Greetings again, my lovely little violence afficionados! It’s the end of another tedious week, so that can mean only one thing: Weekend Combat Sports! As I mentioned last week, the UFC is taking a bit of a hiatus, as the next event isn’t until October 25th (Of course, that’s when I go out of town for The Rassles), so the pickings are a little slim this time out. Never fear, there’s still something to watch if you need your face punch and dick kick fix!
Bellator, you are a salve upon my weary punchsports soul. You don’t always offer the best fights, or sometimes even competitive fights, but there’s usually an entertaining or hilarious gem hidden in your depths. As always, Bellator’s prelims can be found at Bellator.com starting at 7:00 PM ET, and as usual, it is filled to the brim with Some Dudes. The good thing is that the prelims typically have a number of lopsided mismatches, so they tend to move quickly thanks to all the finishes. The Bellator main card can be found on Spike TV starting at 9:00 PM ET. It’s a four-card stretch, so if you don’t catch the prelims live, you have a good chance of seeing them replayed to fill time. Alexander Sarnavskiy is taking on Derek Campos to kick off the main card in a welterweight bout. I like Sarnavskiy, and since Ben Askren is beating up schlubs in Singapore, I think the Russian has a solid chance of being champion. Up next is Bubba McDaniel taking on Emiliano Sordi at middleweight. I don’t like Bubba, and I don’t think I ever will. The best part about his fights are waiting for him to lose in hilarious fashion, and I think Sordi is capable of punching his head a whole bunch, which is always appreciated. The co-main event is a welterweight contest between Nah-Shon “The Rock N Rolla” Burrell and Michael “Venom” Page (I like that Bellator and TNA both have dudes called MVP). If you’ve never seen Page, he’s a lot like a British Anderson Silva. I think Bellator has a lot riding on him, so the chance he faces a wrestler is about the same as Conor McGregor facing one (Between Slim and none, and Slim just died of malnutrition). The main event is a bantamweight title unification bout as interim champ Joe “The Self-Proclaimed Baddest Man on the Planet” Warren takes on regular champ Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (I refuse to find out what Dudu means, so he’ll always be Edward “Poop” Dentist to me). Warren has really high-level wrestling (I don’t know if this is supposed to be a joke about Warren not making the 2012 Olympic team for testing positive for marijuana or not), so there is a chance he could just grind out a decision. However, his extreme case of Leaky Brain plus Dantas’ kickboxing skills make it much more likely that Warren gets hurt and dropped early (Which is what happens in every Joe Warren fight at this point) and then Dantas leaps onto a submission and doesn’t let go until the referee gently pries him off.
WSoF is back, but this time all the cool guys that I argue belong in the UFC have the night off. The prelims will begin 7:00PM ET at WSoF.com and also Sherdog.com Sadly, the only people on the prelims that I’ve heard of is Tim Hague, who is a mediocre heavyweight, and Mike Hill, the not-Mike Ricci Canadian from The Ultimate Fighter. The main draw for the prelims will be commentator Bas Rutten not caring at all and just making fighting noises.
The main card is on NBC Sports Network at 9:00PM ET, so after the Fighting Irish beat up some fake school, get ready for punch men. Like Bellator, the main card is just four fights long, so there is a chance you’ll see a replay of a prelim fight if the producers don’t choose to have color commentator Bas Rutten do drunk karaoke to fill time instead. The co-main event is a heavyweight title fight between Smealinho Rama (FAKE) and Derrick Mehmen. Mehmen will always hold a special place in my heart for his wonderful knockout against Rolles Gracie, though I have to admit that Rolles played a large part in making it so memorable with his delightful take on the Flair Flop.
The main event is a welterweight title fight between WSoF Canada champion Ryan Ford and American Jiu-Jitsu buzzsaw, Jake Shields. I like that WSoF is using regional titles the right way, as a stepping stone to world championships, though I would have liked to see Ford have a successful defense or two before challenging for a real belt. Ford’s got good striking, while Shields is great at three things: grappling, looking like a horse, and yelling “AISH!” as he throws punches that land a foot in front of his opponent while he turns redder and redder. Needless to say, Jake Shields is a favorite of mine, and I expect him to do all sorts of fun and exciting grapples to Ford.
What’s that you say? You like the punching and kicking aspect of MMA, but aren’t entirely sold on the grappling aspect? Have I got good news for you! This Saturday, there is going to be FREE K-1 Max action. If you aren’t aware, K-1 is one of the top two kickboxing organizations still operating, and this Max card should be all sorts of fun. I’m a little unsure of the start time, since the event poster says 6PM Thailand on Saturday, but the countdown timer on the streaming page makes it look like it will start around 3AM Sunday morning. I guess just keep a tab with the video player open and wait until you hear dudes hitting each other in the face a lot.