This weekend is full of mixed martial arts action with fight cards from the UFC, Bellator, and the World Series of Fighting.
It will kick off tonight with Bellator 132 on Spike TV. Then on Saturday, World Series of Fighting 17 will be on NBCSN and the UFC will wrap up the weekend with UFC Fight Night 59 on Fox Sports 1.
Below is the five most intriguing bouts this weekend in MMA.
5. Bubba Jenkins vs. Georgi Karakhanyan – Bellator 132
Karakhanyan, the former World Series of Fighting featherweight champion, returns to the Bellator cage to take on top prospect. Jenkins is looking to make the leap to contender status while Karakhanyan is looking to rebound for losing his title and start his second Bellator stint off with a bang. Jenkins’ wrestling ability is clearly his strong suit and will likely look to take the fight to the floor. However, Karakhanyan’s ground game is his bread and butter. It will be interesting to see if their two strengths play out against each other or if they cancel out.
4. Jake Shields vs. Brian Foster – WSOF 17
Brian Foster is one of the few UFC veterans to be released coming off of back to back victories. After some health issues, he left the organization with a 3-2 record, his most recent win coming over current contender Matt Brown. Since his departure, he has won 6 of 7 fights with 5 coming via submission. Quite simply, Shields boasts one of the most underrated resumes in all of mixed martial arts. A win here puts either man in line for the next shot at the WSOF welterweight title.
3. Conor McGregor vs. Denis Siver – UFC Fight Night 59
Make no mistake about it; this is all about the Irishman. The UFC has done a masterful building McGregor up for potential title showdown with champ Jose Aldo. This bout with Siver has all the makings of what amounts to be a showcase tune-up fight. However, should McGregor lose or win in unspectacular fashion, some of the shine may be worn off Zuffa’s golden boy.
2. Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire – Bellator 132
Bellator’s best division is at it again on Friday night when Daniel Straus challenges Patricio Freire for the featherweight title. The bout is actually a rematch from a fight Freire won via decision roughly 4 years ago. However, Straus is much improved in that time and is looking to reclaim the gold. Freire has some of the best boxing in all of MMA but Straus will look to negate that with his strong wrestling.
1. Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson – UFC Fight Night 59
Cowboy returns just two weeks after taking a unanimous decision win over Myles Jury. Henderson badly needs a win to stay relevant in the crowded lightweight division. In their previous two encounters, both in WEC, Henderson emerged victorious. Is this time any different? Will back to back weight cuts have a major effect on Cerrone? Where will the winner be situated in the title picture?