After a week’s absence due to various circumstances, I’m back again to preview this weekend’s mixed martial arts action and there’s plenty of it to talk about, both on the foreign and domestic fronts.
There are a pair of cards Thursday, topped by the Palace Fighting Championships’ “Best of Both Worlds 3” card at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif. The main event is a 135-pound fight between Shawn Klarcyk (9-3) – who is coming off a loss to Jeff Bedard back in January – and Shawn Bias (13-8), a solid PFC veteran who’s lost three of his last four. Leading the undercard is Chad Mendes (3-0) against journeyman Steven Siler (11-6).
Just one card is scheduled for Friday, as Heat XC’s “Ruthless” card will take place at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alberta. Leading the card is 170-pounder Cory McDonald (9-2), who rides a four-fight winning streak into his bout with brazilian Thiago “Jambo” Goncalves (11-2).
McDonald holds a win over UFC alumnus Edwin Dewees and one of his losses came to Jonathan Goulet. Goncalves’ losses came to veterans Luigi Fiorivanti and Nick “The Goat” Thompson, both in the first three fights of his pro career, and he has a nine-fight winning streak of his own going into Friday night’s fight.
There are cards all over the United States Saturday, from Arizona to Wisconsin.
Rage in the Cage puts on its 130th card in Chandler, Ariz., headlined by a 170-pound title fight between Joe Cronin (12-10) and Eric Regan (12-14). Both are Rage in the Cage mainstays and have several common opponents, including “Ultimate Fighter” winner Efrain Escudero.
Also, there will be a Rage in the Cage heavyweight title fight between Adam Padilla (4-2) and Richard Hale (11-2), who has won seven straight fights. Fighters and fights to watch on the undercard are Jesse Barrett (5-0), Rich Moss (7-3) and the Jade Porter (4-1)-Chris Leyva (5-1) scrap.
Cage Combat Fighting Championships is holding a card in San Francisco headlined by a 170-pound fight between Jeremiah Metcalf (10-7) and Ky Hollenbeck (4-0). Also on the card are Buddy Roberts (6-1), Bobby Stack (6-1), Andy Miranda (4-1) and Emily Thompson (3-1) in separate fights.
On the international front, the Fite Nite promotion is having a card in Cariari, Costa Rica and Japanese promotion Heat will have a kickboxing/MMA card at Differ Ariake in Tokyo. The main event of the MMA portion of the show features American Henry “Sentoryu” Miller (5-7) against Cristiano Kaminishi (6-1). Also fighting on that card are K-1 veteran Ryo Takigawa and journeymen Junpei Hamada (6-11) and Yoshitaro Niimi (6-4-2) as well.
A little closer to home, King of the Cage Canada will hold its “Capital Excalibur” card at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The main event is a KOTC Canadian Light Heavyweight Title fight pitting Bill “Hush” Mesi (3-0) against Bill “The Butcher” Mahood (16-7-1), whose resume includes fights with Bobby Southworth, Patrick Cote (twice), Forrest Griffin and Jason McDonald (twice).
The undercard features several notable names, including Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons (23-14) – who has lost five of his last seven – against Shannon Ritch (43-66) and the infamous Mark “The Smashing Machine” Kerr (15-10) versus Nick Penner (8-1).
Long Beach Fight Night has its fifth card Sunday at the Hall of Champions Gym in Long Beach. The best matchup on paper pits Sergio Salcido (4-1) versus Russ Miura (4-1) at 145 pounds, with Evan Delong (6-3) and Vince Ortiz (6-2) anchoring the undercard. Ortiz is notable because he made his pro MMA debut over in Japan, losing to Yusuke Endo on a Shooto card in January 2008.
Speaking of Shooto, the Japanese promotion puts on its “Revolutionary Exchanges 1: Undefeated” card Sunday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The main event is a Shooto 132-pound title fight pitting champion Masakatsu Ueda (9-0-2) – considered by many to be one of the best bantamweight fighters on the planet – against Brazilian standout Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (7-1).
The undercard has several top-notch fights and fighters, led by Shinichi “BJ” Kojima (10-3-5) squaring off with Brazilian Jucie Formiga (2-0) in what should be a great 123-pound fight. More 123-pound fights have Takeshi Sato (8-6-1) and Atsushi Takeuchi (6-4-2) going at it and the pairing of Yasuhiro Akagi (6-4) and Masaaki Sugawara (7-3-1) are set to duke it out as well.
Rounding out the weekend is Monday’s DREAM 10 card from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The top bouts are the welterweight tournament semifinals pitting Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (35-8-2) against Lithuanian Marius Zaromskis (9-2) and Brazilian Andre Galvao (3-0) against American Jason High (7-1).
Non-tournament bouts include Shinya Aoki (20-4) taking on the returning Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (20-2) in a lightweight tilt, former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho (16-1) versus Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef (23-5-1) and Katsunori Kikuno (11-1-1) faces Andre “Dida” Amade (6-3-1) in what should be the best, if not the deepest, card of the weekend.