ROUNDTABLE: Most anticipated fights and fighters from UFC, Bellator, and more this weekend

Which fights (or individual fighters) are you most interested in seeing from this weekend’s fight schedule?


Lots of MMA on television this weekend, which doesn’t necessarily equate to me watching lots of MMA. Let’s head first to the smallest of the major league promotions, or maybe it’s the second largest of the minor league ones, it’s hard to tell. The WSOF is airing an event on Friday, which I know because our esteemed editor told me about. I have a pretty simple, three-item checklist to determine whether or not I’m going to watch WSOF.

1. Is Justin Gaethje fighting?

2. Is Marlon Moraes fighting?

3. Is Rousimar Palhares roided up and trying to kill someone fighting?

The answer to #3 appears to be a forever no as far as the WSOF is concerned, and as the only two guys they have whom I care to see step into the UFC aren’t on the card, I’m going to pass.

Bellator is back, but after Kimbo v. Dada 5000, Gracie v. Shamrock 3, and the disgrace that was Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef in one of the worst things I’ve seen in MMA (actually, all three of these are close to the top), I’m done with this promotion. Thankfully, they’ve released Will Brooks so I can see him fight again. The organization has become a trainwreck dumpster fire, which for those keeping track, is the very worst type of dumpster fire. So needless to say, I am not interested in anything on this event.

Fedor Emelianenko is fighting this weekend, but the most interesting thing about this fight is that it’s on UFC Fight Pass. I have about as much interest in him fighting as I do in an MMA Senior Circuit (aka Bellator), so again, I will pass.

Which brings us to UFC Fight Night 89. Fight night cards aren’t typically loaded, but there’s often some potential for an exciting fight. Donald Cerrone is a fan favorite, and rightfully so. He fights often, he’ll fight anyone, and he tries to make it exciting for the fans. Patrick Cote has been on a bit of a resurgence lately, winning three straight and knocking a couple people out. This includes the exciting slugfest against Josh Burkman. It works for me. In the main event Rory McDonald takes on Stephen Thompson in what is almost assuredly a #1 contender bout (barring a return by one Georges St-Pierre). McDonald might be the most talented fighter at 170 pounds, but Stephen Thompson is the cool new toy that does all the neat tricks. His demolition of Johny Hendricks marked his as a real danger to the title. It may not actually get any better than this at 170 pounds, and it’s one of the top three fights you could make in the division now. Sign me up for these two fights, and wake me up after all that other garbage is over so I don’t miss them.


Bellator Bantamweight Champion Marcos Galvao defending against Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 156 would be my top pick most weekends because I’m expecting a close fight, but I have to go with the UFC Fight Night 89 main event, Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson. I’ve got really high hopes for that fight and I’m expecting fireworks. I think that it’ll be an extremely exciting fight. I’m also expecting a good fight between Donald Cerrone and Patrick Cote on the same card, though, so perhaps I’m swayed more that way because of the presence of both of those fights on the card. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonaldo in Russia is also interesting, but not as much as those other three. This is a pretty good weekend for MMA, especially considering how close we are to UFC 200.


As I wrote earlier this week, the UFC Fight Night 89 main event between Rory MacDonald and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is without question the best fight of the weekend, but there are quite a few fights worth checking out. From Fedor Emelianenko-Fabio Maldonado on UFC Fight Pass Friday, to the Bellator Bantamweight Championship Friday night, to some of the undercard fights in Ottawa like Donald Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote and Valerie Letourneau vs. Joanne Calderwood, there’s quite a bit of quality action on the weekend.

For some other unsung fights on the schedule, Mike Ricci vs. Jason High could be solid on the WSOF 31 card, while Tamdan McCrory vs. Krzysztof Jotko, Elias Theodoreau vs. Sam Alvey, and Randa Markos vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger could all stand out on Saturday’s card.

[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]

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