This Week in Combat Sports (4/15-4/21)
I should really set a day of the week for these posts. I feel like I do them whenever. Anyway, April continues to heat up with some great fights happening this week.
- EFC Africa 19: April 19th - Africa’s biggest promotion returns with a whole new card. This card is headlined by two of the best 145ers in Africa, Demarte Pena and Wentzel Nel. Also on the card is Martin van Staden (who’s 5-1 in EFC Africa) who’ll fight Adam Speechly. The prelims are free and the main card (only 3 fights) is $25.
- IBJJF New York Open 2013: April 20th - Biggest Jiu Jitsu competition in the Northeast US. Good luck to everyone who plans on competing this year. Hopefully I’ll be there next year.
- Tyson Fury vs Steve Cunningham: April 20th - Heavyweight boxing returns to MSG. Outspoken and undefeated British heavyweight Tyson Fury comes stateside for the first time to take on one of the US’ best heavyweights in Steve Cunningham. With promoters saying Fury is only two fights away from fighting Wladimir Klitschko, you can bet there is gonna be big interest in this one.
- XFC 23 Louisville Slugfest: April 19th - Regional MMA with the headliner being former UFC fighter Shamar Bailey taking on Bellator vet Luis “Sapo” Santos. If you’re interested check AXS TV Friday night.
- Celestino Caballero vs Robinson Castellanos: April 20th - Card featuring 3 world title fights. The headliner between Caballero and Castellanos (ranked 10th) for the WBC silver featherweight belt. Also featured on the undercard is Alicia Ashley vs Chanttall Martinez (ranked #3 at BW in the world) for the WBC super bantamweight title.
- Christian Mijares vs Vikingo Terrazas: April 20th - title fight
- UFC on Fox 7: April 20th - I have nothing negative to say about this card. Every single fight interests me and holds some sort of weight. Will write about it later to fully expound on how awesome it is. For now let’s go with Olympic Wrestler, Strikeforce GP Champion, and undefeated Daniel Cormier makes his UFC debut against former UFC Heavyweight champ Frank Mir. In the main event we get a lightweight title fight between UFC champ Benson Henderson and Strikeforce Lightweight Champ Gilbert Melendez.
- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Austin Trout: April 20th - Trout is coming off of ruining the Canelo camp’s plans for a Cotto-Canelo fight by upsetting Cotto himself. Mexico’s next superstar looks to end most of the questions about how “unproven” he is. Trout looks to shake any talks about how far he can go. Battle of the prospects in Omar Figueroa-Abner Cotto also on the undercards.
- Glory 7: April 20th - Being in Milan, it’s only fitting that the best kickboxer in the world headlines in his home country. Giorgio Petrosyan fights Hafid El Boustati in the main event. On the under card we have Artem Levin taking former It’s Showtime -85kg champion Sahak Parparyan. Rico Verhoeven will take on Jhonata Diniz (who’s got some buzz based off his performance against Daniel Ghita during the NYE show). Murthel Groenhart returns to Glory a K-1 GP champion and looks to continue the momentum he built up in 2012 by beating Glory 2012 Middleweight Tournament runner up Robin van Roosmalen. Australian Muay Thai champ Steve McKinnon makes his Glory debut against Nenad Pagonis. And more of course, but it’s gonna be a great card for standup fans.
- Fight Nights - Battle of Moscow 11: April 20 Headlined by a flyweight title bout between Russia’s top flyweight Ali Bagautinov and Japan’s Seiji Ozuka. Sambo Champion Shamil Zavurov (of Dagestan!), a man who has been considered just as good a talent as Alex Sarnavskiy, will fight Thiago Meller of Brazil. Shamil is signed to Bellator, so look forward to seeing him stateside sometime this year. Also featured on the card e have Murad Machaev, a Bellator vet who’s only loss was to Marcin Held, takes on Andrius Hobaldo.
Other Fights not featured above:
- Shooto - Gig Tokyo 14: Will be headlined between two Japanese bantamweight prospects in Yuta Saski and Kota Onojima.
- Pancrase - Sakaguchi Dojo vs. Pancrase: April 21st - Headlined by top Japanese middleweight and dancer Ryo Kawamura and Kosei Kubota. Other fights to watch are Kikuyo Ishikawa (Invicta FC fighter) vs Miyoko Kusaka and Top Japanese Flyweight Mitsuhisa Sunabe vs Shingo Yakul.