As an avid MMA fan, the next 34 days are like Christmas to me. 8 cards will be taking place and in this article, I will give you some key points on 7 of them. We are talking UFC, StrikeForce, and the WEC. We have Georges St. Pierre defending his Welterweight strap against Dan Hardy, the WEC super fight of Jose Aldo v.s Urijah Faber, and Dan Henderson's StrikeForce debut against the underrated Jake Shields. Take a look at the fiesta that is known as the month of MMA!!!!
Event: UFC on Versus 1: "Vera vs. Jones"
Date: Sunday, March 21, 2010, at 10 p.m. ET on Versus
Location: The Odeum Colorado in Broomfield, Colorado
205 lbs.: Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera
265 lbs.: Junior Dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
265 lbs.: Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello
185 lbs.: Alessio Sakara vs. James Irvin
Fight Most Looking Forward To: Junior Dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
I know that everyone loves to watch Jon Jones, but in regardsto who is going to step up and get in the mix of the heavyweight division, I'm intersted in the Gonzaga/Dos Santos fight. Gonzaga has show glimpses of taking the leap, but he just seems to not be able to get over the hump. Dos Santos has been a wrecking machine, but the compettion, in my honest opinion, has been either over the hill (Gilbert Yvel) or a good match up for him (Fabrcio Werdum). It will be interesting to see who comes through between these two young studs.
Upset Special: Paul Buentello over Cheick Kongo
Kongo has shown that he is easy to break and he has never improved his takedown defense. Now, do i think Paul is going to try and take him down? No, but if he gets behind and is smart, he will be able too. I see Buentello knocking out Kongo who if Frank Mir can KO you, I say glass jaw.
Event: DREAM 13
Date: Monday, March 22, at 3:00am ET on HDNet.
Location: Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan.
Champ Bibiano Fernandes vs. Joachim Hansen (for DREAM featherweight title)
Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Andre "Dida" Amade vs. K.J. Noons
Ryo Chonan vs. Andrews Nakahara
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Ikuhisa Minowa
Fight Most Looking Forward To: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Joachim Hansen
Joachim Hansen is a stud and every fight he is in, he makes it exciting. Other than losing to Aoki (which he also has a win over during this time) and Eddie Alvarez, Hansen hasn't lost in over 2 years. Fernandes hasn't fought the same competition as Hansen and I feel like his title reign will be short lived.
Upset Special: Joachim Hansen over Babino Fernandes
The only way this is an upset is the fact that Fernandes is the champ and Hansen is the challenger. My name, Hansen is probably the favorite, but no matter how you look at it, I see a early KO for Hansen.
Event: UFC 111: "St. Pierre vs. Hardy"
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010, at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view (PPV)
Location: Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
170 lbs.: Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy
265 lbs.: Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin
170 lbs.: Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch
170 lbs.: Jake Ellenberger vs. Ben Saunders
155 lbs.: Jim Miller vs. Mark Bocek
Fight Most Looking Forward To: Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
I'm a huge Jon Fitch nut hugger, I'm not even going to lie. This fight is not nearly getting the pub it deserves. I feel like this fight could headline a PPV and it's the 3rd fight of the night on this loaded card. It's going to be interesting if Alves has done enough to change what the first outcome of these two fighting was. Both these fighters are thinking that if they win this fight convincingly, they will get the winner of St. Pierre/Hardy. I can't wait for this one.
Upset Special: Shane Carwin over Frank Mir
You’re probably thinking, "Jake, you aren't really leaping off a ledge with your upset picks." I know, I know, but again, Mir is a former champ and Carwin has to be the underdog on paper, but that’s the only way I see Mir winning this fight and that’s if it was fought on paper. Carwin is a big as Lesnar, probably as good of wrestler, and has better standup. That spells trouble for Mir.
