Your Weekend in Combat Sports

As always, live fights are in BOLD.

Live/premiere programming is in ITALICS.

MMA programming is in ORANGE.

Boxing programming is in RED.

Kickboxing/Muay Thai/Karate programming is in BLUE.

Wrestling/Grappling/Jiu Jitsu programming is in PURPLE.

Movies are in AQUA.

Misc./multiple sport programming is in GREEN.

 

Friday April 25

12:00am: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 2)
2:00am: Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto (CBS Sports)
3:00am: Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez (CBS Sports)
6:00am: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
9:00am: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 2)
10:00am: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 2)
10:45am: Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel w/Fallon Fox (HBO2)
12:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
4:00pm: UFC 172 Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
5:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
6:00pm: UFC Fight Flashback (Fox Sports 2)
7:30pm: UFC Fight Flashback (Fox Sports 1)
8:30pm: Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel w/Fallon Fox (HBO2)
9:00pm: UFC 172 Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
9:00pm: Hard Knocks Fighting Championship 35 ($14.99 GoFightLive)
10:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
10:30pm: Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez (CBS Sports)
11:00pm: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fox Sports 2)
11:30pm: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (CBS Sports)

 

Saturday April 26

2:00am: Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto (CBS Sports)
2:30am: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
3:00am: Best of Marcos Maidana (CBS Sports)
5:00am: Kings of Kombat 12 ($14.99 GoFightLive)
8:30am: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
11:00am: SportsCentury: Mike Tyson (ESPN Classic)
11:30am: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
12:30pm: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fox Sports 2)
2:00pm: 30 For 30: Broke (ESPN2)
3:00pm: UFC Fight Flashback (Fox Sports 2)
3:00pm: Army vs. Navy Boxing Classic (CBS Sports)
3:30pm: UFC Unleashed (Fox Sports 2)
4:00pm: Heavy Hitters (ESPN Deportes)
4:30pm: UFC 172 Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
5:00pm: Alex Leapai vs. Wladimir Klitschko (ESPN?/ESPN Deportes)
5:00pm: Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero (CBS Sports)
5:45pm: The Fight Game With Jim Lampley (HBO2)
6:00pm: George Foreman vs. Muhammed Ali (ESPN Deportes)
6:00pm: Adrien Broner vs. Paulie Malinaggi (CBS Sports)
6:00pm: Cage Fury Fighting Championship 35 ($16.99 GoFightLive)
6:30pm: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fox Sports 2)
6:30pm: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (Showtime Extreme)
7:00pm: UFC 172 Prefight Show (Fox Sports 1)
7:00pm: UFC 172 Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
7:00pm: Julio Diaz/Keith Thurman Prelims (Showtime Extreme)
8:00pm: UFC 172 Prelims (Fox Sports 1)
8:00pm: United States Freedom Fighting Championship 18 ($9.99 GoFightLive)
8:00pm: Conflict MMA: Havoc ($14.99 GoFightLive)
8:30pm: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (Showtime Extreme)
9:00pm: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (Showtime)
9:30pm: Sparta Combat League: Army vs. Marines ($14.99 GoFightLive)
9:30pm: West Coast Fighting Championship 9 ($19.95 Westcoastfighting.com)
10:00pm: UFC 172 ($54.99 Pay-Per-View)
10:00pm: Julio Diaz vs. Keith Thurman/John Molina vs. Lucas Matthysse (Showtime)
10:00pm: Ninja Assassin (Spike)
11:30pm: XFC International 4 (FREE XFCmma.com)

 

Sunday April 27

1:00am: UFC 172 Post Fight Show (Fox Sports 1)
1:00am: Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez (CBS Sports)
1:00am: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (Showtime)
2:00am: Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero (CBS Sports)
2:00am: Julio Diaz vs. Keith Thurman/John Molina vs. Lucas Matthysse (Showtime Extreme)
3:00am: UFC 172 Prelims (Fox Sports 1)
5:00am: UFC 172 Post Fight Show (Fox Sports 1)
5:30am: EA Sports Game Time (Fox)
5:30am: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (Showtime Extreme)
6:00am: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
9:00am: SportsCentury: Joe Frazier (ESPN Classic)
9:00am: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
9:00am: Julio Diaz vs. Keith Thurman/John Molina vs. Lucas Matthysse (Showtime)
9:15am: Road to Marquez-Alvardo (HBO2)
12:00pm: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
12:30pm: All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather (Showtime)
1:15pm: Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel w/Fallon Fox (HBO2)
3:00pm: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
7:30pm: Best of WEC (Fox Sports 1)
8:30pm: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fox Sports 1)
10:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1)

 

Top-10 Viewing Options: A man who is pouring sweat awaiting the next Mad Men episode attempts to temper himself and you by providing other viewing options.

dish_us  1. UFC 172: An absolutely loaded card for Bawlmo.

showtime  2. Julio Diaz vs. Keith Thurman/John Molina vs. Lucas Matthysse: Lucas Matthysse is freaking back!  Time for fools to pay the price.

espn_deportes_hd  3. Alex Leapai vs. Wladimir Klitschko: Still not sure if this is going to air live on ESPN or just Deportes, but either way, it’s not going to be good.  Still, it’s the best heavyweight in the world on free TV.  Can’t argue with the principle.

fox_sports1_au  4. UFC 172 Prefight Show: One of the bonuses of Bisping losing is that he’s free to return to the booth, where he’s awesome.

fox_sports1_au  5. UFC 172 Post Fight Show: Gonna be a lot of shakeup after this card, this will be worth it to see what the opinions are.

showtime  6. All-Access: Maidana vs. Mayweather: Floyd’s shenanigans are always fun/infuriating to watch.

cbs_sports_network_hd  7. Best of Marcos Maidana: Glad CBS/Showtime is showcasing Mayweather’s opponent as well, because he’s damned fun to watch.

fox_sports1_au  8. Best of WEC: Seriously, this should be on every TV in America.

gfl  9. Kings of Kombat 12: Up at 5:00am?!  Have a hankering for some kickboxing?!  DON’T WE ALL?!  Buy it!  A great card whether you’re just getting up or just settling in for the night!

fox  10. EA Sports Game Time: All your favorite EA Sports games, including EA UFC and Fight Night, right here!  Dear lord was EA MMA a fantastic game.

 

Under The Radar: Name fighters that won’t be appearing this weekend on your television screen.

  • Carlos Baldomir [vs. Andrey Meryasev, April 25, Salon Diamante Carretera Tixkokob]
  • Denis Lebedev [vs. Guillermo Jones, April 25, Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia]
  • Rico Verhoeven [vs. Nikolaj Falin, April 26, Bollenfalltorhalle, Darmstadt, Germany]
  • Chad Sugden vs. Enriko Kehl [April 26, Mix Fight Gala 15, Bollenfalltorhalle, Darmstadt, Germany]
  • Gago Drago [vs. Omar Amrani, April 26, Mix Fight Gala 15, Bollenfalltorhalle, Darmstadt, Germany]
  • Charlie Brenneman vs. Danny Castillo [April 26, UFC 172, Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland]
  • David Mitchell [vs. Jaime Jara, April 26, West Coast Fighting Championship 9, McClellan Conference Center, Sacramento, California]
  • Waylon Lowe [vs. Marcos Rodrigues dos Santos, April 26, XFC International 4, RedeTV Studios, Sao Paulo, Brazil]
  • Motonobu Tezuka [vs. Kensaku Nakamura, April 27, Grachan 13, Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan]

 

Bold, Yet Ultimately Fruitless Predictions: 12-1 LAST CARD!!  You know what that means, right?  0-37 this weekend.  There aren’t even 37 fights on UFC 172, but somehow, the cosmos will make me pay.

