Featured MMA Fight Card of the Month

Nate GricksContributor IApril 2, 2009

Now that April is suddenly upon us, a few cards are sure to be home runs as far as appeal to the fans, shifts in division standings and overall worthy matchups sure to please fighter, fan and owners. 
I feel pockets getting fatter...cash flow fellas, let's keep this clean. 
Apr. 1
  • Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) Fight Night (UFN) 18:  Headlined by former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Welterweight (WW, 170lbs., 77kgs.) Champion, Carlos Condit, making his UFC debut against recent weight dropper Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann. Also on the card: Ryan Bader, Junie Allen Browning, Gleison Tibau and Tyson Griffin.
Apr. 3
  • Bellator Fighting Championships (BFC) 1:  Showcasing it's frosh project with Eddie Alvarez and Jorge Masvidalwho are both entered into the Lightweight (LW, 155lbs. 70kgs.) tournament sharing the venue with the Featherweight (FW, 145lbs., 66kgs.) tournament. 
Apr. 5
  • DREAM 8:  Top five LW Shinya Aokiheadlines the show catapulting the WW (168lbs., 76kgs.)  Grand Prix (GP) into full rotation as he faces off with Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.  Also featured are Hideo Tokoro and Daiki Hata to finish up the much anticipated first round of the FW (143lbs., 65kgs.) GP.  Also on the card: Andre Galvao and Sergei Kharitonov.
  • WEC 40:  Both FW's (145lbs., 66kgs.) and Bantamweights (BW, 135lbs., 61kgs.) start off an early season for the WEC featured by a BW title match between Miguel Torres and Takeya Mizugaki.  Also on the card: Jeff Curran, Joseph Benavidez, Manny Tapia, Waggney Fabiano, Fredson Paixao and Rafael Assuncao.
Apr. 10
  • BFC 2:  In a weeks time BFC will be back at it again continuing their quest for a FW Tournament Champion as it continues in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA when it showcases Wilson Reis, an undefeated Brazilian ace who has burst onto the scene, and now making waves in the FW division.
 Apr. 11
  • Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz:  Just as the title suggests, Frank Shamrock and Nick Diazwill be facing each other at a catchweight of 179lbs, 81kgs.. Also on the card: Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendezfor the LW belt, Scott Smith and Christiane "Cyborg" Santos.
Apr. 17
  • BFC 3:  Yet again, an unprecedented third appearance in the same month is Bellator continuing their quest for a Tournament Champion in both LW and FW divisions.
Apr. 18
  • UFC 97: Redemption:  Anderson Silvadefends his Middleweight (MW, 185lbs., 84kgs.) belt against Brazil grappler Thales Leites.  Also on the card: Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Luis Arthur Cane and Steve Cantwell.
Apr. 24
  • BFC 4:  Yep, four in one month. As if previously thought that the UFC having three events in one month was overwhelming, yet delicious, having a newcomer seemingly overdue it in it's first month is actually welcomed. "Warriors, come out and play-ee-ay!"
Of course, there are many worthy cards in between and even later in the month, but these cards noted above are readily available for most viewers and televised in one way or another. 
If I could watch the Pancrase, DEEP and all four of the Shooto events, I would, but I don't that's just not going to happen. Nonetheless, of all of these fight cards, the one that stands out the most for me is the WEC 40 event on the fifth.
For this month, the big talks will definitely be about BFC putting on back-to-back-to-back-to-back events in the same month, all of which will be televised on ESPN Deportes. 
The other huge following is for UFC 97 and Strikeforce, both cards featuring top competition and one of the top Pound 4 Pound (P4P) fighters in the world in Anderson Silva
All-in-all, it looks to me that with all of the publicity that the UFC and BFC are going to receive, the WEC will be quickly overshadowed. 
To make matters worse, DREAM is showcasing their WWGP and finishing up the 1st round of the FWGP, which is a perfect segue as to another reason as to why I think the WEC card is so great. 
Even though both DREAM and World Victory Road (WVR) have already started their maiden voyages into their respective FWGP's, the WEC truly holds the cream of the crop when it comes to the FW and BW divisions. 
With the consensus No. 1 BW and Top five P4P in Miguel Torresdefending his belt against Top 10 BW Takeya Mizugakiheadlining the show, the rest of the main cards would normally peril in comparison. But as it is, the rest of the card, even the undercard, is stacked from top to bottom, literally. 
You would be hard pressed to find a deeper talent pool than this one. Not only with a huge title fight on the line but also contender status at stake, undefeated streaks and exciting debuts by young up and comers. 
None of the Bellator's, nor UFC 97 or DREAM 8 have as deep a card as what the WEC has put together.
Take out the LW's and make a catchweight tournament at 140lbs, 63kgs. and neither DREAM nor Sengoku's stable could match up, and that's just from this card, not even the full WEC FW and BW roster.


1.  Miguel Torres (35-1-0)

Consensus No. 1 BW, Top 5 P4P, Current WEC BW Champion


2.  Waggney Fabiano (11-1-0)

Top five FW, Former IFL FW Champion, Current WEC No. 2 Contender


3.  Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2)

Top five BW, Current WEC BW Title Contender


4.  Jeff Curran (29-10-1)

Top 10 FW, Former WEC FW Title Contender, debuting at BW


5.  Manny Tapia (11-1-1)

Top 10 BW, Former WEC BW Title Contender


6.  Joseph Benavidez (9-0-0)

Top 10 BW, Current WEC BW Contender


7.  Rafael Assuncao (12-1-0)

Top 10 FW, WEC debut


8.  Eddie Wineland (14-5-1)

Former WEC BW Champion


9.  Dominick Cruz (12-1-0)

Former WEC FW Title Contender


10.  Rani Yahya (12-4-0)

Former WEC BW Title Contender


11.  Diego Nunes (12-0-0)

Current WEC FW Contender


12.  Cub Swanson (13-2-0)

Current WEC FW Contender


13.  Ivan Lopez (8-0-0)

WEC FW debut


14.  Fredson Paixao (8-2-0)

WEC FW debut


15.  Jameel Massouh (21-4-0)

WEC FW debut


16.  Cole Province (5-1-0)

WEC FW Veteran