Five most intriguing bouts this weekend

For a weekend that UFC has off, there sure is a fair amount of high quality MMA scheduled to take place. RFA is putting on a nice main event with Brock Jardine vs. Anthony Smith.

Jason Floyd - The MMA Report
Jason Floyd – The MMA Report

The Dagestani take of the World Series of Fighting continues as Timur Valiev makes another appearance while the undefeated Vagab Vagabov will be making his debut.

Titan FC put together a solid card scheduled for Saturday night on Fight Pass, with a trio of title fights set to take place.

While there will be plenty of action, below are the five most intriguing bouts set for the weekend.

5. Phil Davis vs. Emanuel Newton – Dynamite: Bellator 142
A consensus top 10 light heavyweight in the world, Phil Davis makes his Bellator debut Saturday night when he takes on former champion Newton. As an opponent, Newton is difficult to game plan for and even more difficult to predict. While Davis’ striking has not evolved much throughout his career, he will need to use it to get inside the spinning attacks of Newton and take the fight to the ground. A win here for Davis would go a long way in kick starting the next phase of his career.

4. Justin Gaethje vs. Luis Palomino – WSOF 23
This fight made the list strictly because of the violence factor. Their first go-around was one of the best fights, or brawls, of the year. And with minimal contenders in the queue for a shot at Gaethje, WSOF brass decided to just dial it up again. I can’t say I’m disappointed.

3. Zack Mwekessa vs. Saul Cavalari – Dynamite: Glory
I’ve already discussed how I am a big Glory fan, and this is a big fight taking place at a big event. The two fight for the second time, this time for the Glory light heavyweight title vacated by Gokhan Saki. In their first bout, Cavalari stopped Mwekessa early in the third with a thunderous head kick. Mwekessa, who has some of the biggest power in the sport, will look to exact his revenge and lay claim to Glory gold.

2. Pat Healy vs. Rick Hawn – Titan FC 35
Two of the best lightweights outside of the UFC battle for the Titan FC lightweight title. The champion Healy has rattled off three consecutive wins since being ousted from the UFC where he lost 4 straight decisions to the stiffest of competition. Hawn, now 39, is looking to make one final run at getting into the world’s largest promotion. The winner here may not be champion for long, as the UFC may come calling sooner rather than later.

1. Tito Ortiz vs. Liam McGeary – Dynamite: Bellator 142
In the year 2015, I never thought that Tito Ortiz would top one of these lists, but alas that is where we are. Tito has looked good in his two Bellator victories and the matchup here suits him nicely. In his title victory over Newton, McGeary’s takedown defense was non-existent and it was his active guard that kept him in the fight. The main question will be whether or not Tito can hold up over the course of five rounds, especially if the superior striking of McGeary starts to wear him down. While there may be more paths to victory for McGeary, Tito certainly has a chance to prove his doubters wrong once again.