Best Fight of the Weekend: Glover Teixeira vs. Jon Jones
Upset of the Weekend: Kensaku Nakamura over Motonobu Tezuka
If My Life Depended on One Pick: Denis Lebedev over Guillermo Jones
Best Card Top-to-Bottom: UFC 172
Underrated Fight of the Weekend: Chad Sugden vs. Enriko Kehl
Most Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Julio Diaz vs. Keith Thurman

Fighters of the Week

Luke Irwin:

1. Fabricio Werdum: Werdum, who came in the underdog, thoroughly outclassed Travis Browne in every way, including cardio-wise en route to a dominant decision and a matchup with Cain Velasquez in Mexico.
2. Shawn Porter: Welp, Porter is now on the map. A very, very brutal finish of Paulie Malignaggi, knocking him out which was only something that Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton were able to do is a tremendous feat and he retains a stranglehold on his IBF Welterweight title.
3. Tim Kennedy: The underdog that everyone thought Bisping would box up handidly over five rounds showed that he probably has the best cardio in the middleweight division and was just relentless over 25 minutes in a big, BIG win over Michael Bisping to put Kennedy in the title hunt.
4. Bernard Hopkins: Split-decision, my ass. The Alien put on a clinic against Beibut Shumenov, then called out Adonis Stevenson afterward.
5. Douglas Lima: Is the Bellator welterweight champion after a brutal assault on Rick Hawn’s loser extremeties which caused his corner to step in to stop it.
6. Donald Cerrone: Cerrone, again, an underdog that I didn’t really understand why, dropped Barboza with a perfect jab, then SWARMED to choke him out in the first round.
7. KJ Noons: Well THAT was quick and violent. Yeesh. Noons destroyed tough veteran Sam Stout in merely thirty seconds.
8. Elias Theodorou: Is The Ultimate Fighter Nations Middleweight champion after a nasty beatdown of Sheldon Westcott.
9. Chad Laprise: Is The Ultimate Fighter Nations Welterweight Champion after a SD win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
10. Joao Miyao/Leo Saggioro/Roberto Satoshi/Leandro Lo/Andre Galvao/Braulio Estima/Rodolfo Vieira/Marcus Buchecha/Ariadne Oliveira/Luiza Monteiro/Janni Larson/Gabi Garcia: All of these blackbelts took home golds at the World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championships in Abu Dhabi Thursday.
11. Marcin Held/Patricky Freire: Both took home a dominant finish in their respective specialties, Held via awesome submission, Freire via awesome violence, and I cannot wait to see them clash heads for a shot at the belt.
12. Rod Salka: Pulled off a nice upset, derailing undefeated prospect Alexei Collado in the main event of Friday’s ShoBox card.
13. Anthony Crolla: Put on a bit of an upset over John Murray in England, defeating the former Lightweight world title challenger and inching himself closer to a shot.
14. Dustin Poirier: Continued his march back towards a title shot with a spirited TKO win over Akira Corissani at Fight Night.
15. Nick Honstein: Pulled an upset over UCS-ranked Sean Santella to win the CFFC Flyweight title.

Honorable Mention:

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Brandon Adams/Willie Monroe Jr.
Caio Magalhaes
Jack Mason
Gamalier Rodriguez
Yosuke Saruta
Peter Quillan

 

Josh Hall:

1. Bernard Hopkins- The man isn’t just a world champion at 49 years old, he is unifying titles. There really isn’t a comparison to that in any other sport. Even one incompetent judge couldn’t keep him from adding the WBA LHW title of Bebut Shumenov to his mantle.
2. Fabricio Werdum- Well, I think a lot of people are eating crow in regards to his fight, myself included. Werdum dominated the younger, more athletic Travis Browne in route to a dominant decision win and a shot at Cain Velasquez in Mexico.
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov- You wouldn’t know it by its place on the card, but Khabib’s win over Rafael Dos Anjos was his first over a top five opponent and puts him right in the middle of the LW title contenders (which means he might get a shot in 2019 at this rate)
4. Douglas Lima- Rick Hawn is no easy out and Lima absolutely tooled him around the cage. Hawn’s judo was totally neutralized by the vicious leg kicks from Lima, and his corner was forced to step in and stop the bout in only the second round with Hawn unable to stand.
5. Jorge Masvidal- For a good bit of the fight, it took place exactly where Pat Healy needed it to. Unfortunately for him, Masvidal won those exchanges in the clinch, and was totally dominant at range in his biggest UFC win to date.
6. Mirsad Bektic- A touted prospect, Bektic looked solid out of the gate before getting blasted with two illegal knees by Chas Skelly in the second round. Incompetent work from officials allowed the fight to continue without so much as a doctor’s inspection on the concussed Bektic, but he won a dominant third round despite seeing double and not being all there.
7. Donald Cerrone- He didn’t look good until the finish, but after flattening Edson Barboza with a jab and securing the win in the first round that doesn’t really matter. This is another very good win to add to Cowboy’s already impressive resume.
8. Yoel Romero- I still don’t know quite what to make of Romero, but this was the best version of him by far in the UFC. He ragdolled a pretty solid Brad Tavares around like he didn’t belong in the same cage with him, and a big step up in competition is needed for the 36 year old Cuban.
9. Caio Maghalaes- Who was that in Caio’s body and what did he do with the fighter we have seen before? Whatever he has done, he bears no resemblance to the fighter that lost to Buddy Roberts not that long ago. This 44 second KO definitely opened some eyes.
10. Alex White- A first round KO over a long time veteran of the sport in Estevan Payan was exactly what the undefeated White needed in his UFC debut, and he looks like a real prospect at FW.
11. Marcin Held- The young Bellator prospect continued to show development in his game, but in the end it was his stellar submission game that enabled him to secure the win over Derek Anderson via triangle choke.

 

6th_Place_Ribbon  

Tim Kennedy [defeated Michael Bisping, UD, UFC Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale]

 

6th_Place_Ribbon  

Khabib Nurmagomedov [defeated Rafael dos Anjos, UD, UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum]

 

5th_Place_Ribbon__44932.1311694534.1280.1280  

Shawn Porter [defeated Paulie Malignaggi, R4 KO]

 

4th_Place_Ribbon__85639.1311694476.1280.1280  

Donald Cerrone [defeated Edson Barboza, R1 Submission, UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum]

 

3rd_Place_Ribbon__57259.1311694401.1280.1280  

Douglas Lima [defeated Rick Hawn, R2 TKO, Bellator 117]

 

2nd_Place_Ribbon__53794.1311693864.1280.1280  

Bernard Hopkins [defeated Beibut Shumenov, SD]

 

1st_Place_Ribbon__94822.1311693785.1280.1280  

Fabricio Werdum [defeated Travis Browne, UD, UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum]

Around the Combat World

 

(Welcome to another installment of Around the Combat World, where we look over the weekend at fighters who were in action away from the magic of television.)

