Ringside Seats

March 2018 in Combat Sports

MMA Update

UFC 222
Brian Ortega upset Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, knocking him out in the first round with a right uppercut.  Ortega now improves to 14-0 and is expected to challenge UFC Featherweight champ Max Holloway for the belt sometime in the near future.  This was the first time Edgar had been stopped in his 12 and a half year MMA career.  Highlights

Upcoming MMA Matchups

***Card and dates subject to change. Click on the matchup for preview.***

April 7, UFC 223 (PPV)
UFC Lightweight Championship (155 lb)
: (2) Tony Ferguson (United States) vs. (3) Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia)
UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship (115 lb): (1) Rose Namajunas (United States) vs. (2) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Poland)
Women’s Strawweight (115 lb): (5) Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Poland) vs. (10) Felice Herrig (United States)
Flyweight (125 lb): (5) Ray Borg (United States) vs. (9) Brandon Moreno (Mexico)

April 14, UFC on FOX 29 (FOX)
Lightweight (155 lb)
: (7) Justin Gaethje (United States) vs. (8) Dustin Poirier (United States)
Flyweight (125 lb): (7) Wilson Reis (Brazil) vs. (10) John Moraga (United States)

April 21, UFC Fight Night 128 (FS1)
Lightweight (155 lb): (5) Edson Barboza (Brazil) vs. (6) Kevin Lee (United States)
Featherweight (145 lb): (4) Frankie Edgar (United States) vs. (5) Cub Swanson (United States)

May 12, UFC 224 (PPV)
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (135 lb): (1) Amanda Nunes (Brazil) vs. (5) Raquel Pennington (United States)
UFC Interim Welterweight Championship (170 lb): (2) Rafael dos Anjos (Brazil) vs. (7) Colby Covington (United States)
Middleweight (185 lb): (5) Ronaldo Souza (Brazil) vs. (6) Kelvin Gastelum (United States)

May 19, UFC Fight Night 129 (FS1)
Welterweight (170 lb): (9) Santiago Ponzinibbio (Argentina) vs. (10) Kamaru Usman (United States)

June 1, UFC Fight Night 131 (FS1)
Bantamweight (135 lb): (5) Marlon Moraes (Brazil) vs. (6) Jimmie Rivera (United States)

June 9, UFC 225 (PPV)
UFC Middleweight Championship (185 lb)
: (1) Robert Whittaker (New Zealand) vs. (3) Yoel Romero (Cuba)
Flyweight (125 lb): (2) Joseph Benavidez (United States) vs. (8) Sergio Pettis (United States)
Women’s Strawweight (115 lb): (4) Claudia Gadelha (Brazil) vs. (7) Carla Esparza (United States)
Heavyweight (205+ lb): (3) Alistair Overeem (Netherlands) vs. (9) Curtis Blaydes (United States)

July 7, UFC 226 (PPV)
UFC Heavyweight Championship (205+ lb): (1) Stipe Miocic (United States) vs. (1) [Light Heavyweight] Daniel Cormier (United States)


Ongoing Fight of the Year Rankings

***Rankings based on excitement, competitiveness, technical skill, and activity, but not necessarily in that order. I won’t rank anything that I don’t believe to be worth watching, so average or lackluster fights will not place. This is not meant to be comprehensive; I will only be ranking those fights which I have seen. The rankings may also change throughout the year based on reevaluations or second viewings.***

