Five most intriguing bouts at Bellator 137 and UFC Fight Night 66

Bellator MMA

The two top promotions, UFC and Bellator, in mixed martial arts return to action this weekend. Both are decent efforts and a case could very easily be made for either side putting on the better card on paper.

Let’s take a look at what are the 5 most intriguing bouts scheduled for the weekend.

5. Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Philippou – UFC Fight Night 66
After receiving a certified whooping at the hands of Jacare Souza, Mousasi rebounded with a stoppage win over a shopworn Dan Henderson. He looks to continue his climb back up into contender status with a win in Manila. Philippou, once a top contender himself, is also looking to put together a winning streak after losing two in a row. Look for this fight to be mostly contested on the fighter where it will likely come down to the power of Philippou against the precision striking of Mousasi.

4. Brandon Halsey vs. Kendall Grove – Bellator 137
The Bellator middleweight title is on the line Friday night at Bellator 137. However, this is mostly a showcase fight for champion Brandon Halsey. The phenom bull-rushed his way through the middleweight division and dispatched former champion Alexander Shlemenko with ease. Grove, having gone 3-4 in his last 7, is not exactly a worthy challenger to the throne. However, he does provide some name value and will likely give Halsey the rub that Bellator is looking for when they put this fight together. I don’t see this one lasting too long, but enjoy the skill and power of Halsey for as long as it does.

3. Darrion Caldwell vs. Rafael Silva – Bellator 137
Darrion Caldwell is one of the better credentialed wrestlers in all of mixed martial arts and one of the top prospects in any of the lighter weight divisions. He is making his bantamweight debut on Friday night and Bellator brass is throwing him right into the fire. Silva is one of the best bantamweights on the Bellator roster with his only loss in his last 15 fights coming to former champion Joe Warren. This will be an excellent test for Caldwell and whether or not he can hang with the some of the best fighters in the world.

2. Frankie Edgar vs. Uriah Faber – UFC Fight Night 66
This is as close to a super fight as you can get between two non-champions. Edgar has not lost a non-title fight in over 7 years. Faber has not lost a non-title fight in almost 10 years. Faber is returning to the division that made him a star but should not be giving up much size, if any, as Edgar could very easily be fighting at bantamweight. Both very good wrestlers, Edgar likely has the slight edge if only due to the constant pressure he forces in the octagon. Faber has the edge in power but Edgar has the ability to nullify that with his speed and boxing. Either way, I expect an extremely close fight. The consequences of the bout are murky so it is best to just sit back and enjoy these two legends.

1. Mike Richman vs. Eduardo Dantas – Bellator 137
I was positively giddy when this fight was announced the first time and then equally as disappointed when it had to be rescheduled. But now, the time has finally come. Two extremely violent and creative fighters, Richman and Dantas are both looking to make a statement. A title shot looms for the man that emerges victorious. Expect fireworks and don’t blink.