  • Don George defeated Troy Lowry [R6 TKO]
  • Scott Quigg defeated Tshifhiwa Munyai [R2 TKO]
  • John Murray lost to Anthony Crolla [R10 TKO]
  • Orlando Cruz lost to Gamalier Rodriguez [UD]
  • Shannon Briggs defeated Francisco Mireles [R1 KO]
  • Lacey Schuckman defeated Melissa Myers [R1 Submisson, Fight To Win: Animals]
  • Joe Vedepo defeated Ben Crowder [R1 Injury, Bellator 117]
  • Anthony Smith defeated Victor Moreno [R2 Submission, Bellator 117]
  • Ryan Jensen defeated Mark Stoddard [R1 Submission, Bellator 117]
  • Houston Alexander defeated Matt Uhde [R2 TKO, Bellator 117]
  • Dustin Ortiz defeated Ray Borg [SD, UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum]
  • Derrick Lewis defeated Jack May [R1 TKO, UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum]
  • Sean Santella lost to Nick Honstein [UD, Cage Fury Fighting Championship 34]
  • Andy Main defeated Brian Kelleher [R1 Submission, Cage Fury Fighting Championship 34]
  • Claudio Ledesma defeated Marcio Bittencourt [R3 TKO, Cage Fury Fighting Championship 34]

UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Staff Picks

 

Staff Standings:

Ben Kohn: 33-13 .717
Josh Hall: 20-8 .714
TC Engel: 45-23 .662
Luke Irwin: 60-35 .632
Nolan Howell: 27-18 .600
Lucas Bourdon: 3-2 .600
Earl Montclair: 32-27 .542
Dan Galvan: 5-6 .455

UFC Heavyweight Number One Contender Bout: Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) vs. Travis Browne (16-1-1)

Luke Irwin: I like this fight a lot. How could you not? Werdum has basically been the de facto challenger in wait for over two years, and now he gets to finally have it official. Browne is done fighting like a knucklehead, but Werdum has been a mercenary since he got to the UFC. He’s fighting smarter and more ruthless than he ever has in his entire career. He wants this, and I think both guys come strong, but Werdum has improved his striking so much that he won’t need to rush in like Barnett did, and he’ll be patient, find his opening, and take it. Werdum via R2 Submission.

TC Engel: I really don’t think Werdum has a hell of a lot to offer Browne at this point. Browne is going to keep Werdum at range well, and hit him hard when he tries to move in. Browne TKO2.

Earl Montclair: I really don’t think anyone other than Cain or JDS can derail Hapa at this point. Werdum is not going to be able to get Travis down, let alone keep him down and Muay Thai Werdum is going to get devoured by Browne on the feet. We are on the doorstep of a Travis Browne title shot, folks. Enjoy yourselves. Travis Browne, KO, 1.

Nolan Howell: Travis Browne has mastered takedown defense and that involves him murdering anyone who double-legs him against the cage with elbows. Fabricio Werdum’s best chance is getting it to the mat. Browne will be able to fend that off and Werdum’s night is going to be a little ugly. Travis Browne by first-round KO.

Ben Kohn: I really want to pick Werdum but I just can’t do it. I can’t get the image of Big Nog beating Werdum to the punch out of my head. Browne hits much harder and is a far better striker. His TDD is also fantastic so I gotta go with Hapa. Travis Browne by KO Round 1.

 

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Liz Carmouche (9-4) vs. Miesha Tate (13-5)

Luke Irwin: Speaking of fights I like, this one! The loser probably comes nowhere near a title shot for some time, the winner stays relevent. Miesha Tate gets a lot of shit in and out of the ring, but I’ll say this about her, she might have the the biggest heart in all of MMA. This woman takes a BEATING every single time she fights, and more often than not, she comes back and is the winner. Liz is also as tough as they come and this is going to be a goddamned dogfight. I think these two beat the living hell out of each other, and just when it seems victory isn’t within reach for Miesha, she pulls a submission out of her ass at the buzzer. Tate via R3 Submission.

TC Engel: I don’t really think either of these two fighters are good at fighting. This is a thing that is okay to say. EXCEPT WHEN IT’S WOMEN’S MMA. I AM A SHITTY PERSON. Tate UD.

Earl Montclair: I would like nothing more than for Liz to take Miesha to the woodshed here but this is a rebound fight for Team Cupcake. Now I am sad. Miesha Tate, Unanimous Decision.

Nolan Howell: Unless Liz Carmouche can outlast Miesha Tate, Tate probably has the edge everywhere else. Takedown for three rounds and some heavy top game should do the trick for Tate. Miesha Tate by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: Tate is still a tough chick and has the grappling skills to really give Carmouche fits. Liz is very strong and that’s not gonna be enough here. Miesha Tate by Unanimous Decision.

 

Lightweight Bout: Donald Cerrone (22-6) vs. Edson Barboza (13-1)

Luke Irwin: Cerrone is the underdog in this?? Listen, I know Barboza is a grown-ass man, but he didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his last fight, barely escaping Danny Castillo, and Cerrone, as he is wont to do, has fought, like, eighteen times in the last three months and has been a machine. I don’t know, it’s going to be a fantastic Muay Thai matchup, but I think Cerrone takes it. Cerrone via SD.

TC Engel: My heart wants the guy that isn’t a piece of shit to win. My head things the guy that is a piece of shit is going to win. My head is big. Seriously, I wear a size 7 3/4 hat. #GIMMICK Cerrone UD.

Earl Montclair: #FullMast. I don’t even give a fuck who wins. Just start fighting already. Donald Cerrone, Unanimous Decision.

Nolan Howell: Donald Cerrone is probably the better technician, but he tends to struggle early. Against another swift Taekwondo and Muay Thai guy, I think that gives him some trouble and Edson Barboz capitalizes on it. Edson Barboza by first-round TKO.

Ben Kohn: When Cerrone is on, man is he on. Edson still is a big question mark for me and struggles with wrestleboxers but Cerrone does not fit that bill. The problem is that I don’t think Edson has that pressuring style of striking that always messes up Cerrone. I think this is def the FOTN and I can’t wait to see it. Donald Cerrone by Unanimous Decision.

 

Middleweight Bout: Brad Tavares (12-1) vs. Yoel Romero (7-1)

Luke Irwin: Again, Tavares is the favorite here and I don’t get it. He’s a fine fighter, but Romero is just terminating tough, tough dudes like Ronny Markes and Derek Brunson. He’s a slow starter, and Tavares can use that as best he can, but Romero just wears people out with his size and strength. Romero via R3 TKO.

TC Engel: These two dudes suck a bit you guys. These two are on the main card over #KILLER Khabilov Nurmagorusev. Yeesh, UFC. Tavares UD.

Earl Montclair: First one to make a poop joke here is a bigger hack than @MMARoasted. Anyway, Romero has been Donkey Konging the shit out of people in the UFC. I don’t think he will stop Tavares but he should be able to get the nod here in a hard fought, if not thrilling battle. Yoel Romero, Unanimous Decision.

Nolan Howell: Yoel Romero is a mack truck of a fighter and that could very well get him the win early here. However, Brad Tavares is technical enough on the feet to not open himself up to a powerful shot. Tavares has more tools here and I think he outlasts Romero. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: This is so tough to pick. Tavares is seriously developing into a very solid fighter who can mess up the hype train of Romero. But with the power and wrestling Romero brings, I just can’t pick against him just yet. Yoel Romero by KO round 2.