1 Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar UFC 220
2 Drew Dober vs. Frank Camacho UFC on FOX 27
3 Michael Johnson vs. Darren Elkins UFC Fight Night 124
4 Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith UFC Fight Night 125
5 Lucie Pudilova vs. Sarah Moras UFC Fight Night 126
6 Li Jingliang vs. Jake Matthews UFC 221
7 Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz UFC Fight Night 127
8 Doo Ho Choi vs. Jeremy Stephens UFC Fight Night 124
9 Mike Perry vs. Max Griffin UFC on FOX 28
10 Mamed Khalidov vs. Tomasz Narkun KSW 42
11 Jessica Andrade vs. Tecia Torres UFC on FOX 28
12 Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir UFC 220
13 Jeremy Stephens vs. Josh Emmett UFC on FOX 28
14 Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero UFC 221
15 Renan Barao vs. Brian Kelleher UFC on FOX 28
16 Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font UFC 220
17 John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz UFC 222
18 Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath UFC 222
19 Christian Lee vs. Kazunori Yokota ONE 69
20 Kalyn Schwartz vs. Kay Hansen Invicta 28
21 Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso UFC 220
22 Nanaka Kawamura vs. Mizuki Furuse DEEP Jewels 19
23 Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Volkov UFC Fight Night 127
24 Riski Umar vs. Khon Sichan ONE 69
25 Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja UFC 220
26 Tyson Pedro vs. Saparkbek Safarov UFC 221
27 Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen UFC 221

On the Bubble

Michael Prazeres vs. Desmond Green UFC Fight Night 125
Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nedkov Bellator 194
Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson Bellator 194
Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender UFC Fight Night 126
Magomedsaygid Alibekov vs. Akhmed Aliev FNG 83
Joe Warren vs. Joe Taimanglo Bellator 195
Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano UFC 22

Too Short

Gregor Gillespie vs. Jordan Rinaldi UFC on Fox 27
Derek Brunson vs. Ronaldo Souza UFC on Fox 27
Yancy Medeiros vs. Donald Cerrone UFC Fight Night 126
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ilir Latifi UFC on Fox 28
Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega UFC 222
Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya UFC 222

Top Glory Kickboxing Fights

1 Omar Moreno vs. Casey Greene Glory 50: Chicago
2 Mohammed Jaraya vs. Miles Simsen Glory 51: Rotterdam
3 Zakaria Zouggary vs. Bailey Sugden Glory 52: Los Angeles
4 Badr Hari vs. Hesdy Gerges Glory 51: Rotterdam
5 Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Kevin VanNostrand Glory 52: Los Angeles
6 Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Junior Tafa Glory 50: Chicago
7 Sittichai Sitsongpeenon vs. Christian Baya Glory 50: Chicago
8 Massaro Glunder vs. Victor Pinto Glory 51: Rotterdam

Other Recommended Kickboxing

Yodsanklai Fairtex vs. Enriko Kehl Wu Lin Feng
Marat Grigorian vs. Dzianis Zuev Kunlun Fight 69
Superbon Banchamek vs. Sergii Kuliaba Kunlun Fight 69
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Suakim KNOCK OUT First Impact
Andy Souwer vs. Tayfun Ozcan Enfusion 62
Djibril Ehouo vs. Yuri Bessmertny ACB KB 13
Hasan Toy vs. Ilias Bulaid Wu Linfeng
Buakaw Banchamek vs. Jonay Risco Enfusion 63
Koji vs. Hirotaka Urabe K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Masanobu Goshyu vs. Dennis Wosik K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Chingiz Allazov vs. Hinata K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Kaew Fairtex vs. Ren Hiramoto K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Koya Urabe vs. Wei Rui K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Takeru vs. Kosuke Komiyama K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1

Too Short (Kickboxing)

Superbon Banchamek vs. Marat Grigorian Kunlun Fight 69
Hayato vs. Toshi K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Kosuke Komiyama vs. Suarek Rukkukamui K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Takeru vs. Masanobu Goshyu K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Minoru Kimura vs. Hirayama Jin K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Yoshiki Takei vs. Kubo Kenji K-1 WORLD GP 2018 JAPAN K’FESTA.1
Simon Marcus vs. Zack Wells Glory 52


Boxing Update

Wilder vs. Ortiz
On March 3, Deontay Wilder successfully defended his WBC World Heavyweight Title in a wild, back and forth affair, defeating Luis Ortiz by TKO at the 2:05 mark of the 10th round.  Wilder knocked Ortiz down in the 5th but was hurt late in the 7th by an Ortiz left hand and barely survived the round.  Wilder knocked Ortiz down twice in the 10th, with the ref waving the contest off after the second.  Highlights

