Since most MMA sites tend to focus UFC events, I’ve decided to give the readers some information on other MMA events that are occurring in the month of April. April, is loaded with very solid events in Japan and even here in the states.
Bellator Fighting Championship will make it start on April 4 and will continue for 12 weeks. The series of events will be shown on ESPNDeportes and features some known and unknown fighters. The series will involve four grand prix style tournaments from the 145 to 185 lbs.
The series starts off with the smaller guys with Eddie Alvarez vs. Greg Loughran and Jorge Masvidal vs. Nick Aguliar. Alvarez and Masvidal are considered the favorites in the 155 tourney. The 145 tourney will also be underway with two men to look for in Estevan Payan and Joe Soto.
Payan is a product of Arizona Combat Sport which is the home of WEC champ Jamie Varner and Former WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit. Payan is 6-1 and has half of his wins by submission and Soto is 4-0 and has never been out of the first round.
The second BFC event is the very next week and will feature Wilson Reis in the 145 tourney. Reis was the lightweight champ in Elite XC and will be a real force in the 145 tourney. The event will also showcase the man with one of the most original nicknames in MMA in Jorge “the naked man” Ortiz.
Ortiz has been in the cage with some names with decision losses to John Fitch and Eugene Jackson and has a win over Jason Guida. Another fight to look out for is Victor Meza who fights out Southwest MMA alongside TUF lightweight winner Efrain Escudero. Meza is 9-0 who is a wrestler with some good submission skills.
Although the rest of the week’s events have not been finalized the series will feature former UFC welterweight champ Dave Menne, Hector Lombard, Alex Andrade and up and coming fighters Yosmany Cabezas.
Nagano, Japan will host Dream 8 on April 5 which will start the welterweight grand prix with the first round fight that should be the final. The rematch between Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai which pits easily two of Japan’s most beloved fighter is going to be epic.
For those who don’t remember Mach was considered to be a top ten welterweight not so long ago will be looking to avenge a decision loss to Aoki back in 2005. The winner will more than likely be the odd on favorite to win the tourney.
The event will also have some non tourney action as featuring Zelg Galesic who was the surprise of last year’s middleweight grand prix and the beloved Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa who is on a bit of back and forth win loss streak looks to win two in a row.
WEC 40 also takes place on April 5 with a card so loaded that the WEC had to put some top ten talent on the undercard. The main card features the best fighter under 155 and P4P top five fighter Miguel Angel Torres as he goes against top ten bantamweight fighter Takeya Mizugaki.
Other main card fights will feature top talents in Rafael Assuncao, Shane Roller and a bout between Joseph Benavidez and Jeff Curran which will jump the winner into title contention behind Brian Bowles. The undercard has a bout between Manny Tapia and Akitoshi Tamura which should be on the main card and features fighters like Wagnney Fabiano, undefeated Diego Nunes, and American Top Team fighter Rafael Dias.
Finally Strikeforce makes its return with their newly acquired lineup of fighters from Elite XC. The main event will have two guys with big ego’s and even bigger mouths fighting as Nick Diaz takes on Frank Shamrock. The card also features the rematch between Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight title.
If you’ve never seen their first fight you should be and find it on YouTube because it was a hard fought match between them and I’m hoping for just as good as a fight. The card also has a bout between Benji Radach and Scott Smith which I’m really looking forward to because its due to be a nonstop action packed fight with two guys looking to be a factor in the middleweight division.
All in all, the month of April looks to be great for MMA. All this along with UFN 18 and UFC 97. Thank you MMA gods.