 

Lightweight Bout: Khabib Nurmagomedov (21-0) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (20-6)

Luke Irwin: WHY ISN’T THIS ON THE MAIN CARD?! Fight of the Night right here, as this will be insane. Lots of sweeps, throws, slams, reversals, submission attempts, and so forth. This will be amazing, but Khabib has a more weapons at his disposal. Nurmagomedov via UD.

TC Engel: I LOVE RDA, but man, he’s got a bad matchup on his hands here. Nurmagomedov can beat him up on the feet and mat. I really don’t see a path to victory for RDA. Nurmagomedov TKO1.

Earl Montclair: I am a huge RDA mark but he is in deep shit against Khabib. Even that bitch ass ass bitch Nate Diaz knew better than to let himself get tooled and he might be one of the stupidest men walking this Earth. Sorry, RDA. Khabib Burmagomedov, TKO, 3.

Nolan Howell: Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: Why the hell is this not on the main card? Seriously? Anyway RDA is on a tear recently and Khabib is the guy no one wants to fight. I don’t have a damn clue who to pick to be honest. RDA’s striking has looked so good in recent fights and Khabib is still very raw. I don’t think either of them can finish the other and the wrestling is having me lean towards Khabib. Khabib Nurmagomedov by Unanimous Decision.

 

Welterweight Bout: Seth Baczynski (19-10) vs. Thiago Alves (19-9)

Luke Irwin: Welcome back, Thiago. Alves via R1 KO.

TC Engel: Welp. Alves UD.

Earl Montclair: My only real question is if Thiago can make weight. I bet he misses. Thiago Alves, KO, 2.

Nolan Howell: Thiago Alves by first-round TKO.

Ben Kohn: Holy shit, nice tune up fight for Alves. Thiago Alves by TKO round 1.

 

Lightweight Bout: Jorge Masvidal (25-8) vs. Pat Healy (31-18)

Luke Irwin: Because of Masvidal’s striking and street fighting background, people look at him as a pure boxer, but the fact remains, he has amateur grappling credentials, he has an underrated submission game, and he handles wrestlers very, very well. Healy isn’t your average wrestler/grappler, he’s incredibly heavy and intense, but every since his suspension, he’s looked like dog shit. For whatever the case, I just don’t like what I’ve seen from Healy since he’s come back. Masvidal via UD.

TC Engel: Pat Healy really, really sucks now. Masvidal UD.

Earl Montclair: This will be Pat Healy’s UFC swan song. Masvidal is going to carve him up. Jorge Masvidal, Unanimous Decision.

Nolan Howell: Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: Masvidal is finally back in the cage and Healy is just a bitch to have to fight. I think Masvidal’s striking will allow him to easily handle Healy on the feet but he may have some issues if Healy gets him down. Jorge Masvidal by Unanimous Decision.

 

Featherweight Bout: Alex White (9-0) vs. Estevan Payan (14-5)

Luke Irwin: I normally don’t trust guys making their UFC debuts after less-than-stellar indie careers, but Payan might be the worst fighter on the UFC roster right now. White via R1 TKO.

TC Engel: Alex White is my favorite Braves pitcher named Alex. Good on him. Payan UD.

Earl Montclair: Alex White, Unanimous Decision because sure.

Nolan Howell: Estevan Payan by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: Alex White by Unanimous Decision.

 

Middleweight Bout: Caio Magalhaes (7-1) vs. Luke Zachrich (13-2)

Luke Irwin: This is seriously Magalhaes’s FOURTH UFC fight? Christ, he’s going to be one of those Rafael Natal-types that’ll just keep hanging around on prelim cards for years. Magalhaes via UD.

TC Engel: Magalhaes sucks, but he isn’t a newb in on short notice. Magalhaes TKO2.

Earl Montclair: Caio will dominate and he absolutely should. Caio Magalhaes, Submission, 2.

Nolan Howell: Caio Magalhaes by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: Caio “Not Vinny” Magalhaes by Submission round 1.

 

Welterweight Bout: Hernani Perpetuo (17-3) vs. Jordan Mein (27-9)

Luke Irwin: Always skeptical of guys who cut their teeth in shitshow Brazilian indies, but Perpetuo is not one of those. WOCS and Shooto Brazil are two of the absolute best in the country and he’s looked great in doing so, and he’s paired up with Mein, who’s a nasty motherfucker. This could be a very sneaky FOTN, and I think Mein takes this firefight, but expect Perpetuo to hang around in the UFC for a bit. Mein via R2 TKO.

TC Engel: JORDAN MEIN ALL OVER MY BODY PLEASE. I LOVE YOU JORDAN MEIN. YOU ARE AN ATTRACTIVE NUMBER. HIGH FIVE ME. JORDAN MEIN, MANSLAUGHTER, ROUND 1.

Earl Montclair: Mein has this one locked up. Jordan Mein, TKO, 2.

Nolan Howell: Jordan Mein by first-round TKO.

Ben Kohn: Jordan Mein by TKO round 2.

 

Flyweight Bout: Dustin Ortiz (12-3) vs. Ray Borg (6-0)

Luke Irwin: Borg is a pretty interesting prospect and the flyweight division desperately needs new blood, but Ortiz is a damned good fighter who’s going to bounce back. Ortiz via UD.

TC Engel: Ortiz, dominant UD.

Earl Montclair: As much as I love a man named “Borg” (which is a lot) this is Ortiz’s time to shine. Dustin Ortiz, Unanimous Decision.

Nolan Howell: Dustin Ortiz by second-round TKO.

Ben Kohn: Dustin Ortiz by Unanimous Decision.

 

Featherweight Bout: Chas Skelly (11-0) vs. Mirsad Bektic (7-0)

Luke Irwin: Both of these guys have cut their teeth on very, very good indies, and Skelly is 3-0 in Bellator, so these guys deserve their spot and glad to see them get a crack. Skelly has a good striking game he uses to set up his submission game, and I think he’s going to do this year. Skelly via R2 Submission.

TC Engel: Skelly TKO1.

Earl Montclair: Bektic’s first name is Mirsad. Mir sad. A sad Frank Mir is a-ok in my book so he gets the nod. Mir sad Bektic, Unanimous Decision.

Nolan Howell: Mirsad Bektic by unanimous decision.

Ben Kohn: Skelly by Unanimous Decision.

 

Heavyweight Bout: Derrick Lewis (9-2) vs. Jack May (7-0)

Luke Irwin: Lewis is a guy I’ve had my eye on for a while as he’s coming up. He’s got tons of potential and the heavyweight DESPERATELY needs talent, and Lewis has talent. Lewis via R1 KO.

TC Engel: Jack May is a cool name. I’m picking him. He sounds like a 19th century boxer.

Earl Montclair: One of these giant buttholes is going to sleep very quickly. From one “Black Beast” to another, go forth Derrick Lewis and unleash hell. Derrick Lewis, Massive KO, 1.

Nolan Howell: Derrick Lewis by first-round KO.

Ben Kohn: Jack May’s combined opponents record is 19-45 and 4 of his 7 victories come over guys with losing records (one of them is 0-3).Lewis is the only man to have beaten that Heavyweight D1 powerhouse wrestling guy named Jared Rosholt. Derrick Lewish by KO round 1.

Your Weekend in Combat Sports

As always, live fights are in BOLD.

Live/premiere programming is in ITALICS.

MMA programming is in ORANGE.

Boxing programming is in RED.

Kickboxing/Muay Thai/Karate programming is in BLUE.

Wrestling/grappling/Jiu-Jitsu programming is in PURPLE.

