Tonight is a great appetizer for two consecutive Satudays of top notch MMA action.
Upstart organization Bellator is having another round of tournaments this season. The lightweight tourney features great talent Roger Huerta trying to run through the field in order to face champion and top five in the world lightweight Eddie Alvarez. His battle there starts tonight. Expect him to have his usual high energy flair. There will also be featherweight and welterweight tournaments, with the featherweight favorite (IMO) being Team Quest member Joe Warren, who made it to the finals of the Dream Grand Prix with NO MMA experience. He's a fantastic wrestler who I expect to breeze through this tournament. The Welterweight division features Dan Hornbuckle, who has had some great fights in Japan (but he's not fighting tonight). