Bold MMA Predictions for the Month of March
The world of mixed martial arts continues to grow every single day. In February, the UFC gave fans a title fight on free television for the third consecutive month, a superfight and the debut of a new division. In March, Dana White and Co. are showing no signs of slowing down.
Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz headline UFC 158 in the biggest fight of the month. However, with UFC on Fuel 8, a trio of Bellator events and WSOF 2 on the horizon, there is lots of action to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.
Here is a look at seven bold MMA predictions for the month of March.
Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez Will Be a War for the Ages
When Diego Sanchez and Takanori Gomi meet at Saturday's UFC on Fuel 8 event, be assured that the lightweights are prepared to steal the show. In what will be Sanchez's first lightweight contest since a failed 2009 big at the title, "The Nightmare" brings his electrifying attack in a guaranteed slugfest against a former PRIDE champion whose fists are furious and full of dynamite.
If Diego decides that wrestling is the best way to win this fight, we could be in for a grappling-intensive contest, however, that's not going to happen. Diego wants another crack at gold in the worst kind of way, and he knows that his exhilarating bout with Clay Guida is what earned him his first one.
The UFC Firing Spree Will Intensify
Dana White's words of 100 impending releases still echo through every locker room that the UFC visits.
There's 100 more guys that are gonna go. It's not over. We have 475 guys under contract. We have over 100 guys too many. We have over 100 guys too many on the roster right now. What's going to happen is, if you lose, the blood has not all been spilled yet. There's more coming.
If you thought that the release of Jon Fitch sent shock waves through the MMA community, wait until more high-priced talent finds their way into the unemployment line.
There has been a lot of talk about the potential release of Josh Koscheck due to his recent shortcomings inside the Octagon and very large price tag. What kind of message will it send to the locker room to see a recent title contender and Ultimate Fighter coach let go after a pair of losses?
While I don't agree with the idea of releasing Koscheck over a pair of losses, there is no denying the conversations are being had.
Ben Saunders Finally Wins Bellator Welterweight Tournament
Third time is the charm, right?
Former UFC fighter Ben Saunders is nine fights into his Bellator career and holds a solid 7-2 record in that organization. The two losses in that stretch came in during the season 5 and season 6 welterweight tournaments.
On March 21, Saunders meets Douglas Lima in the season eight tournament final. This is a rematch from their season five matchup where Saunders was knocked out in the second round.
This time around, "Killa Bee" will have his arm raised and earn the first title shot of his ever-growing career.
Anthony Johnson Knocks out Andrei Arlovski at WSOF 2
The World Series of Fighting returns in the month of the March, and in the main event of their sophomore show, they are putting together the biggest matchup that their current roster allows.
Former welterweight Anthony Johnson has long been considered too large for that weight class. On March 23, "Rumble" moves up to heavyweight for a battle with former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski.
Although Arlovski has used a three-fight winning streak to save his legacy, that doesn't negate that the man's chin has flinched more times than a snooty couple in a dangerous neighborhood.
Johnson's power striking has been coma-inducing on multiple occasions, and in this matchup, it's going to earn him the biggest win of his career. The only question is whether or not he will stay at heavyweight after the victory.
Mark Hunt Knocks out Stefan Struve in Violent Fashion
In case you guys missed it, Mark Hunt is in the best shape of his career. The Super Samoan who is often identified by his chubby exterior is hardly recognizable these days in his new physique.
That is because Hunt is more dedicated to this sport than ever before and is training harder than we've ever seen.
The former K-1 champion is currently on a three-fight winning streak and looks to extend that against Stefan Struve on Saturday night at UFC on Fuel 8.
Hunt is primed to make major waves, and with counter-attack being his forte, connecting a powerful shot against someone like Struve, who has predictable movement and a weak chin, should not be too much trouble.
Anderson Silva Will Stall Before Finally Signing to Fight Chris Weidman in July
Before we get into this slide, let me say one thing: Anderson Silva is not afraid of fighting any man on the planet.
If there is one thing that Anderson Silva knows how to do better than fighting, it's draw intrigue to his next appearance.
Let's not forget that immediately after defeating Stephan Bonnar, "The Spider" told the world that he didn't plan on competing again for a full year. Did he mean it? Maybe. Did it make fans immediately miss seeing him in the cage, despite the fact that he just competed? Absolutely!
Damon Martin recently covered Silva's comments on a rumored bout with Chris Weidman on July 4 weekend.
"It's good for Chris Weidman, not for me," Silva said. "He's a boy, he's a kid, it's good for Chris Weidman."
Don't believe for one second that Silva isn't signing on the dotted line for this fight. He will simply take his sweet time in doing so.
Nick Diaz Will Retire Again After Losing to Georges St-Pierre
After losing a close bout against Carlos Condit last year, Nick Diaz wasted little time in announcing his retirement from the sport. Fed up with fighters who prefer to fight for points rather than look for finishes, Diaz has expressed interest in moving into boxing, where opponents won't have as many opportunities to run away from his aggression.
If that's what sets off the former Strikeforce champion, he might not be too fond of the wrestling-intensive gameplan that Georges St-Pierre is sure to employ during their UFC 158 contest.
After losing his second consecutive title bout inside the Octagon, the always-controversial Diaz will vent his frustration once again during the post-fight interview and once again say goodbye to the MMA world.
Once again, this retirement will be short-lived.