Movies are in AQUA.

Misc./multiple programming is in GREEN.

 

Friday April 18

12:00am: The Ultimate Fighter Nations (Fox Sports 2)
2:00am: The Ultimate Fighter Nations (Fox Sports 2)
3:00am: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1)
4:00am: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1)
5:00am: Best of WEC (Fox Sports 1)
6:00am: Best of Pride (Fox Sports 2)
7:00am: UFC 172 Road to the Octagon (Fox Sports 1)
8:00am: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
9:00am: UFC 172 Road to the Octagon (Fox Sports 2)
12:00pm: UFC 172 Road to the Octagon (Fox Sports 1)
12:40pm: 24/7 Bradley vs. Pacquiao (HBO)
1:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fox Sports 2)
2:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
2:00pm: Cage Warriors Fight Night 11 (MMAJunkie.com)
3:00pm: UFC 172 Road to the Octagon (Fox Sports 2)
4:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
6:30pm: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fox Sports 2)
7:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
7:00pm: Bellator 117 Prelims (Spike.com)
8:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
9:00pm: Brandon Adams vs. Raymond Gatica/Vitaliy Kopylenko vs. Willie Monroe Jr. (ESPN2)
9:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fox Sports 2)
9:00pm: Bellator 117 (Spike)
9:00pm: Fight To Win: Animals ($14.99 GoFightLive)
10:00pm: Alan Sanchez vs. Jorge Silva/Raul Martinez vs. Sergio Perales (Fox Sports 1)
10:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
10:30pm: Brandon Adams vs. Raymond Gatica/Vitaliy Kopylenko vs. Willie Monroe Jr. (ESPN Deportes)
10:45pm: Alexei Collado vs. Rod Salka/Emmanuel Lartei Lartey vs. Felix Diaz (Showtime)
11:00pm: UFC Fight Flashback (Fox Sports 2)
11:00pm: Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz (HBO)

 

Saturday April 19

12:30am: Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz (HBO)
2:00am: 24/7 Bradley vs. Pacquiao (HBO)
2:00am: Alexei Collado vs. Rod Salka/Emmanuel Lartei Lartey vs. Felix Diaz (Showtime Extreme)
2:30am: UFC Unleashed (Fox Sports 2)
4:25am: 24/7 Bradley vs. Pacquiao (HBO Latino)
8:00am: SportsCentury: Evander Holyfield (ESPN Classic)
8:30am: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fox Sports 2)
9:00am: SportsCentury: Marvin Hagler (ESPN Classic)
9:00am: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
10:00am: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
10:00am: 24/7 Bradley vs. Pacquiao (HBO)
11:00am: SportsCentury: George Foreman (ESPN Classic)
1:00pm: UFC 172 Road to the Octagon (Fox Sports 2)
2:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
2:00pm: World Series of Fighting 9 (NBC Sports)
3:00pm: UFC Tonight (Fox Sports 2)
3:30pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
4:00pm: Heavy Hitters (ESPN Deportes)
4:00pm: UFC on FOX Prefight Show (Fox Sports 1)
5:00pm: 30 For 30: No Mas (ESPN Classic)
5:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Prelims (Fox Sports 1)
7:00pm: Beibut Shumenov vs. Bernard Hopkins Prelims (Showtime Extreme)
7:00pm: Cage Fury Fighting Championship 34 ($16.99 GoFightLive)
8:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum (Fox)
8:00pm: Alan Sanchez vs. Jorge Silva/Raul Martinez vs. Sergio Perales (Fox Sports 2)
8:00pm: Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz (HBO2)
9:00pm: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (Showtime)
9:00pm: Xcessive Force Fighting Championship 4 ($14.99 GoFightLive)
9:30pm: Beibut Shumenov vs. Bernard Hopkins/Paulie Malignaggi vs. Shawn Porter (Showtime)
10:00pm: UFC on FOX Postfight Show (Fox Sports 2)
11:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Prelims (Fox Sports 2)
11:00pm: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (CBS Sports)

 

Sunday April 20

12:10am: The Fight Game With Jim Lampley (HBO)
12:40am: Road to Marquez/Alvarado (HBO)
1:00am: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (Showtime)
2:00am: Beibut Shumenov vs. Bernard Hopkins/Paulie Malignaggi vs. Shawn Porter (Showtime Extreme)
2:30am: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (CBS Sports)
2:30am: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (Showtime Extreme)
3:00am: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Prelims (Fox Sports 1)
3:40am: Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz (HBO)
6:00am: UFC Unleashed (Fox Sports 2)
7:00am: Best of Pride (Fox Sports 2)
8:00am: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 2)
9:00am: Beibut Shumenov vs. Bernard Hopkins/Paulie Malignaggi vs. Shawn Porter (Showtime)
10:00am: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum Prelims (Fox Sports 2)
10:10am: The Fight Game With Jim Lampley (HBO)
10:40am: Road to Marquez vs. Alvarado (HBO)
12:30pm: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (Showtime)
2:00pm: UFC Reloaded (Fox Sports 2)
3:00pm: 30 For 30: No Mas (ESPN Classic)
4:00pm: Best of Boxcino 2014 (ESPN Deportes)
5:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1)
7:00pm: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum (Fox Sports 1)
10:00pm: UFC Countdown (Fox Sports 1)
10:00pm: All-Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana (CBS Sports)
11:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fox Sports 2)

 

Top-10 Viewing Options: A man who, in his mind, it’s always Blazing Saddles week attempts to provide you with your own programming week.

fox  1. UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum: Juuuuust nudges out Showtime’s card, PUT DOS ANJOS AND KHABIB ON THE MAIN CARD!

showtime  2. Beibut Shumenov vs. Bernard Hopkins/Paulie Malignaggi vs. Shawn Porter: An absolutely loaded tripleheader with Peter Quillan manning the other spot.  Just a stacked card, but Fox’s card is on free TV and could be phenomenal if they stop being idiotic and put RDA-Khabib on the main card like they should.

spike_hd  3. Bellator 117: A damned good effort from Bellator here.  Hawn vs. Lima should be fantastic, Held gets to twist someone’s limb off, Pitbull gets to crush someone, and time left for Karl Amoussou.

espn_2_hd  4. Brandon Adams vs. Raymond Gatica/Vitaliy Kopylenko vs. Willie Monroe Jr.: The Boxcino tourneys roll on, as we have the middleweight semis this week.  BOXCINO NEVER DIE!

espn_deportes_hd  5. Best of Boxcino 2014: Check out the highlights of the fun Boxcino tourney that has been on Friday Night Fights this year.

fox_sports1_au  6. Alan Sanchez vs. Jorge Silva/Raul Martinez vs. Sergio Perales: I really like that FS1 is delving into other combat sports on the weekend, but just wish they had a little more oomph in their cards.  They had Antonio Tarver and Victor Ortiz fighting on weekdays for Christ’s sakes.  Unless that’s their goal, in which case, I admire their creativity.

fox_sports1_au  7. UFC on FOX Prefight Show: The UFC doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot right these days, but their studio coverage is pretty great.

fox  8. UFC 172 Road to the Octagon: “Will Jon Jones call Travis Browne a fag??!  TUNE IN AND FIND OUT!”

hbo  9. All-Access: Marquez vs. Alvarado: Part of me wants this to be a good fight, part of me thinks that Marquez is just going to humiliate Alvarado.

showtime  10. Alexei Collado vs. Rod Salka/Emmanuel Lartei Lartey vs. Felix Diaz:  Rod Salka is an interesting guy, but besides that? Nah.

