Zam! The UFC Fight Night 30, Bellator 105, and the World Series of Fighting 6 all happen this weekend. Normally, I’d tell you to tune into the fights and skip your social engagements, but the fact of the matter is that there a lot of shitty fights this weekend. That’s not to say I expect boring events, however. Sometimes things that look quiet on paper turn out awesome. However, Ron fucking Sparks is fighting on Friday night, so caution is warranted. If I were the Boss of Fighting, here’s what you’d get.
-Shawn Bunch vs. Steve Garcia (Bellator 105): This might not be a barn-burner, but Bunch is a former Olympic hopeful. That kind of talent is always worth watching.
-Jim Hettes vs. Robert Whiteford (UFC Fight Night 30): At one time Hettes was a highly regarded prospect at 145, holding wins over Alex Careces and Nam Phan. While injuries and a loss to Marcus Brimage have derailed his hype train a bit, Hettes is only 26 and still has time to improve. He’ll return after a 13 month layoff to face Whiteford, who has the distinction of being the first Scotsman in the UFC.
-Justin Gaethje vs. Dan Lauzon (WSOF 6): I’ve shared some skepticism about Gaethje here before, and Dan Lauzon is a perfect test. He’s beatable, but he can punish if you leave yourself open. I have my doubts as to Gaethje’s future prospects, but he’s fun to watch either way.
-Jon Fitch vs. Marcelo Alfaya (WSOF 6): Marcelo Alfaya isn’t good. He isn’t bad, but he isn’t good. Jon Fitch should win here, and with gusto. If not, well, then at least you can say that you saw the end.
-Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Ricardo Tirloni (Bellator 105): I like Sarnovskiy. I think he’s a talented and dynamic fighter who has yet to reach his ceiling. Tirloni is tough, well rounded, and skilled enough to push “The Tiger” and make the bout a fun one.
-Marlon Moraes vs Carson Beebe (WSOF 6): Although he’s a work in progress, Moraes is already one of the most talented bantamweights outside of the UFC. I consider him a must-watch fighter, and Beebe should provide stern but beatable opposition.
-Saad Awad vs. Will Brooks (Bellator 105): Both guys are super fun to watch. That’s it. That’s really all you need sometimes.
-John Lineker vs. Phil Harris (UFC Fight Night 30): I had intended to write about possible 125lb title implications, but it looks like Lineker missed weight again. Yes, again. After he gets fired on Sunday maybe WSOF can sign him to fight Moraes in a bout to determine the best 135er not in the UFC.
-Josh Burkman vs. Steve Carl (WSOF 6): Whoa! Burkman, right? I still can’t believe it. Across the cage from him will be Steve Carl, who has made considerable strides over the last few years as well. It should be a good scrap, but if Josh Burkman is for serious, he should be World Series of Fighting’s first 170lb champ.
-Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Mark Monuz (UFC Fight Night 30): You were expecting me to say something else? Machida!
There you go. Remember to avoid that Ron Sparks fight at all costs (it’s on the Bellator main card somehow). Oh, and one final note about things to avoid: Chinzo Machida vs Justin “J-HO” Houghton (RFA 10). We saw Houghton fight on a Bellator undercard, and, well, yeesh. Chinzo shares little in common with his brother, it’s going to be gruesome.