKO when they met at UFC 295 in November for the vacant 205-pound crown.

At five foot nine, Jourdain gave up five inches in height and nine inches in reach to Woodson, who had an 80-60 edge in significant strikes, according to UFC Stats.

"The range was quite annoying," said Jourdain.

He also acknowledged that fighting on home soil for the first time in his five-year UFC career had preyed on his mind.

"I was there to not lose more than I was there to win. So I take a lot of responsibility for underperforming because I was so scared of losing in front of my people that I forgot I perform to the best of my ability when I'm hungry for blood."

Las Vegas comes with no such pressure.

"I love performing in Vegas," said Jourdain. "I think it's the most fun place I've ever been to. The tranquillity of mind of not having to perform for the crowd, I just have to perform for myself. It's a big relief for me."

This time, the Canadian will be the bigger fighter with a two-inch advantage in height over the 27-year-old Silva. Both fighters have a 69-inch reach.

Jourdain is 6-6-1 in the UFC since making his debut in the promotion in May 2019. The Woodson loss snapped a two-fight win streak and was his third setback in his last five outings.

Jourdain, however, prefers to see the positives in his life.

"Do everything with a smile and you win all the time," he said.

Silva goes into the bout on a nine-fight win streak dating back to 2018. He needed just four minutes 12 seconds in his UFC debut to stop American Westin Wilson in January after earning his UFC contract with a decision win over Argentina's Kevin (El Chino) Vallejos last September on "Dana White's Contender Series."

Eleven of his 12 wins have been by stoppage including nine first-round finishes.

Silva was supposed to fight William (The Jaguar) Gomis at UFC 301 in Brazil in May but the Frenchman was pulled on the eve of the bout for health issues after cutting weight. So Jourdain volunteered to fight Silva.

"Everybody's happy with the matchup," said Jourdain. "I prefer guys who are going forward than guys who are evasive. So I got what I want. I am very happy."

"I don't mind his record," Jourdain said of Silva. "Everybody in the UFC is dangerous … and this is what I love about it. They're the best fighters in the world."


Follow @NeilMDavidson on X platform, formerly known as Twitter

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.