 

Under The Radar: Name fighters in action over the weekend that won’t be available on your magic television box.

  • Scott Quigg [vs. Tshifhiwa Munyai, April 19, Manchester Arena, Manchester, United Kingdom]
  • John Murray [vs. Anthony Crolla, April 19, Manchester Arena, Manchester, United Kingdom]
  • Orlando Cruz [vs. Gamalier Rodriguez, April 19, Bahia Shrine Temple, Orlando, Florida]
  • Anthony Smith [vs. Victor Moreno, April 18, Bellator 117, Mid-American Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa]
  • Joe Vedepo [vs. Ben Crowder, April 18, Bellator 117, Mid-American Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa]
  • Houston Alexander [vs. Matt Uhde, April 18, Bellator 117, Mid-American Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa]
  • Edwin Dewees [vs. Dan Huber, April 18, Rage in the Cage 171, Celebrity Theater, Phoenix, Arizona]
  • Dustin Ortiz [vs. Ray Borg, April 19, UFC on Fox: Browne vs. Werdum, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida]
  • Derrick Lewis [vs. Jack May, April 19, UFC on Fox: Browne vs. Werdum, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida]

 

Bold, Yet Ultimately Fruitless Predictions: A man who’s got plenty of time to be idiotically swayed into picking Marcos Maidana attempts to fend off humiliation for another week.

Best Fight of the Weekend: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Most Underrated Fight of the Weekend: Douglas Lima vs. Rick Hawn
Most Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Beibut Shumenov vs. Bernard Hopkins
Best Card Top-to-Bottom: UFC on FOX: Browne vs. Werdum
Upset of the Weekend: Donald Cerrone over Edson Barbova
If My Life Depended on One Pick: John Murray over Anthony Crolla

Fighters of the Week

Luke Irwin:

1. Manny Pacquiao: Got sweet, sweet revenge after putting on a hell of a fight with Timothy Bradley.
2. Gokhan Saki: As we discussed ad nauseum regarding Silva and Weidman, there IS skill in the strategy, awareness, and timing of checking a leg kick, but you hate to see a fight end like that. Two oddball victories for Saki, but he is at the top of the heap of the Glory Light Heavyweight division. Would LOVE to see what Ilunga could do.
3. Roy Nelson: We knew the massive overhand right was a possibility, but I thought Nog would be savvy enough to avoid it. I was wrong.
4. Clay Guida: Surprised many people, myself included with a firefight with Crusher Kawajiri and came out on top.
5. Danyo Ilunga: Showed why he should have been included in the Light Heavyweight tournament with a crushing stanky leg KO of Andrei Stoica and is now ready for a showdown with Gokhan Saki.
6. Blagoy Ivanov: Moves in to the Bellator tournament finals with a first-round submission finish of Lavar Johnson.
7. Adam McDonough: Pulled an upset, and especially with a nasty elbow finish of Nathan Coy to move on in the Bellator welterweight tournament.
8. Alexander Volkov: The former champ is one step closer to his rematch with Vitaly Minakov after beating the kickboxing pro, Mighty Mo, at his own game.
9. Robin van Roosmalen: In a tight, tight scrap against a vibrant underdog, RVR kept his pace and put on a hell of a fight to earn a very, very close decision win in the headline bout at Glory 15.
10. Jessie Vargas: Vargas is now the WBA and IBO Junior Welterweight champion with a tight, sharp win over Khabib Allakhverdiev.
11. Raymundo Beltran: The game veteran punched his way right through Arash Usmanee and battered his way to a fight against champion Terence Crawford.
12. Dawid Kasperski: Took home the SuperKombat Light Heavyweight tournament crown at the World Grand Prix in Riesta.
13. Ramsey Nijem: Well, none of us quite saw THAT happening, as Nijem looked ferocius in a stoppage win at UFC Fight Night.
14. Maximo Suarez: In the main event of K-1 Battle of Spain, the hometown boy took a UD over Sergio Sanchez in a spirited bout.
15. Thales Leites: Fourty-five seconds was all it took for the former UFC Middleweight #1 contender to dispell Trevor Smith, and hopefully next time he gets on a freaking Fight Pass main card like he deserves.

Honorable Mention:

Matt Manzanares
Raul Catinas
Bryan Vasquez
Brett Johns
Joey Beltran
Hesdy Gerges
Karo Parisyan
Saulo Cavalari

 

Nolan Howell:

1. Pacquiao
2. Saki
3. Nelson
4. Guida
5. Van Roosmalen
6. Ivanov
7. Volkov
8. Laflare
9. Nijem
10. Joey Beltran

 

Daniel Galvan:

1. Manny Pacquiao – Pacquiao’s fight with Timothy Bradley was really something special. Between Pacman’s controlling performance, the entertaining back-and-forth sequences, and the atmosphere of a “big money” fight, Saturday night served as just another reminder as to why combat sports are awesome. Also, shout-out to Pacquiao’s mother. I wish my mom would have gone to my middle school basketball games and casted spells on the opposing team.
2. Supreme Master of the Universe Clay Guida – I would never compare myself to Babe Ruth, but I called my shot. On the Undercard Supercast, I said that Guida/Kawajiri would be all kinds of awesome, and the doubters *cough* Josh Hall *cough* ridiculed myself and the long-haired prophet Clay Guida. But lo an behold, what fight won fight of the night? Guida vs Kawajiri. Boom.
3. Gohkan Saki – The way Saki beat both Nathan Corbett and Tyrone Spong was unfortunate, but the Light Heavyweight champ showed a great deal of class in both instances.
4. Roy Nelson – Mixed Martial Arts can be depressing at times. One of those instances took place this past Friday with 37-year-old Big Nog being left unconscious on the canvas after a big right from Roy Nelson. It’s always terrible to see a real legend of the sport on the back-end of his career. With that being said, Nelson did win a UFC main event (whatever that means at this point), and he did it with a highlight-reel knockout (granted, the majority of knockouts are highlight-reel worthy).
5. Alexander Volkov – A win over Mighty Mo isn’t going to raise one’s stock dramatically, but Volkov did have my personal favorite knockout of the weekend.
6. Ray Beltran – Although the prelims on the Pacquiao card were relatively underwhelming, Beltran looked sharp against Arash Usmanee. He got a solid win that probably puts him back in the lightweight title mix.
7. Danyo Ilungo – It was a short day in the office at Glory for Ilungo, but it was an impressive one.
8. Adam McDonough – Nathan Coy was my pick to win the season ten Bellator welterweight tournament, and well, Adam McDonough made me look like a idiot. Coy did have his moments when he brought the fight to the ground, but McDonough had “the” moment, knocking Coy out in the second.
9. Karo Parisyan – KARO!!!!!!!!
10. Ryan LaFlare – Ryan LaFlare has won four fights in a row in the UFC.
11. Ramsey Nijem – The victory over Beneil Dariush was one of the Nijem’s best in the UFC. Hurray for hyperbole!
12. Thales Leites – For the first time in nearly ten years, the Brazilian won a fight in under a minute. Sure, the win came against Trevor Smith, but it’s still real to me dammit!
13. Matt Manzanares – What happened in between the fourth and fifth rounds of Mazanares’ RFA 14 main event with Junior Maranhao was a disgusting example of incompetence. What happened in the four rounds prior to that was a great display from Matt Manzanares that he is a talented flyweight who is right on the cusp of a call-out to the UFC.
14. Blagoi Ivanov – Ivanov’s fight against Lavar Johnson was really ugly, yet Ivanov did advance to the heavyweight finals. So, hurray.
15 and 16. Robin Van Roosmalen and Marat Grigorian – While Roosmalen got his hand raised, I actually had the fight scored for Grigorian. Regardless, the decision was close, and both men had a fun fight.
17. Brandon Halsey – I love Brandon Halsey, he was fantastic prospect at 205 pounds, and he’s now a fantastic prospect at middleweight. Still, it’s weird to think that the 6-0 fighter is one win away from fighting Alexander Shlemenko for the middleweight title, and he might actually top Shlemenko. By no means, is Halsey the better overall fighter, but he possesses the wrestling acumen to take a guy like Shlemenko out of the fight and outpoint him.
18. Joey Beltran – THE MEXICUTIONER RETURNS!!!!!!!!!
19. Mark Dickman – In the co-main event of RFA 14, Mark Dickman increased his stock at featherweight by taking over his fight with Raoni Barcelos in the second round and getting a submission win.
20. Marina Shafir – [Ed. Note: Mr. Galvan's sarcastic assumption that I find any of Ronda Rousey and her cronies tolerable was redacted and Dan was executed with extreme prejudice. RIP.]

