Top 5 Fights of the Weekend

Ranking the Top 5 Fights of the Weekend

We’ve got an outstanding slate of fights on deck this weekend. So naturally, this top 5 fights list is gonna be a fun one to go through.

Several top prospects have a chance to make a real name for themselves over the next couple days and i’ll certainly highlight those involved. But beyond that, some serious contenders have been given a spot on this list thanks to some brilliant match making; for which we should be eternally grateful

Beyond the top 5 there’s not a whole lot out there, but i’m confident these bouts will do enough to get you out of your seat and shadow-boxing like your the Mike Tyson of the UFC *insert Ronda TUF gif*.

Alright that’s enough, let’s dive in…

Notable Mention: Mohammad Usman vs Dontale Mayes (Victory FC 60)

Real quick about this one right here.

Mohammad Usman is the brother of UFC contender Kamaru Usman and a highly-touted heavyweight prospect. He’s 3-0 with three first round finishes and if his brother’s success is any indication of his future, Mohammad Usman is going to be something special. In all honesty, he’s the only reason i’m highlighting this match-up.

Dontale Mayes is a decent little up and comer in his own right. But the move here is to pay attention to potentially the next big thing at heavyweight. Check out Victory FC 60 this weekend and you may find yourself watching a future star.

#5 Logan Storley vs Joaquin Buckley (Bellator 197)

I’m not entirely sure what to call Logan Storley at this point. Is he a prospect? I mean he is only 7-0, but with his reputation in amateur wrestling plus a couple of nice wins against some serious competition; he seems more and more like a contender with each day. Now titles aren’t gonna come around anytime soon.

However, Storley is a monster and deserves to be recognized on this top 5 fights list.

He’s been past the first round just twice and only once had to face the judges scorecards.  Beyond that, he’s been dominant in his journey and now finds himself competing under the Bellator banner on a nice little card.

His opponent though is just as regarded. Joaquin Buckley, having lost just one fight in nine opportunities, has been quite destructive in his own right. With five career knockouts and three wins under Bellator’s control, Buckley may be just footsteps behind Storley in terms of hype surrounding him.

However, a win at Bellator 197 could place him squarely in front and force others to start paying attention. This is a really fun card in St. Louis and these two will help create some memories.

#4 Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori (UFC on FOX 29)

An obvious pick for the top 5 fights list.

Frankly, the only reason it isn’t higher on the list is because i’m unsure how Vettori will hold up. He’s a tough dude to be sure, but Izzy Adesanya is on a whole nother level.

The Kiwi made his debut at UFC 221 a couple of months back and it was memorable to say the least. His wrestling was tested, but it held up. From there, he took over and ran straight through Rob Wilkinson. He impressed that night with sharp combinations, championship poise and devilishly destructive body work. He may not carry an inordinate amount of power around with him. But he knows how to place his shots correctly. As one may say: precision beats power. He lives by that sentiment.

Of course, there are two men in the octagon and Marvin Vettori will be the other. The Italian has a solid 2-1-1 run since signing with the UFC and has proven to be a tough out. Technically speaking, he’s not Saenchi on the feet nor Maia on the mat. However he is a forward moving striker with little interest in set-ups or finesse. Vettori comes at you and forces problems down your throat on a regular basis.

But that’s nothing new for Izzy. It’ll be VERY entertaining for the masses, but this should be a pretty simple chore for “The Stylebender”.

#3 Roberto Soldic vs Dricus Du Plessis (KSW 43)

The main event of KSW 43 is a damn good one as the welterweight champ, Roberto Soldic, places his belt on the line against EFC Worldwide dual-champ Driscus Du Plessis.

It’s not quite a champ vs champ scenario considering they both hold belts in separate organizations, but we’ll just look the other way. After all, regardless of where these two fight–they’re the best in their respective regions.

Roberto Soldic won his KSW title back in December after retiring the former welterweight king after the third round. The stoppage was good for his eleventh career knockout and extended his current TKO/KO streak to seven. In that span, he’s won titles in Switzerland, Croatia, Germany and now Poland. Basically, he’s the crowned head of European welterweights.  But he’s done snatching up titles; now he wants to defend.

Driscus Du Plessis would rather that goal go unrealized. He’s ranked #1 at middleweight and welterweight in South Africa which makes him the King of his domain as well. At 11-1, Du Plessis has never fought outside of EFC, South Africa’s premier MMA organization, but hopes to bring his finishing prowess on the road with him at KSW 43. By finishing prowess, I mean the three knockout’s and eight submissions he’s accumulated over the years. Impressive. But can he continue on his dominant path?

Undecided. However what is far easier to predict is the intensity this fight will produce. Let me give you some stats here:

2 men. 23 combined finishes. 9 combined titles. 14 combined finishes in a row. An easy addition to the top 5 fights list.

#2 Michael Chandler vs Brandon Girtz (Bellator 197)

I love me some Michael Chandler.

He’s one of my favorites to watch and for good reason. Dating back to his wars with Eddie Alvarez, the guy has been an exciting fighter to follow. Now, he’s built himself into a dominant champion without a belt. Why doesn’t he have it? Well, a freak accident allowed a very talented Brent Primus to take it away from him. Bellator 197 was supposed to mark the rematch, but an injury forced Primus out and saw Girtz step in. Perfectly fine though; Chandler has made it clear he simply wants to fight the best in the world. With two title reigns and three defenses under his belt, he’s done the championship thing.

However Brandon Girtz has not had the pleasure. The typically consistent Bellator contender has hit on hell of a rough patch lately and has been knocked off his championship course. Three consecutive losses have forced Girtz to get to the back of the line and compete for an opportunity to place himself back in the mix. Well, now he gets an opportunity on short notice to jump the queue and vie for the lightweight crown. It’s a tough way to get there, but it must be done.

The road to the title goes through Michael Chandler’s hometown. Winner moves on and challenges for gold.

#1 Justin Gaethje vs Dustin Poirier (UFC on FOX 29)

If there was any thought in your mind that I may have gone off the deep end and found another bout to place atop the top 5 fights list, don’t worry. I haven’t.

This is hands down the best fight of the weekend and may become the best fight of the year. Justin Gaethje fought twice last year and both became instant classics and nominees for fight of the year. That’s what he brings to the table.

His style is unlike any other. It’s quite literally the implementation of a zombie’s approach to combat; walk forward, absorb blows, create doubt in your opponent’s head and punish them for it. He breaks people mentally by his continual push towards a finish and that makes way for a physical break minutes later. Because of this, I can guarantee these two will be in the pocket from the very second the bell rings to the end of the fight. There’s absolutely no chance it goes the distance, it’s just a matter of how long and for who a finish presents itself.

But don’t forget about Dustin Poirier. In his 21 fight WEC/UFC career, “The Diamond” has been to decision just seven times and holds seventeen career finishes. Lately, it’s been the left hand shutting people down. Since his return to lightweight, Poirier has finished four opponents and was beating up former champ Eddie Alvarez before an illegal knee forced him out of the contest. It was a disappointing finish, but it ultimately led to a clash with Gaethje to determine who the next challenger for Alvarez’s self created “Most Violent” title.

But the winner may be challenging for the UFC title before then. Depending on how the next couple of weeks play out, Poirier or Gaethje could find themselves fighting Khabib by the end of the year. Conor’s out, Tony’s out, Barboza just got demolished by the champ.

A title may be in their sights after UFC Glendale,,, so buckle up.

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