5 most intriguing bouts in MMA this weekend

Saturday night is going to be one of the busiest nights in mixed martial arts history with each of the top 3 organizations in the world will be promoting an event; UFC 180, Bellator 131, and WSOF 15.Will Brooks vs Michael Chandler

With the increased competition, each promotion has put out some of the best they have to offer.

While it does not warrant being placed on the list below, the sadist in me would be remiss not to mention the Joe Schilling vs. Melvin Manhoef matchup at Bellator 131. It is one of the world’s best kickboxers taking on a decorated kickboxer who has already made a successful crossover into MMA. Keep in mind; they will be wearing 4-ounce gloves. Yikes.

Now having gotten that out of the way, let’s take a look at the 5 most intriguing bouts taking place on Saturday night.

5. Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum (UFC 180)
Gastelum may be one of the best prospects in the welterweight division if not the entire UFC. Ellenberger is a former top contender who is badly in need of a win. A loss would likely push Ellenberger from contender status for the remainder of his career and could potentially leave him looking for a job, especially if he fights as timid as he has in recent outings.

4. Justin Gaethje vs. Melvin Guillard (WSOF 15)
To start, both of these lightweights can thump. The man left standing with the WSOF lightweight title will have most certainly earned it. Aside from the gold, there is a lot the line for each fighter. For Guillard, it is a chance to remain relevant and potentially become a face of an organization. For Gaethje, it is an opportunity to earn the biggest name win of his career and move from prospect to legitimate contender in the sport’s deepest division.

3. Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez (UFC 180)
The former top contender Lamas taking on the streaking Bermudez. Lamas is featherweight jack-of-all-trades but master of none. He is good everyone and very difficult to beat, losing only by decision to champ Jose Aldo in his last 6 bouts. Bermudez has won 7 straight and loves to push the pace. This should be a high output crap with the winner looking at a top contender’s fight next time out.

2. Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks (Bellator 131)
The lightweight title rematch is the real main event on Saturday night in San Diego. Chandler, the former champ, is in desperate need of a win after dropping back to back contentious split decisions. A loss puts him in no man’s land right in what is supposed to be the primes of his career. Brooks is looking to prove that the first win was not a fluke and to cement himself as one of the best lightweights in the world. With a win, he would surely supplant Chandler as one of the faces of Bellator. Expect a similar fight to the first, but with a more conditioned and game Chandler.

1. Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt (UFC 180)
Hunt, the onetime afterthought whom no one wanted, finally gets a shot at a title. This one has the potentially to end a number of different ways, all of which are violent. Can Hunt land a big shot early? Is Wedrum’s improved striking good enough to stand and trade with Hunt? How will Hunt’s gas tank hold up as the fight goes on? Can Wedurm get Hunt to the ground? All of these questions will be answered during the biggest fight on MMA’s busiest night.