 

6th_Place_Ribbon  

Blagoi Ivanov [defeated Lavar Johnson, R1 Submission, Bellator 116]

 

5th_Place_Ribbon__44932.1311694534.1280.1280  

Alexander Volkov [defeated Mighty Mo, R1 KO, Bellator 116]

 

4th_Place_Ribbon__85639.1311694476.1280.1280  

Clay Guida [defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri, UD, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]

 

3rd_Place_Ribbon__57259.1311694401.1280.1280  

Roy Nelson [defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, R1 KO, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]

 

2nd_Place_Ribbon__53794.1311693864.1280.1280  

Gokhan Saki [defeated Nathan Corbett, R1 TKO, defeated Tyrone Spong, R1 TKO, Glory 15]

 

1st_Place_Ribbon__94822.1311693785.1280.1280  

Manny Pacquiao [defeated Timothy Bradley, UD]

Around the Combat World

 

(Welcome to another installment of Around the Combat World, where we take a look at name fighters who performed over the weekend away from your TV.)

  • Christian Hammer defeated Konstantin Airich [UD]
  • Shannon Briggs defeated Maurenzo Smith [R1 KO]
  • David Price defeated Ondrej Pala [R3 KO]
  • Andy Lee defeated Frank Haroche Horta [MD]
  • Eddie Chambers defeated Moses Matovu [R1 TKO]
  • Maximo Suarez defeated Sergio Sanchez [UD, K-1 Battle of Spain]
  • Filip Verlinden defeated Israel Adesanya [Decision, Glory 15]
  • Randy Blake lost to Mourad Bouzidi [Decision, Glory 15]
  • Hesdy Gerges defeated Jhonata Diniz [R2 TKO, Glory 15]
  • Brice Guidon lost to Raul Catinas [R2 KO, SuperKombat World Grand Prix in Riesta]
  • Catalin Morosanu defeated Mohamed Karim [UD, SuperKombat World Grand Prix in Riesta]
  • Johnny Bedford NC Rani Yahya [UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Thales Leites defeated Trevor Smith [R1 TKO, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Jared Rosholt defeated Daniel Omielanczuk [UD, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Ramsey Nijem defeated Beneil Dariush [R1 TKO, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Ryan LaFlare defeated John Howard [UD, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Clay Guida defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri [UD, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Roy Nelson defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira [R1 KO, UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Nogueira]
  • Poppies Martinez defeated Josh Smith [R1 Submission, Bellator 116]
  • Rodney Wallace defeated Carlos Eduardo [UD, Bellator 116]
  • Rob Emerson defeated Joe Taimanglo [UD, Bellator 116]
  • Karo Parisyan defeated Ron Keslar [R2 KO, Bellator 116]
  • Marina Shafir defeated Chandra Engel [R1 Submission, Lights Out Promotions: Chaos at the Casino 4]
  • Brad Imes defeated Josh Christensen [R1 Submission, Midwest Cage Championship 53]

Bradley vs. Pacquiao II Staff Picks

 

WBO Welterweight Championship: Timothy Bradley (c)(31-0) vs. Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2)

Luke Irwin: If we start the analysis the second after their first fight ended, then Pacman certainly has some ups and downs. He tried too hard to prove a point against Marquez and was punished violently for it, but it seemed he learned his lesson against Brandon Rios, and systematically destroyed him without conceding a round. It was as dominant a performance I’ve seen him put on. Bradley got in an absolute war with Ruslan Provodnikov and showed everyone an astouding toughness nobody really knew he had, then pretty much beat Marquez all over the ring and I didn’t have it nearly as close as the judges did. Bradley outbrawled Provodnikov and outboxed Marquez, while Manny came out of his Marquez fight as sharp and focused as I’ve ever seen him. Still, as improved as Bradley is, I still think Manny’s best beats his best, and I have no reason to think Manny won’t have his. Pacquiao via SD.

Nolan Howell: While he was simply outclassed in their last outing, Timothy Bradley has shown some great improvement. However, has he improved enough to cover that immensive gulf? Manny Pacquiao still seems to have the speed and footwork to give Bradley fits here. Though Bradley was slick enough for a man who wanted a brawl in Juan Manuel Marquez, I think Pacquiao will be too mobile for him to get a handle on here. Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision.

TC Engel: While I’d rather have Ben Kohn’s BJJ acumen over either of their boxing skills, I think they are both damn good at what they do. Bradley was outclassed in their first fight, and even if Manny’s lost a step, I still think he grits out a late finish over Bradley. Pacquiao, TKO 10.

 

WBA Junior Welterweight Championship: Khabib Allakhverdiev (c)(19-0) vs. Jessie Vargas (23-0)

Nolan Howell: Khabib Allakhverdiev by unanimous decision.

Luke Irwin: This certainly doesn’t have the sex appeal of many Mayweather/Golden Boy co-mains, but it’s still a quality world title fight. Allakhverdiev has knocked out a string of challengers to his belt and this fight will both be the toughest either man has fought name-wise. Khabib obviously prefers to slug things out, while Vargas is more of a smooth operator. This is the first twelve-round fight of Vargas’s career, and Allakhverdiev has only seen the eleventh round once. I think that we get a great bout, with Khabib’s power finally wearing down Vargas in his less-experienced championship rounds. Allakhverdiev via R12 TKO.

TC Engel: Vargas by UD.

 

NABO Lightweight Championship: Arash Usmanee (20-1-1) vs. Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1)

Nolan Howell: Raymundo Beltran by tenth-round TKO.

Luke Irwin: Winner gets a world title shot against WBO Lightweight champ Terence Crawford. Beltran is a fighter I’m very familiar with, as he’s been televised a good amount over his career and should have already won the WBO title from Ricky Burns. Arash is winless in his last two fights, and Beltran is going to be hungry to go after the belt that he felt should have been rightfully his. Beltran via R5 KO.

TC Engel: Usmanee by UD.