Valdez vs. Quigg
Scott Quigg did not make weight for the title fight, coming in at 2.5 pounds over the required weight of 126 pounds, therefore he was not eligible to win Valdez’s WBO World Featherweight Title. He was probably closer to 140 at fight time but Valdez did not seem intimidated, despite having his jaw broken and losing a tooth in the fourth round. He came back to break Quigg’s nose in the eighth round and both fighters looked the worse for wear by the final bell. Valdez won a tough unanimous decision. Highlights

Joshua vs. Parker
Anthony Joshua defended his IBO, WBA, and IBF Heavyweight Titles and also won the WBO Heavyweight Title from Joseph Parker in a largely unspectacular unanimous decision victory where both fighters seemed tentative and gun-shy.  The fight seemed to be closer than the scorecards indicated.  This was also the first time that Joshua had failed to stop an opponent. A future fight against WBC Heavyweight Champ Deontay Wilder is certainly on the horizon for Joshua.

Upcoming Boxing Matches

***Card and dates subject to change. Click on the matchup for preview. Television access listed where available. International match ups not shown on American television can often be found on YouTube soon after the completion of the fight.***

Bolded match ups are considered “must see.”

April 7, Showtime
Super Welterweight (154 lb)
: (1) Erislandy Lara (Cuba) vs. (3) Jarrett Hurd (United States)

April 15
Flyweight (112 lb)
: (2) Daigo Higa (Japan) vs. (9) Cristofer Rosales (Nicaragua)

April 21
Bantamweight (118 lb)
: (4) Zolani Tete (South Africa) vs. (4) Omar Andres Narvaez (Argentina)

April 21
Featherweight (126 lb)
: (1) Carl Frampton (United Kingdom) vs. (10) Nonito Donaire (Philippines)

April 21, Showtime
Welterweight (147 lb): (6) Jessie Vargas (United States) vs. (8) [Super Lightweight] Adrien Broner (United States)

April 28, HBO
Middleweight (160 lb)
: (3) Daniel Jacobs (United States) vs. (4) [Super Welterweight] Maciej Sulecki (Poland)

April 28, ESPN
Super Bantamweight (122 lb)
: (2) Jessie Magdaleno (United States) vs. (8) Isaac Dogboe (Ghana)

May 2
Minimumweight (105 lb): (2) Wanheng Menayothin (Thailand) vs. (3) Leroy Estrada (Panama)

May 5, HBO PPV
Middleweight (160 lb)
: (1) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (Mexico) vs. (2) Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan)

May 11
Cruiserweight (200 lb)
: (1) Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine) vs. (3) Murat Gassiev (Russia)

May 12, ESPN
Lightweight (135 lb): (1) Jorge Linares (Venezuela) vs. (1) [Super Featherweight] Vasyl Lomachenko (Ukraine)

May 12, HBO
Super Welterweight (154 lb): (5) Sadam Ali (United States) vs. (8) Liam Smith (United Kingdom)

May 19, Showtime
Light Heavyweight (175 lb)
: (1) Adonis Stevenson (Canada) vs. (3) Badou Jack (Sweden)

May 19
Featherweight (126 lb)
: (5) Lee Selby (United Kingdom) vs. (8) Josh Warrington (United Kingdom)

May 25
Light Flyweight (108 lb)(1) Ken Shiro (Japan) vs. (3) Ganigan Lopez (Mexico)

May 25
Bantamweight (118 lb): (1) Jamie McDonnell (United Kingdom) vs. (2) [Super Flyweight] Naoya Inoue (Japan)

June 9, Showtime
Featherweight (126 lb)
: (1) Leo Santa Cruz (Mexico) vs. (4) Abner Mares (Mexico)

June 9, ESPN
Welterweight (147 lb): (1) Jeff Horn (Australia) vs. (1) [Super Lightweight] Terrence Crawford (United States)

June 23
Welterweight (147 lb): (5) Billy Joe Saunders (United Kingdom) vs. (9) Martin Murray (United Kingdom)

 

Written by Mark

A gentleman and a scholar.