Power Ranking the Best MMA Fights That Will Take Place in March
February is drawing to a close, and March is another good month for MMA action.
It all gets underway this Saturday when the UFC returns to Fuel TV live from Japan. Bellator also continues on with its current season throughout the month. Both organizations bring high-level MMA action to your television screens in March.
March is highlighted by the long awaited battle between Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz for the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Here are ten of the best fights in the month of March.
No. 10: Karo Parisyan vs. Rick Hawn
Photo Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Rick Hawn was bludgeoned in his attempt to dethrone Michael Chandler, but returns to the cage to take on Karo Parisyan.
This fight makes the list due to the stylistic matchup. It does not have much relevance in the division but could provide a fun fight.
Parisyan has had an interesting couple of years but fought four times in 2012 posting a 3-1 record. He is currently coming off back-to-back armbar performances.
This would be a quality win for Hawn. For Karo, this would be a much needed win to show that he is still a credible fighter in 2013. The two judo players could put on a very fun fight in just a couple weeks. Tune in to Bellator for this action.
No. 9: Yushin Okami vs. Hector Lombard
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Do not expect this fight to win a Fight of the Night award, but when two of the best step inside the cage against one another everyone should take notice. That's why this ends up at No. 9.
The matchup between the two strong middleweights looks like it will head to the judge's scorecards. However, that does not mean it will necessarily be a boring affair. Although, that is certainly a possibility.
For fans of technical bouts this will peak their interests.
If this fight is to end early, good money is on Lombard to walk away with a knockout victory. We will find out on Saturday if he is able to stop the ever-tough Okami.
No. 8: Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt
Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports
UFC 158 is stacked in terms of welterweights, and this fight is just one of three from that night featured on this list.
Jake Ellenberger was originally slated to take on Johny Hendricks, but an injury to Rory MacDonald changed the lineup. Hendricks moved up to fight Carlos Condit, and former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nate Marquardt stepped in to take on Ellenberger.
This remains an interesting bout. Marquardt won't have to deal with the leg kick issue of his last fight, and Ellenberger will be challenged with a well-rounded opponent.
The winner of this fight will stick around the top half of the division. They will continue to be a factor in the title picture of a crowded welterweight division.
No. 7: Dave Jansen vs. Marcin Held
Photo Credit: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
This fight does not have the name recognition of some of the previous bouts, but it is still worthy of your attention.
The Bellator Lightweight Final should be a fun scrap.
Both Dave Jansen and Marcin Held enter on five fight win streaks. Jansen is undefeated in Bellator after losing his last two bouts in the WEC.
These two lightweights are not going to make a significant run up the rankings, or be a reasonable challenger to Michael Chandler, but the contest to determine the tournament champion will be a fun watch on Spike.
No. 6: Ben Saunders vs. Douglas Lima
Photo Credit: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
The last time these two met it was in the finals of the Bellator Season Five Tournament. The Season Eight finals put them back in the cage against one another.
Douglas Lima will enter as the favorite, but I don't expect this fight to be a repeat of the first. Look for a back-and-forth fight between two quality welterweights.
Saunders has improved since their last meeting and can alter the fight with one punch or kick.
Some rematches are unnecessary, but this one is not. Bellator does not have a deep talent pool and anytime you can put two of their top guys in the cage against one another it is welcome. Lima and Saunders should deliver an entertaining bout.
No. 5: Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
This fight will probably not go past the first round.
Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann like to throw heavy leather, and neither have iron chins. It is a fight that has knockout written all over it.
That is why it comes in at No. 5.
Silva and Stann dropped their last outings in the Octagon, and a win will at least put them back on the right track. The light heavyweight bout won't do much for either man's career. They are not contenders at 185 or 205.
That doesn't take away from this being a solid fight that should give us a finish.
No. 4: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada is a fight that is flying under the radar and has a real chance to surprise a lot of people.
The welterweight clash could produce the latest inclusion in the UFC rankings. This is an important fight in the 170-pound division.
This is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, but in today's MMA both fighters have well-rounded skills. The bout will come down to who can control where the fight takes place, and that is an interesting aspect to this match-up.
Bahadurzada and Kim can put themselves in the discussion in the division with an impressive win.
No. 3: Carlos Condit vs. Johny Hendricks
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Condit may have just lost to GSP, but if he is able to defeat number one ranked Johny Hendricks in the UFC 158 co-main event then he will lay claim to that top ranking.
Hendricks has been able to destroy top ranked fighters with his fists, and still be able to rely on his wrestling when need be. While he may have been looked over for this title shot, a win over Condit will certainly put him next in line.
This may be a better fight than the main event.
Condit and Hendricks are finishers. They are two of the most exciting fighters in the division, and that is a major boost to this fight in lieu of Rory MacDonald's injury.
This is a true number one contender's fight.
No. 2: Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez
Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports
Both Diego Sanchez and Takanori Gomi are fighting to make one last run toward a championship, but this fight enters at number two because it has excitement written all over it.
Diego Sanchez may be the most exciting fighter in UFC history based on his previous performances, and Gomi is no slouch in the entertainment department either. They are two warriors who will trade on their feet without much regard.
It is almost a shame this fight will take place on Fuel TV and not on FX or FOX. More fans should get a chance to see the fireworks that await when the bell sounds.
Two durable lightweights are going to swing for the fences for 15 minutes. Do not miss this fight.
No. 1: UFC Welterweight Championship: Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
There is no other choice for what is the best fight in March. It is the much anticipated UFC Welterweight Championship fight between Nick Diaz and GSP.
Yes, GSP does have the distinct advantage in wrestling which has been Diaz's Achilles' heel, but Diaz still poses significant problems for the champion.
However, what makes this fight so great? The buildup. The excitement we have just for it to get underway. It is a big time fight.
This is a fight that has everything we want in a fight. And with an angry GSP this fight will surely deliver inside the Octagon as much as it has outside of it. UFC 158 cannot get here soon enough to see these two mix it up for our pleasure.