There wasn’t enough going on last week to warrant one, but here’s the first 2015 edition of this week in combat sports. Barring any massive oversight I don’t think I missed anything super important but as always feel free to add on with anything you feel deserves a mention.
Bellator MMA 132 - Friday, Jan. 16th Prelims 7pm ET on Spike.com; Main Card at 9pm ET on Spike TV: Bellator’s first show completely at the wheel in 2015. Let’s see how he does. As far as a main event goes, he’s started off solid enough with a featherweight title fight, Pactricio Pitbull-Daniel Straus 2. The co-main event is potentially a #1 contender’s match with wrestling standout Bubba Jenkins (8-1) getting a massive step up in former WSOF featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan (23-4-1). Houston Alexander gets another main card fight for Bellator when he faces Virgil Zwicker. The main card will be rounded out by kickboxing standout Marius Zaromskis facing off against Fernando Gonzalez. The prelims hold some good stuff as well. Featherweight prospect Fabricio Guerrero (20-3), coming off a submisiion win over BMMA tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev, faces off against Nick Piedmont (10-5). Don’t really know what to expect out of (can crushing) Xplode Series vet Derek Anderson (11-1) but he’ll face Danny Navarro (12-4). Glory kickboxing and UFC vet Dustin Jacoby is set to face John Salter.
Legacy Kickboxing 1 - Friday, Jan. 16th at 10pm ET on AXS TV: Legacy FC deviates from the norm and decides to kickoff their 2015 with a kickboxing show. Still, there are plenty of names for MMA fans and a handful for kickboxing fans. The card will be headlined by Brazilian Muay Thai standout Cosmo Alexandre as he faces Regian Eersel. Also featured on the card is UFC/K-1 veteran Pat Barry. As he continues to refuse retirement, he’ll face Demoreo Dennis. Former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres is on the card facing Angel Huerta. Marco Pique and Micharl Corley are set to face off. Peruvian muay thai world champion and MMA prospect Valentina Shevchenko comes to the States to face Lindsay Haycraft.
Jomthong Chuwatana vs Daiki Kaneko - Saturday, Jan. 17th: Some good stuff by way of Japan as the OPBF super featherweight title is on the line as Japan’s Daiki Kaneko (21-3) and Thailand’s Jomthong Chuwatana (8-0) adds to the Thailand-Japan boxing rivalry. Jomthong Chuwatana is primarily a Muay Thai fighter. He’s a 3x Rajadamnern Stadium Champion and a former WBC muay thai champion.
WSOF 17 - Saturday, Jan. 17th at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN: I’d be lying if I said I was terribly interested in this one and my disinterest might be the most interesting thing about this card. WSOF, in the midst of spiraling down the drain, finally picks a date where they have relatively no competition (Wilder-Stiverne is the only other thing happening Saturday night) and they throw out this dud of a card to capitalize. The card is headlined by Jake Shields and Brian Foster. (5-0) Jonathan Nunez and Brian Cobb are the co-headliner.
Stiverne vs Wilder - Saturday, Jan. 17th at 10pm ET on Showtime: World championship heavyweight boxing is on Showtime. What a way to kick off the year. Bermane Stiverne brought the heavyweight title back to this side of the planet last year by knocking out Chris Arreola. He’s set to face Deontay Wilder, whom while untested, is more than likely the most powerful puncher on the planet. One way or the other, this shouldn’t last 12 rounds.
K-1 World GP 2015 ~60kg - Sunday, Jan. 18th at ??? on ???: This is the best card that K-1 has put on since FEG dropped out. Gotta make a better effort to follow in 2015. Half the guys on this card are top 5 at 60kg and 3 are former It’s Showtime champions. Karim Bennoui, Javier Hernandez, Masahiro Yamamoto, Hirotaka Urabe, Shimano Kotaro, Gagny Baradji, Hirotaka Urabe, Shimano Kotaro, Gagny Baradji, and Johan Wolf face off in this year’s GP. We’ll also have the 2014 65kg GP winner and Lumpini Stadium champion Kaew Fairtex on the card facing Brazil’s Minoru Kimura. Sanny Dahlbeck will face Yoshihiro Sato. With K-1 doing like 10 events in China and trying to open up that market (they’re last show did 130 million in the ratings), it’ll be interesting to see Shou Rong vs Takiya Shota. If you like world class kickboxing, tune in.
UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Siver - Sunday, Jan. 18th at Fight Pass/Prelims/Main Card at 6pm/7pm/10pm on Fight Pass and FS1: The McGregor train chugs its way back to Boston aka little Ireland USA as he lightly jogs towards his title shot against Aldo later this year. McGoat faces Dennis… Silva? Sliver. Silver? Sivre? I wouldn’t for the life of me know since the marketing team’s decided he wasn’t worth knowing. Oh well. In what is to be a more competitive bout and FOTN and a FOTY candidate, we’ll have Benson Henderson vs Donald Cerrone 3. Cowbboy enters on a 6 fight winning streak that has seen him beat 6 actually really good fighters over the course of about 13 months. And to make it crazier, this fight comes only two weeks after Cerrone beat his last opponent Miles Jury. Tibau vs Norman Parke rounds out the main card in a fight no one wants to see and that’s why it’s on during the playoff game. The prelims have some fun match ups. Sean Spencer won me over in his fights with Alex Garcia and Paulo Thiago while Cathal Pendred did the opposite with his fight with Gasan Umalatov. John Howard vs. Lorenz Larkin is a loser leaves town match where both guys have gotten to this point by just not having the output they’ve need. Hopefully that lights a fire under their asses. ROC champions Frankie Perez and Chris Wade hope to impress against Johnny Case and Zhang Lipeng respectively. Patrick Holohan and Shane Howell look to rebound after getting steamrolled in both of their last bouts. Sean Soriano is a great prospect that could potentially go 3 and out in the UFC against a Charles Rosa that looked really good in a lost to Dennis Siver. Also flyweight prospect Joby Sanchez looks to pick up his first UFC win against Tateki Matsuda.