Happy New Year! For the past few months, I have been posting “viewing guides” for football, basketball, and hockey and figured that combat sports deserved its own part of the site. This column will be monthly (as opposed to weekly for the other sports) and will be dedicated to upcoming match ups in the world of MMA and boxing.
I am only focusing on “top” match ups, or those pitting top 10 fighters in their respective weight classes. This is not to say that other fights aren’t worth watching but it gives a better idea of what you should watch in order to stay casually up to date on the sport.
The rankings are taken from boxrec (for boxing) and Sherdog (for MMA). They aren’t perfect but I’ve found that they are regularly updated and are globally focused. Combatpress probably has the best kickboxing rankings out there but there is no handy site on the web for upcoming bouts in that particular discipline. If I find one, you can be sure I will include kickboxing in the upcoming fights section.
I simply don’t have the time to analyze all of these fights myself but I have provided links to news stories and previews for each upcoming bout, which will be hyperlinked along with each listing.
Another (hopefully) fun and (again, hopefully) useful part of this column is an ongoing list of the top ten MMA/kickboxing matches of the year. It will be updated each month to present the best fights of the year and hopefully give you some fun fights to check out, especially if you happen to miss a card. It may be expanded to 20 as the year goes on but I will initially aim for ten.
Upcoming Boxing Fights
***Click on match up for more information. Television channels listed where applicable. Untelevised match ups are often shown overseas (outside of the U.S.) and can often be found on YouTube shortly after the fight’s conclusion.***
January 20, Showtime
Lightweight (135 lb): (1) Robert Easter Jr. (United States) vs. (9) Javier Fortuna (Dominican Republic)
January 20, Showtime
Welterweight (147 lb): (6) Errol Spence Jr. (United States) vs. (8) Lamont Peterson (United States)
Cruiserweight (200 lb): (1) Oleksander Usyk (Ukraine) vs. (2) Mairis Briedis (Latvia)
Cruiserweight (200 lb): (4) Murat Gassiev (Russia) vs. (5) Yunier Dorticos (Cuba)
Flyweight (112 lb): (3) Daigo Higa (Japan) vs. (9) Moises Fuentes (Mexico)
Bantamweight (118 lb): (4) Zolani Tete (South Africa) vs. (5) Omar Andres Narvaez (Argentina)
February 10, Showtime
Super Lightweight (140 lb): (1) Mikey Garcia (United States) vs. (8) Sergey Lipinets (Russia)
Super Middleweight (168 lb): (1) Chris Eubank Jr. (United Kingdom) vs. (3) George Groves (United Kingdom)
February 24, HBO
Super Flyweight (115 lb): (1) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (Thailand) vs. (5) Juan Francisco Estrada (Mexico)
March 3, Showtime
Heavyweight (200+ lb): (3) Deontay Wilder (United States) vs. (4) Luis Ortiz (Cuba)
Featherweight (126 lb): (1) Carl Frampton (United Kingdom) vs. (10) Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
Upcoming MMA Fights
January 20, Bellator 192, SpikeTV
Welterweight (170 lb): (5) Douglas Lima (Brazil) vs. (6) Rory MacDonald (Canada)
January 20, UFC 220, PPV
Light Heavyweight (205 lb): (1) Daniel Cormier (United States) vs. (4) Volkan Oezdemir (Switzerland)
Heavyweight (205+ lb): (1) Stipe Miocic (United States) vs. (2) Francis Ngannou (Cameroon)
February 10, UFC 221, PPV
Middleweight (185 lb): (1) Robert Whittaker (New Zealand) vs. (3) Luke Rockhold (United States)
February 18, UFC Fight Night 126, FS1
Flyweight (125 lb): (5) Ray Borg (United States) vs. (9) Brandon Moreno (Mexico)
February 24, UFC on Fox 28, FOX
Middleweight (185 lb): (4) Yoel Romero (Cuba) vs. (10) David Branch (United States)