This Week in Combat Sports (5/20 - 5/26)
It’s the return of This Week in Combat Sports. Sorry it’s been gone, but school and laziness are a bitch. We’ve got a busy week with tons of interesting fights across different sports. So let’s get started:
- M-1 Challenge 39 - May 23th - Being a Russian event, we could easily see one of the many competitors on this card jumping to Bellator over the summer. In fact the main event involves Bellator Middleweight Tournament semi-finalist Vyacheslav Vasilevsky. He’ll be taking on Brazilian Charles “Gracie” Andrade. The co-main event will be a featherweight title fight between two rising Sambo experts Alexey Nevzorov and Marat Gafurov (ADCC Russia Champ and M-1 Featherweight Champion). Also on the card, we’ll see a heavyweight Grand Prix featuring Ibragim Ibragimov, Dennis Smoldarev, Damian Grabowski and more. (Nikita Krylov was expected to fight Alexei Kudin but was recently signed to the UFC.)
- CFA 11 - May 24th - Ignore the poster. OldeReem had to be scratched from the card. The main event is instead going to be Mike Kyle vs Travis Wiuff. But I think more people will care more about co-main event. The first “recorded” transgender fighter in MMA, Fallon Fox will be in her first fight since coming out as a transgender fighter. Her opponent Allanna Jones (her first opponent with a positive record). On the undercard, Bellator Bantamweight tournament finalist and former World Champion wrestler Alexis Vila will fight Czar Sklavos (who has only lost to TJ Dillashaw and Joshua Sampo). Also Puerto Rican fighter Elvin Leon Brito takes on Sean Soriano. My fellow Peruvian and Bellator vet Luis Palomino takes on Robert Washington.
- Fighters Arena 8 - May 24 - I can’t really do this card justice because I don’t really know many of the fighters on it. But it’ll feature a ton of heavyweight fights and the main event is Michal Kita (#2 heavyweight in Poland) and former UFC fighter DJ Linderman (who has been everywhere lately).
- Watch Out Combat Show 26 - May 24th - Headlined by Franklin Jensen vs Julio Cesar Bilik. On the undercard we Julio Cesar Neves vs Dener dos Santos. Neves is 24-0 and has only been fighting since 2011 (he’s fought 11 times in 2013 alone). Flyweight prospect Jose Maria Tome (32-3) will fight Milton Cesar.
- Froch vs Kessler 2 - May 25 - Action packed boxing card from over the sea. Headlined by a rematch from 2010. Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler will go to battle again in a Super Middleweight fight for the IBF and WBA belts. On the undercard Tony Bellew and Isaac Chilemba will have an immediate rematch of their March match that went to split decision. Rising undefeated Brit George Groves will also fight Uruguayan boxer Noe Gonzalez Alcoba.
- UFC 160 - May 25th - Action packed UFC card full of interesting match ups on paper. In the main event, Heavyweight Champ Cain Velasquez will rematch Bigfoot Silva. In the co-main event, former champ Junior Dos Santos faces off with the streaking Mark Hunt in what is expected to be a barn-burner. Glover Teixeira and James Te-Huna will face off in a light heavyweight bout to establish a new contender at 205. A #1 contender’s match between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant. We’ll get guaranteed fireworks between Donald Cerrone and KJ Noons. The prelims looks incredible, featuring fighters like Rick Story, Mike Pyle, Max Holloway, Dennis Bermudez, Wonderboy, Brian Bowles, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Abel Trujillo, and more.
- Jewels 24th Ring - May 25th - We get some interesting story lines heading into this Jewels card. On the undercard, American English Teacher in Korea and Team Busan member, Jade Marie Anderson will look to stay undefeated in a match up against Yurika Nakakura. Mei Yamaguchi looks to rebound after a loss to Megumi Fujii last December in her fight against Seo Ye Jung. In the main event, Naho Sugiyama will look to defend her title after dropping 2 in row (one to Jessica Penne in their title fight at Invicta FC 3 and one to Celine Haga in her return to Japan). She’ll fight the Korean Seo Hee Ham.
- Legend - May 25th - It’s time for the highlight of the weekend. It’ll be the return of a legend to the ring. A true god amongst men, Bob “F******” Sapp. He’ll be fighting Aleksander Emelianenko, who’s coming out of his short retirement. The rest of the card is primarily kickboxing. Prison bird Badr Hari will fight (I guess his foot was okay after all) Zabit Samedov. Artur Kyshenko vs Yury Bessmertny /Dzhabar Askerov vs Enriko Gogokhia will square off in a tournament.
- Golden Fighters 5 - I know nothing about this card or anyone one it. There was some reason I was interested but I can’t remember, but go check it out if you’re interested.
- Genome 26 - May 26 - The only MMA Fight on this card is former UFC Heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo and Olympic Gold Medalist Judoka Satoshi Ishii. Also, is that really Bobby Lashley right there in the corner?
Edit: Sherdog lied to me.
Super Fight League 18