 

WBA Junior Lightweight Championship: Bryan Vasquez (32-1) vs. Jose Felix Jr. (26-0-1)

Nolan Howell: Jose Felix Jr. by unanimous decision.

Luke Irwin: Vasquez’s only loss is to perhaps the best junior lightweight in the world, Takashi Uchiyama, so there’s no shame in that. Felix is a good fighter, but Vasquez has lots more experience against much better competition. Vasquez via R9 TKO.

TC Engel: Felix by UD.

Glory 15 In-Depth Preview

 

Contributor: Lucas Bourdon

 Last year, Glory made a trip to Istanbul that produced one of their finest cards of the year. This saturday, they’re coming back with another card that looks like it might top Glory 6. The highlight of the card is the lightheavyweight tournament featuring local favorite Gokhan Saki coming down from heavyweight and top P4P talent and winner of the previous LHW tournament Tyrone Spong.  Rounding out the card is the debut of Superkombat cruiserweight champion Andrei Stoica against Danyo Ilunga and the meeting betwwen 22 year old Marat Grigorian and established top lightweight Robin Van Roosmalen.

In the first semi final, meeting Tyrone Spong is 28-2 Brazilian fighter, Saulo Cavalari. Cavalari made a name for himself by brutally knocking out Mourad Bouzidi at Glory 12. He’s a powerful puncher with some devastating low kicks, his power makes him a dangerous opponent but he tends to throw single strikes and this lack of combination striking doesn’t bode well against a brilliant technician like Spong and I expect the King of the Ring to advance to the finals.

On the other side of the bracket, Nathan “Carnage” Corbett meets Gokhan Saki, after facing Spong in his Glory debut, the Muay Thai fighter keeps getting tough fights, especially as elbows, by far his best weapons, are illegal in Glory. Corbett brings a brutal, no-nonsense style and some serious toughness to the ring but speed, power, familiarity with the rules and hometown advantage are all on Saki’s side. I expect Corbett to put up a valiant effort but to ultimately get stopped by the local hero, setting up Spong vs Saki final in a rematch of their 2009 fight in K-1. Their first fight, Spong’s first real test as a heavyweight, ended with knocking out Spong in the extra round after 3 extremely close rounds. I think the fight will be close once again, but Spong has grown as a fighter since their first encounter and should be able to take his revenge and the light heavyweight crown.

In the tournament’s reserve fight, last year’s finalist Danyo Ilunga will welcome Andrei Stoica to Glory. Both are fine technicians and the fight seems like a toss up to me but Stoica likely has an edge in punching power that makes me lean towards him in this match up.

And lastly in the main event, Robin Van Roosmalen takes on Marat Grigorian in what promises to be an excellent fight. Glory fans should be well acquainted to Van Roosmalen as he holds a 7-2 record in the promotion overwhelming everyone he faced apart from Petrosyan and Ristie in tournament finals. On the other hand, at just 22, Grigorian already has some solid experience on the European circuit and just handed top prospect Chingiz Allazov his first loss. Stylistically both are aggressive fighters but where Grigorian favors a volume striking approach, Van Roosmalen is more looking to land power punches. Van Roosmalen edge in high level and power should give him the advantage here, but don’t count out Marat Grigorian who should have an excellent career in Glory regardless of the outcome of tonight’s fight.

The card should be excellent and the usual Superfight Series should provide some interesting fights too, most notably a featherweight clash between Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai, a Thai fighter whose aggressive style focused more on punching than what is usually expected from Thai fighters should be very well suited to kickboxing rules and Raz Sarkisjan, a very exciting pressure fighter who holds a previous win over top featherweight Masaaki Noiri (an excellent fight that I encourage you to watch here.

-Lucas can be reached @lucas_bourdon.

Glory 15 Staff Picks

 

Staff Standings:

Ben Kohn: 33-13 .717
TC Engel: 40-19 .678
Josh Hall: 15-8 .652
Luke Irwin: 53-33 .616
Nolan Howell: 21-15 .583
Earl Montclair: 32-27 .542
Dan Galvan: 5-6 .455

 Lightweight Bout: Marat Grigorian (35-4-1) vs. Robin van Roosmalen (42-14-3)

Luke Irwin: I’m trying not to let RVR’s knockout at the hands of Andy Ristie cloud my judgement because Ristie was in another galaxy that night. If I put that to the side, the facts are that RVR has beaten a who’s who in the division. Kyshenko, Ngimbi, Kiria, Beqiri, Groenhart. Grigorian is a good prospect, but it’s too much too soon. van Roosmalen via UD.

Nolan Howell: Though he ran into the wonderous run of Andy Ristie in the lightweight tournament, Robin van Roosmalen still should be able to take this. Robin van Roosmalen by unanimous decision.

TC Engel: van Roosmalen by UD.

Josh Hall: Grigorian is a solid up and coming fighter, but the difference in level of competition could be huge here. This is a massive step up for Grigorian, and I think it might be a little too soon for him here. Van Roosmalen via unanimous decision.

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout: Andrei Stoica (32-5) vs. Danyo Ilunga (47-5)

Luke Irwin: I like Ilunga a lot and thought the Glory 9 Light Heavyweight tournament did a lot of good for his confidence, and I’d really, really like to see a rematch with Spong after that bullshit finish. His KO of a vet like Michael Duut was great to see and I think Ilunga is headed for big things, probably against the tourney winner. Ilunga via UD.

Nolan Howell: Danyo Ilunga just seems to be more tested after his previous light heavyweight tournament run. Danyo Illunga by second-round TKO.

TC Engel: I don’t know who Danyo Ilunga is. Danyo Ilunga by UD.

Josh Hall: It could be a very bad night for Mr. Stoica here. Ilunga via 1st round KO.

 

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout: Saulo Cavalari (11-2) vs. Tyrone Spong (73-6-1)

Luke Irwin: This….this should probably not be happening. Spong via R1 KO.

Nolan Howell: The young Brazilian kickboxers Glory is cultivating are impressive, but this is too much too soon. Tyrone Spong by first-round TKO.

TC Engel: Warren Spahn by TKO.

Josh Hall: Speaking of bad nights… Spong via 1st round destruction.

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout: Gokhan Saki (79-16) vs. Nathan Corbett (59-4)

Luke Irwin: Muay Thai Corbett >> Kickboxing Corbett. Corbett was able to stay out of the spotlight and away from dangerous fighters for years, but he got fed by Spong in his last outing, and a dropped-down Gokhan Saki isn’t going to go any better for him. Saki via R2 TKO.

Nolan Howell: From a casual perspective, Nathan Corbett seems to accel more under pure Thai rules and benefits from homeland bouts in Australia. Gokhan Saki will simply be too much. Gokhan Saki by second-round KO.

TC Engel: Corbett by UD.

Josh Hall: I wouldn’t consider picking anyone over Saki except Rico Verhoeven at this point. Saki via 2nd round KO.

 

Glory Light Heavyweight Tournament Winner:

Luke Irwin: While Spong doesn’t have the length of a Rico Verhoeven, he does have enough to where he can keep the compact, bullheaded Saki at bay. Saki can bumrush just about everyone he’s put in front of him, but I think Spong moves too well and can keep Saki from charging in. Spong via SD.

Nolan Howell: Gokhan Saki has shown that he can be frustrated and Tyrone Spong can do that with a good gameplan here. Tyrone Spong by unanimous decision.

TC Engel: Nathan Corbett.

Josh Hall: Saki via unanimous decision over Spong.

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