MMA Weekend Mixer: 6 Must See Fights This Weekend

Dwight Wakabayashi@WakafightermmaCorrespondent IIMay 3, 2012

MMA Weekend Mixer: 6 Must See Fights This Weekend

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    This weekend is a mixed martial arts fans' dream, with three major promotions holding world class fight cards available for fans to view free of charge. Three shows and 27 fights to watch this weekend.

    UFC on Fox 3 is on Saturday night and will feature 12 fights and they will all be available via Facebook or free television on Fox TV or Rogers Sportsnet in Canada.

    Bellator 67 will take place on Friday night and will hold nine fights and is available on Spike TV or MTV2.

    Canada's longest standing promotion Maximum Fighting Championships will present MFC 33: Collision Course and have 6 fights available on HDNet Fights.

    Too many fights to choose from? You can't possibly surf and catch them all so let's throw all the fights in a mixer and mix a cocktail card of the best six of the 27.

    Here are Six Must See Fights to choose this weekend.

Bellator 67: Ben Saunders vs Bryan Baker

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    Former UFC veteran Ben "Killa B" Saunders is in action this weekend in a very important fight for Bellator and his future in the sport. Saunders is one of the best fighters on the Bellator roster and will continue his drive for a welterweight title shot when he faces Bryan Baker in the tournament semi-finals.

    Baker is trying to leap frog Saunders in the BFC pecking order and this one should be a very competitive fight with a wide variety of strikes and exchanges. Saunders has a very fan-friendly style with Muay Thai heavy on the menu.

    Saunders is looking to save his place on the Bellator roster and his standing in the hearts and minds of fans. Baker is looking for a stand out, bounce back performance to make a name for himself off of Saunders' back.

    A recipe for a war.

UFC on Fox 3: Pat Barry vs Lavar Johnson

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    Pat Barry is fighting this weekend. Need I say more?

    Well, I will say more as he is facing big man Lavar Johnson who is coming off a "Knockout of the Night" win against Joey Beltran.

    This is one of those fights where you know going in that neither fighter will want to take it to the ground. These men are born and bred to throw and this one will be a slug fest for the ages.

    It may last seconds or minutes, but I highly doubt it will go past the first round. This is the first fight on the main card of the show so get your popcorn and soda early, sit down and enjoy.

MFC 33: Ryan McGillivray vs Nathan Coy

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    There is a title on the line this weekend and it is the MFC welterweight championship title. For that reason alone, this fight makes this list.

    25-year-old TUF 13 Alum and Edmonton native Ryan McGillivray will get his first title shot of his young career when he faces American Top Team veteran Nathan Coy.

    Coy is a tough customer and has some notable early career wins over Rick Story and Mike Pierce. He will be the toughest test so far for "The Kid".

    The Maximum Fighting Championships is Canada's longest standing MMA promotion and an MFC title is no small feat. Former MFC title holders include such notables as Pat Healy, Douglas Lima, Antonio McKee and Ryan Jimmo.

UFC on Fox 3: Josh Koscheck vs Johny Hendricks

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    If you like revenge grudge matches with large implications, Koscheck-Hendricks is the one to watch this weekend.

    Koscheck is a very colorful veteran of the sport who has had title runs in his career already, though he has never captured UFC gold. He is on a two-fight win streak and has really only lost to the very best of the division in his career. He is fighting to remain relevant in the welterweight division, as well as exact some revenge on Hendricks for knocking out his friend and former teammate Jon Fitch.

    Hendricks is the young lion looking to jump past Koscheck in the division rankings as well as prove that his 12-second flash knockout of Fitch in his last fight was no fluke. Beating Fitch proved that he is for real and Koscheck is his toughest test to date.

    MMAJunkie.com reported that according to Dana White Hendricks could earn a title shot with an impressive win on Saturday. Koscheck would like nothing more than to throw a wrench in that.

    There is major fuel around this fight to be an electric show of fireworks.

Bellator 67: Michael Chandler vs Akihiro Gono

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    This fight makes this list based on the implications it could have on the promotion, rather than what may happen in the cage, but is as interesting a fight as there is to see this weekend.

    Bellator has recently taken to keeping their champions active in feature fights and Chandler gets Japanese veteran star Akihiro Gono this weekend.

    On paper, Chandler is expected to walk in this fight as Gono is way past the prime of his fighting career while Chandler is just reaching his peak. Intangibles are always in play in fights and this one has risk written all over it for Chandler.

    Will he train hard for Gono, or take him a bit lightly? Gono has a wealth of experience and can submit anyone from anywhere if they make a mistake on him.

    Tune in to see if this will be as lopsided a beating as we will see this year, or whether the BFC lightweight champion is indeed overrated. 

UFC on Fox 3: Nate Diaz vs Jim Miller

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    Can anyone say Fight of The Year?

    This one has the makings of a fast-paced, all out war that could hit every part of the cage on Saturday night, with the winner first in line for a shot at the title.

    Diaz is hitting his absolute prime in his fighting game and should showcase some of the best boxing in the lightweight division. Diaz's boxing is some of the most entertaining in the game and should force Miller to get inside of Nate's reach and bully him.

    People love a stand up fight, but many times fighters stay at a distance and look to pick each other apart with selected, technical shots. It sometimes makes for two men standing apart the whole fight with no sustained action.

    This will not be the case in this fight. Miller must get in tight and push the pace all night to execute his game plan to victory, so there will be little lulls in this one.

    I'm not revealing any secrets here and this fight is the best one to catch this weekend.

    Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA, MMA Editor at CKSN.ca and guest blogger for Sportsnet.ca.

    Catch him on Facebook and Twitter at wakafightermma.