MMA Weekend Preview: Bellator 68, Diaz vs. Estima
We're entering yet another weekend without a big Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view, but that doesn't mean there's a shortage on MMA programming this weekend.
Bellator returns tonight with an exciting featherweight tournament finale. After that, you've got an intriguing episode of The Ultimate Fighter with two scheduled bouts and then the debut of UFC Primetime: Dos Santos vs. Mir.
See? There's plenty of MMA action, and that's just Friday night.
Let's take a quick look at the upcoming weekend in mixed martial arts.
Bellator 68: Straus vs. Sandro
When: Friday night, 7 p.m. ET
How to watch: Spike.com, MTV2, Epix HD
Featured bout: Daniel Straus vs. Marlon Sandro
Details: Bellator returns with a featherweight tournament final between Marlon Sandro and Daniel Straus. The winner earns an automatic future title shot, not to mention a sweet $100,000 check.
In addition, there's a sweet catch-weight fight between Wachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis that should be an absolute barnburner. UFC veterans Seth Petruzelli and Carmello Marello also compete in a heavyweight bout.
Legacy Fighting Championships 11
When: Friday night, 9 p.m. ET
How to watch: HDNet
Featured bout: Chad Robichaux vs. Joseph Sandoval
Details: One of the premiere independent MMA organizations in the world returns for another card from Houston, Texas.
The HDNet-televised main card features former fighters from the UFC, PRIDE and Strikeforce.
A key bout to pay attention to? The flyweight contest between veteran Chad "Robo" Robichaux and Joseph Sandoval.
Both are looking to gain the attention of UFC flyweight matchmaker Sean Shelby, which means you're looking at a fight with potential for excitement.
The Ultimate Fighter: Live, Episode 10
When: Friday night, 10 p.m. ET
How to watch: FX
Featured bout: Justin Lawrence vs. Michael Chiesa
Details: Season favorite Justin Lawrence returns to the cage to take on fan favorite Michael Chiesa, who lost his father in an emotional early episode this season. James Vick also takes on Joe Proctor.
We'll also see the fallout from the injury to coach Dominick Cruz that sidelined him from his July title defense against Urijah Faber.
Will the UFC name Faber's new opponent live on the show? You'll have to tune in to find out.
UFC Primetime: Dos Santos vs. Mir
When: Friday night, 11 p.m. ET
How to watch: FX
Featured bout: No featured bouts
Details: The UFC's key fight-hype program returns with the first episode of a three-week look at the UFC 146 main event between Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir.
Cameras follow Dos Santos and Mir as they complete training and go about their daily lives, offering a real-time look at superstar fighters preparing for a huge fight.
If past editions of the series are any indication, this will be a must-watch for MMA fans.
BJJ Superfight: Nick Diaz vs. Braulio Estima
When: Saturday night, 10 p.m. ET
How to watch: MobileBlackBelt.tv (iPPV, $9.95)
Featured bout: Nick Diaz vs. Braulio Estima
Details: Nick Diaz may not be able to fight for the UFC right now because of that whole marijuana failure thing, but that doesn't mean he can't compete in grappling superfights.
That's exactly what Diaz is doing here. He's taking on Estima—the man many consider to be one of the top grapplers in the entire world. He's a multiple-time world champion, making him the odds-on favorite to win this BJJ superfight. But we'll still tune in because we love watching Nick Diaz.
Other top BJJ superfights: Victor Estima vs. Kron Gracie, Nino Schembri vs. Bill Cooper, Kyra Gracie vs. Alexis Davis and Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra.
If you're a grappling fan, you won't want to miss this one.