Junior dos Santos
After a busy April punctuated by four UFC events—accompanied by reams of hype and entire news cycles brimming with injury drama—the MMA community is taking a little breather in May. At the top of the food chain, the UFC has "only" two cards scheduled for the month, while Bellator remains on hiatus until June 19.
Not a huge deal, though. In MMA, there's never any real break from the insanity. Here are five May predictions so big and bold you'd think they were, I don't know, made of habaneros.
On the undercard of UFC on FX 8, Fabio Maldonado and Roger Hollett face off. In this corner, you have Maldonado, a former boxer who is 1-3 in the UFC and whose major claim to credibility in major league MMA is his status as a former boxer. In that corner, you have Hollett, who spent most of his UFC debut cowering from Matt Hamill, The Old Version.
But I say to you now, boldly and bravely, that one of these men will emerge victorious from this fight on May 18. No matter how badly they might want it to be otherwise. This one I feel inside my bones.
There will be no settlement. But there will be blood.
What will it be? Tommy gun? Morning star? The bare hands which providence didst entrust to him? It's all on the table following the news that Alvarez, 29, and Bellator will likely enter an inevitably protracted lawsuit over Alvarez's contract.
The move forced Alvarez to circle the wagons in both his personal and professional lives, not to mention shaved still more valuable time off of his championship-caliber career.
Costa Philippou injured himself and had to back out of his UFC on FX 8 tilt with Ronaldo Souza. Enter the lower-ranked and decidedly less sexy Chris Camozzi. Perhaps not the foil Souza envisioned for his triumphant UFC debut.
In any case, it seems the injury bug knows not the name of mercy, and will attack Souza and this UFC on FX 8 co-main event, which will in turn weaken an already vulnerable card (one of the few, actually) and reawaken the "UFC puts on too many shows" debate.
Here's the main slate for UFC 160, scheduled for May 25:
Donald Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons
Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant
Glover Teixeira vs. James Te-Huna
Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
Not only are every single one of these guys strikers, boxers, brawlers or all of the above, but they're all motivated to make statements about their respective career statuses. I'm guessing all five of these end in a striking-related stoppage.
With the UFC hell-bent on making some—any—kind of superfight, with Anderson Silva-Jon Jones looking as if it might actually line up for the end of the year, with Georges St-Pierre recently noting that he might prefer a drop down to lightweight over a move up to middleweight and with many a foot still dragging on making GSP-Johny Hendricks, I'm guessing GSP-Bendo rumors really heat up in May.