Weekend MMA Preview: Plenty of Action in UFC's Absence

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2013

Jan, 20 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; UFC bantamweight Mike Easton boxes with Jared Papazian during a bout in the UFC on FX 1 event. Easton defeated Papazian. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC may be on hiatus for another week, but MMA action around the world will not come to a halt. UFC veterans, top prospects and everyone in between will take part in a busy weekend of fights from Canada to the Middle East to Finland.

If you have a hankering for some mixed martial arts action or are bored and looking for something to potentially watch this weekend, this is the article for you. A rundown of major and minor shows putting on cards this weekend will be examined.


Maximum Fighting Championship Moves Forward with New Main Event

This week, MFC 37 suffered a major casualty to their card when heavyweight main event participant Chris Barnett backed out of his fight with top prospect Smealinho Rama. In its place is a high-stakes bout between two up-and-coming bantamweights.

Ryan Benoit and Anthony Birchak now take the center stage to main event the card with the chance to earn a top contender's spot for the MFC bantamweight strap. Their trash talk has been serious coming into this fight, so it can only be good.

Also on the MFC card is UFC veteran Jay Silva, who takes on Ultimate Fighter 16 castoff Sam Alvey in a middleweight scrap. This is matchup of grappler against power striker, so it will be interesting to see who prevails. 

Plus two top Canadian lightweights will meet in a rematch when Mukai Maromo meets Kurt Southern. The two met earlier in their careers when Southern won via submission. Now Maromo looks for some revenge in the form of a knockout, as he is a devastating Muay Thai striker.

MFC takes place on Friday, May 10, and will air on AXS TV.


Cage Warriors Takes Fight Night to the Middle East

The rapidly-ascenting Cage Warriors promotion will bring their cage back to the United Arab Emirates with the Cage Warriors Fight Night 8 card.

The exciting card will be headlined by British veteran Jack Mason, who meets Alaskan Collin Reuter. It will be a big test for Reuter, the man who owns this violent, awesome knockout that has YouTube going wild. 

Also on the card is top British bantamweight prospect James Brum. The 11-2 fighter meets French veteran Olivier Pastor in what can only be described as a potential barnburner.

Other notables on the card include Faycal Hucin, Antoni Chmielewski and Mervyn Muholland, all European up-and-comers. You can catch the card Saturday morning/afternoon on mmajunkie.com.


Showdown Fights Hosts American Notables, Potential UFC Talent

Utah will play host to Showdown Fights 11 and a title fight between a former UFC fighter and a potential UFC fighter.

Justin Buchholz and Gordon Bell are set to meet for the lightweight title in that organization, with the former UFC employee defending the belt. Buchholz is 5-2 since his expulsion from the UFC, while Bell holds an 8-1 record against some tough competition.

Also on the card will be several men connected to The Ultimate Fighter. First, former Team Faber coach Lance Palmer puts his undefeated record on the line when he faces Patrick Reeves in the featherweight division. Palmer is a Team Alpha Male rep with great wrestling and developing all-around skills that could be showcased in the UFC soon if he continues winning.

TUF 5 veteran Brandon Melendez will get an opportunity to show his stuff when he fights Colton Vaughn in the lightweight division. Melendez has struggled to find consistency since losing at the finale of the show and has bounced around the regional circuit since.

TUF 16 competitor Jason South takes the co-main event slot to fight Phil Dace. South failed to make it into the house, but he may have had the last laugh, as the season was a complete mess.

This card is going to be very interesting and could put on some great fights.


Quick Hits

  • AFC 5 in Australia will host a bevy of fights, as tournaments in multiple weight classes will be conducted. Notables on the card will be Steven Kennedy (vs. Cole Davids), Corey Nelson (vs. Alex Volkanski) and Daniel Hooker (vs. Rusty McBride), which is the main event.
  • UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Paul Daley will be competing in Dubai Fighting Championship this weekend when the British striker meets Rodrigo Ribeiro. Daley's status in Bellator has been up in the air due to visa issues.
  • Top Finnish prospect Tom Niinimaki will face his biggest test to date when he takes on veteran Chase Beebe at Cage 22. The fight will take place on Niinimaki's home soil, and a win could get him that much closer to UFC status.
  • UFC vet Dan Stittgen travels to Germany this weekend to face top German prospect Benjamin Brinsa. Stittgen fought twice in the UFC, losing both times before getting cut.
  • For all you women's MMA fans, two major Brazilian players will take fights this weekend. First, at Detonic Fight, Kalindra Faria meets Dayse Nascimento, while Claudia Gadelha meets Herica Tiburcio at Max Sport.
  • Speaking of Max Sport, that card will also feature Jorge Patino and Strikeforce veteran Eduardo Pamplona. Patino will fight UFC veteran Efrain Escudero, while Pamplona will take on TUF veteran Leonardo Macarrao.
  • Top Canadian light heavyweight Steve Bosse returns to action when he takes on Martin Desilets at Challenge MMA. The card will also see another prospect in Alex Garcia when he fights Ryan Dickson.
  • CFFC will host three great fights on their card this weekend. First, George Sullivan will meet Brandon Becker, while top flyweight Sean Santella fights Dave Morgan. Plus former Bellator champion Zach Makovsky meets Claudio Ledesma in his official flyweight debut.
  • UPC 15 plays host to former Strikeforce competitor Billy Evangelista, as he takes on Zak Bucia in the main event. The card will also host the always fun to watch Poppies Martinez when he squares off with Tony Llamas.
  • Finally, NFA will have a card headlined by UFC veteran Jared Papazian, as the former two-division fighter takes on Brandon Bender. Plus veteran Ferrid Kheder will fight Daniel McWilliams, while TUF 17 cast member Mike Jasper confronts Lee Chapman in combat form.