Event: UFC Fight Night 21
: "Florian vs. Gomi"
Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at 8 p.m. ET on Spike TV
Location: The Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina
155 lbs.: Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi
265 lbs.: Roy Nelson vs. Stefan Struve
185 lbs.: Nate Quarry vs. Jorge Rivera
155 lbs.: Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver
Fight Most Looking Forward To: Kenny Florian v.s Takanori Gomi
As a fan of the former PRIDE FC, I'm glad to see Gomi in the UFC. He was the lightweight standard back in PRIDE heyday. Now does Gomi still have it in him? That’s going to be the question as he enters the Octagon for the first time against a very tough Kenny Florian. Gomi should have the standup advantage, but Florian improves every time he comes to the cage. Let's see if Gomi still has any gas in the tank or if Florian makes another case for the lightweight title.
Upset Special: UMMMMM........
These fights on this card all seem very even to me. I was looking at the undercard and it was still tough for me to find a fight that could be considered as a favorite vs. a heavy underdog. I guess if I have to pick one, it would be Gomi over Florian. By KO of course.
Event: UFC 112
Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010, at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view (PPV)
Location: Concert Arena, Ferrari World, Yas Island
185 lbs.: UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia
155 lbs.: UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar
170 lbs.: Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie
185 lbs.: Kendall Grove vs. Mark Munoz
155 lbs.: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Terry Etim
Fight Most Looking Forward To: Anderson Silva v.s Demian Maia
Do I think Maia has a shot against Anderson Silva? I do not, but anytime you have on the greatest strikers in the world vs. one of the greatest submission fighters in the world, it brings me back to old UFC days. It will be interesting to see how Maia defends Anderson's standup and if it goes to the ground, how Silva's submission defense works against Maia. Anderson is just too good all around and I'm already ready for Vitor.
Upset Special: Renzo Gracie over Matt Hughes
You already know I love Jon Fitch, the opposite can be said about how I feel about Matt Hughes. Saying that, and all subjectivity aside, I think Matt Hughes is a one trick pony with his wrestling and I see Renzo submitting him. Plus, it would make my night to possibly see Matt Hughes announce his retirement. Douchebag.
Event: Strikeforce: "Miami"
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS
Location: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
185 lbs.: Jake Shields vs. Dan Henderson
205 lbs.: Gegard Mousasi vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal
155 lbs.: Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki
Fight Most Looking Forward To: Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki
Aoki is a submission god. I love watching the technical craftiness he uses while in the cag.... I mean ring. Oh, and speaking of rings, thats were he will be fighting on April 17th with no tights btw. Melendez is coming off the biggest win of his career over Josh Thompson and if he wants to be considered one of the elite at 155, he needs to beat Aoki. Anytime two of the top 5 lightweights face off, I'm excited.
Upset Special: Gilbert Melendez over Shinya Aoki
This card is still coming together, but with what has been announced, this is the fight I see being the biggest upset possibility. Aoki has at times shown that if you can keep him standing up, you can put him down unconsious. (See Hansen and Sakurai). The one advantage Melendez has is the standup. I smell KO.
Event: WEC 48: "Aldo vs. Faber"
Date: Saturday, April, 24, 2010, on pay-per-view
Location: Arco Arena in Sacramento, California
145 lbs.: Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber
155 lbs.: Benson Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone
145 lbs.: Mike Brown vs. Manny Gamburyan
155 lbs.: Anthony Njokuani vs. Shane Roller
135 lbs.: Antonio Banuelos vs. Damacio Page
Fight Most Looking Forward To: ARE YOU KIDDING ME????
Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber. Nuff said.
Upset Special: Donald Cerrone over Ben Henderson
I know people may be pissed that this card isn't free on VS., but the two main fights on this card are worth the $45 alone. Donald Cerrone is maybe the most exciting fighter to watch period and Ben Henderson has shown in his last two fights that he is no joke and he will keep coming until the fight is over. Again, Cerrone is the challenger so I have him as the underdog, even it being a slight one, and I got a feeling that his usual slow start will not be present and he will bring it to Henderson and walk out as the new champ.