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6/13/16: Five Fights to Watch This Weekend
A weekend which seemed to be heading to an open slot on the MMA schedule got suddenly engulfed in fights, and there’s a variety of options worthy of attention this weekend. Here’s my top five fights on the schedule:
5. Donald Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote (UFC Fight Night 89): The co-main event on Saturday’s card from Ottawa is well worth watching, because of course a Donald Cerrone fight is well worth watching. Patrick Cote’s been on a very nice run at welterweight, pulling off some of his most exciting wins in that time. Cerrone’s almost never in a bad fight, and though it’s not the best overall matchup for either fighter, it still makes for a good fight.
4. Valerie Letourneau vs. Joanne Calderwood (UFC Fight Night 89): The UFC’s first attempt at a women’s flyweight fight will be a boon for both Letourneau and Calderwood, who have previously expressed difficulty in the cut down to 115 lbs for past fights. It would have been a great strawweight matchup, and it’s even better with them not needing to drain themselves to make weight.
3. Marco Galvao vs. Eduardo Dantas (Bellator 156): Provided both can actually make it to Friday’s event on Spike, this is an entertaining bantamweight rematch that’s been long overdue. It’s been delayed several times already, but if it actually happens this time around it should be a fun and entertaining fight for Bellator this weekend. Galvao’s title win over Joe Warren was an excellent submission, and now he tries to avenge his loss to former protege Dantas from several years back. There’s a lot of backstory for this one and it should be a good fight.
2. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonado (EFN 50): Fedor Emelianenko’s fighting live on UFC Fight Pass on Friday. Close enough, right? It’s a much more interesting fight than the one he had with Jaideep Singh in January, and Maldonado’s the type of ridiculous brawler who will try to come forward until he’s put away. It’s likely to be a violent and fairly quick fight, but it’s Fedor on UFC Fight Pass!
1. Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson (UFC Fight Night 89): Saturday’s main event on Fox Sports 1 was one of my top fights of the month overall, and it’s definitely the best fight of the weekend. MacDonald returns for the first time since his absolute war with Robbie Lawler last July, while Thompson just stopped former champ Johny Hendricks in the first round in February. This is a fantastic 170 lb. matchup between two entertaining strikers, while MacDonald’s also likely to test Thompson’s ground acumen.
[Photo (c) Stephen R. Sylvanie via USA Today Sports]
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