The 10 best MMA Fights of the Weekend – Volume 6
Every week, I will be providing the 10 best MMA fights of the weekend.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is looking to reclaim his spot amongst the top Light Heavyweights in the world. Beating M’Pumbu won’t do that for him, but a possible showdown with “King Mo” could certainly do the job. Jackson has historically struggled with his weight and motivation, but he seems intent on proving to his doubters that he is still an elite fighter.
This could be a make or break fight for Lawal’s future in Bellator. Though he’s still arguably one of Bellator’s most popular fighters, he wasn’t brought in to lose to guys like Emanuel Newton and Mikhail Zayats. Everyone is predicting that Zayats is the darkhorse of this tournament and for good reason. He’s well-rounded, and is a natural finisher. It should be an excellent fight that could determine a PPV spot opposition Quinton Jackson.
Dong Hyun Kim is nearing the Top 10 of the Welterweight division, and a win over John Hathaway would continue to cement his status as one of the top 170-pounders in the world. Hathaway has struggled with injuries and has lost nearly all the momentum he once had after upsetting Diego Sanchez in 2010. It will certainly be a tall order for Hathaway as he seems outmatched in nearly every area of this fight.
This fight is nearly guaranteed to see one of these heavyweights go down via knockout. Both guys swing with bad intentions, so whoever lands the big shots first should walk out the victor. Mitrione has reach, size, and power on his side, but overlooking Jordan’s toughness and athleticism would be a big mistake.
Goiti Yamauchi was featured on my 2013 MMA Prospects Report. He has certainly backed up his hype thus far in Bellator, finishing both his opponent in the 1st round. Will Martinez is talented in his own right, but he will need to use his wrestling in order to keep the dynamic Yamauchi from using his length and speed. Still just 21 years old, Yamauchi, could be Bellator’s next breakout star.
Every top MMA promotion is in search of quality Heavyweights, and this fight should serve as a good barometer for which one of these Heavyweight prospects are ready for the big show. Delija just recently suffered his first loss to veteran Dion Staring, while Smoldarev is coming off a 9-month layoff.
Hatsu Hioki was supposed to be #1 contender for Jose Aldo’s Featherweight title when he originally came over from Japan in 2011. Hioki has struggled mightily though to distinguish himself in the UFC, going just 2-3 overall. He is now getting an opportunity get back on track as he faces Ivan Menjivar, who is moving up a weight class.
Jumabieke has been considered China’s top fighter for some time. He finally gets his opportunity in the UFC, though he will be strangely moving up a weight class for his debut against fellow unbeaten rookie Mark Eddiva. Tuerxun should have the wrestling and grappling advantage in this fight, but he will be giving up a ton of size.
The Welterweight finals of TUF China will see fan favorite Wang Sai face off against Zhang Lipeng. Both fighters flashed some talent throughout the show, and with the Featherweight finals being postponed, the spotlight will be prominently focused on these two fighters.
Diego Nunes’ career is in quite the tailspin after going just 1-3 in his last 4 fights. After being stopped for the first time in his 23-fight career last time out, Nunes will look to get back on the winning track against Matt Bessette. Nunes has the experience and talent to win Bellator’s Season 10 Featherweight tournament, but he needs to get back to his finishing ways in order to avoid the close decisions that plagued his UFC and WEC career.
Photo Credit: www.sherdog.com, Dave Mandel