This week MMA fans are in for a treat with spectacular events taking place from Friday through to Sunday as some of the World’s best promotions put on some cracking fights. From ONE Championship on Friday to the colossal event held by KSW on Saturday topped off by UFC Stockholm on Sunday, it is fair to say fans are in for a treat.
When there are so many great match-ups on offer, many get forgotten about or even go unnoticed, so here are my five bouts to watch in the coming days.
1. Borys Mańkowski vs. Mamed Khalidov
Up first is the catchweight bout headlining the KSW Colosseum card on Saturday between Borys Mańkowski vs. Mamed Khalidov. Both men have been tearing apart their respected divisions in KSW and have finally agreed to meet at 180lbs in a non-title battle between arguably the most dominant champions in the promotion. Mańkowski is currently on a 6 fight tear, overpowering every fighter that has stepped in front of him at 170lbs. His last loss came in 2012 and at that, it was due to an injury, since that loss he came back stronger than ever to avenge that loss and take home the title. His outstanding ground game will be what to look out for as goes up against the 185lb king, Khalidov.
Khalidov is arguably the best Middleweight outside of the UFC making easy enough work each opponent that has stepped in front of him. With a strong all round game he is dangerous regardless of the situation he is put in. Having never lost in Poland and his most recent win being a 21 second knockout over Luke Barnatt, he will be fun to watch as always as he tests himself at a lower than usual weight in this super fight.
2. Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira
It’d certainly be rude not to have the headline of the UFC Stockholm card on this list, especially with it being such an interesting match-up that could send the winner into title contention. Having only fought once in the last year, Gustafsson could possibly find himself in a 3rd title fight with a win here. His impressive return in 2016 saw him bounce back from that narrow title loss against Daniel Cormier.
Teixeira, on the other hand, has been pushing for a title shot for quite some time now and is currently ranked at 2 in the official UFC rankings an upset win over Gustafsson in the swede’s home country may finally get him a shot at the winner of Jones/Cormier.
3. Angela Lee vs. Istela Nunes
The headline fight of the ONE Championship card is one not to be missed as the highly touted prospect Angela Lee puts her title on the line in what could be a real test for her against Istela Nunes. Lee has one of the most dangerous and creative ground games in women’s MMA with the majority of her fights ending in submission only going the distance once. Her twister submission victory is what she is best known for as it showcases her grappling ability perfectly.
Nunes is probably Lee’s toughest fight to date, having impressed in her promotional debut Nunes believes she spoiled the promotion’s plans for a rematch between Lee and Yamaguchi by defeating Yamaguchi via decision. Nunes is planning to hand Lee her first loss in impressive fashion stating in an interview with mmafighting.com, “I really want a knockout,”.
4. Marcin Wrzosek vs. K. Koike Erbst
Current KSW Champion Marcin Wrzosek, also known as “The Polish Zombie”, is best known to MMA fans for competing on TUF 22 and reaching the semi-final before losing to Saul Rogers. His lone UFC fight saw him lose a very tight decision to fellow cast member Julian Erosa, he was cut from the roster shortly after. Following the disappointment of being cut, Wrzosek returned to the cage with back to back fights, winning the 145lb title in his last fight via TKO. The 145lb polish sensation will put his belt on the line in the promotions biggest ever show and hope to steal the show against his Japanese opponent Koike Erbst.
Koike Erbst is heading into this fight riding a 3 fight win streak that has all come via submission. The submission specialist has an incredible ground game and will look to utilize this to his advantage and pull off an upset win in front of a Polish crowd.
5. Shinya Aoki vs. Garry Tonon
This grappling-only matchup at ONE Championship puts two of arguably the best grapplers in the world to the test. After losing the lightweight strap in ONE, Aoki called for the match and his wish was granted. Aoki is a world renowned grappler with 25 MMA wins coming via submission. Across from him will be Tonon, who holds various tournament title wins whilst competing in competitions such as EBI and Polaris. For lovers of the ground game, this will be a fantastic bout to watch as it will arguably be one of the most competitive match-ups to take place this weekend. There are my 5 bouts to watch this weekend anyway, there is no shortage of action as plenty more good fights join the ones above on their respected fight cards.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams
Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.
Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.
Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.
Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.
⭐️ F I G H T W E E K ⭐️ . . Tickets/ T-shirt’s / Afterparty info at www.heather-hardy.com 🥂 link is in my bio 🥂 . . @bellatormma @dymatize @lululemon @jlewbags @rgfa @gleasonsgym @shihandevon . . #heatherhardy #heathertheheat #teamheat #boxing #femaleboxing #girlboxer #boxinglife #boxinghype #boxingnight #boxingday #boxinggloves #boxingfanatik #boxer #boxingfitness #womensboxing #boxeo #wmma #mma #teamrenzogracie #bjjgirls #womensmma #renzograciegirls
Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.
Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.
There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.
But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.
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