Your prayers are answered, ALar’s Weekend Fight Watch is back!!!
No matter what your favorite flavor of MMA may be, your cage fighting taste buds will surely be satisfied with the cornucopia of Mixed Martial Arts events taking place this weekend. If you are a fan of the ladies getting it on in the cage, fighting that is… then Invicta FC on Saturday night will be right up your alley. The third card put on by the all female promotion is set to feature the likes of Shayna Baszler, Cat Zingano, and Tara Larosa as well as many other talented fighters. For those of you that reminisce of soccer kicks and the pageantry of the PRIDE days, ONE FC 6 is in your wheelhouse.
ONE FC 6: Rise of Kings takes place in Singapore on Saturday. The card features two inaugural title fights in the Bantamweight and Lightweight divisions, as well as a Main Event ‘Superfight’ headlined by submission ace Shinya Aoki. While ONE FC feautures many of the best fighters in the Asian market, old notables are also slotted to fight on Saturday including Melvin Manhoef and Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver. Lil’ Evil will be part of the first round of the Bantamweight Grand Prix taking place on the card. Last but not least, former WWE Superstar Dave Bautista makes his MMA debut this weekend against journeyman Vince Lucero. Usually a promoter will throw a can in front of a big name making his debut in the sport, but Lucero will be no pushover for Bautista a.ka. “Batista”. Lucero has traded blows with the likes of Roy Nelson, Tim Hague, Soa Palelei, Laver Johnson, and Tim Sylvia putting together a 22-22 record. If Bautista wins, let us hope it at least LOOKS legitimate…
Now that would be a solid weekend of fights for any hardcore fight fan, but I haven’t even touched on the weekend’s two biggest cards. Get your party pants on! On Friday night we have Bellator 75 and UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot. Hope your DVR’s are ready, on to the preview!
Live on MTV 2 and Spike.com
Friday’s Bellator event marks the first round of the Heavyweight tournament. The promotion’s Heavyweight title has been left in limbo since undefeated Champion Cole Konrad abrubtly retired from the sport to enter the financial realm of milk trading. (Really, he did that…) Whether the winner of this tournament is going to be given the Heavyweight belt is still to be decided, but as we learned with UFC 146, a card full of big guys assures a night full of finishes.
Former UFC fighter Vinicius Queiroz looks to rebound from a tough few years since his first stint in the big leagues. The Chute Box product lost his UFC debut to Rob Broughton and then was popped for abusing Stanozolol. Read more about his odyssey here. I think Queiroz will be able to return to form against Mark Holata.
In the second bout of the night, Richard ‘Rare Breed’ Hale takes on UFC and TUF 10 vet Mike ‘The Juggernaut’ Wessel. Wessel has quite the story behind him, from his wife faking having cancer to being arrested for terroristic threats, the guy has some serious baggage. I expect ‘Rare Breed’ to handle ‘The Juggernaut’ in a slobberknocker leading to decision.
Speaking of ‘odysseys’, Brett Rogers will be making his second appearance for Bellator on Saturday. The homie Ben Fowlkes covered Rogers’ story better than I ever could, so I highly advise you check it our and read why I think ‘The Grim’ will be knocking out his Russian opponent Alexander Volkov.
The Main Event of the night will be a rematch of BFC Heavyweight vets Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos. Their first meeting was deemed a No Contest after Santos landed a nut shot on Prindle and Prindle couldn’t continue the fight. Trying to get these two back in the cage has been like pulling teeth for the BFC brass. The rematch was delayed once for Prindle having the flu; then at weigh ins for the proposed make up, Santos came in 12 pounds heavy and the bout was canceled again. Prindle will be looking to avenge the No Contest on his resume and win this one in a decision.
UFC On FX 5: Browne v. Bigfoot
Live on FX
Another weekend, another free UFC card. None of the names from top to bottom may be screaming “Must Watch!” to the busy MMA fan, but we have to remember, that Joe Silva guy may know what he is doing and the card should certainly deliver, big names or not.
The Fuel TV undercard is full of the prelim stalwarts we have come to know and love over the last few years. Michael Johnson v. Danny Castillo promises to be a heck of a fight, both guys are athletic and love putting on a show. Johnson is the Vegas underdog but I anticipate him to get the W here. I also expect Dennis Hallman and Jeremy Stephens to take care of their respective opponents, and I hope that Shane Roller decimates Jacob Volkman, because everytime Mr. Volkman opens his mouth, somehow something more idiotic dribbles out.
The FX broadcast starts off with Josh Neer v. Justin Edwards. Not sure how these two finagled their way on to the Main Card as both are coming off losses, but I believe Neer takes a decision in a war here.
The winner of the next fight between John Dodson and Jussier Da Silva will get a shot at newly crowned Flyweight Champ ‘Might Mouse’ Johnson. This will be Da Silva’s promotional debut, but the guy has been submitting guys like it is going out of style for the last year or so. Some Brazilians have a rough go of it their first time fighting in the States, but Jussier has experience in California’s local circuit. As much as I enjoy watching Dodson fight, I believe Jussier takes this one in a decision.
Finally! The rematch you have all been waiting for! Hieron’s fishy decision victory over Ellenberger at IFL: 2006 Championship has just been eating me up inside for the last six years… The match was originally scheduled for UFC 151, but we all know what happened there. On Friday night, Ellenberger will get his chance for sweet, sweet revenge. Hieron is one of the good guys in the sport with a great comeback story behind him, but Ellenberger is an absolute monster at 170. I predict the headlines on the UG after this one will read something along the lines of “Ellenberger MAULED Hieron!!!!11!!!”
It seems as though these Heavyweight Main Events are becoming a trend for these smaller UFC cards. I can’t blame the organization as the Heavyweights rarely fail to entertain. It is safe to say though that the two guys in the Main Event are in very different places in their careers.
The last time we saw Travis Browne was at UFC 145 where he looked like a world beater as he demolished Chad Griggs and submitted him in the first round. The last time we saw Bigfoot Silva, he was nearly drowning in a pool of his own blood after Cain Velasquez opened up a cut akin to ‘Ol’ Faithful’ on the forehead of the Brazilian. Right now, I see Travis Browne as a poor man’s Cain Velasquez. Both are very athletic for their size and have great striking technique, but Browne may not be as well versed on the ground as Cain. With that comparision being said, I think Browne will still beat Bigfoot just as Cain did, but it may take him a little longer to do so. I’m going with Browne by TKO in the late second round.
Who needs to go see TAKEN 2 this weekend when there is this much great MMA going on across the globe??!!? Any thoughts on this weekend’s fights are much appreciated in the comment section!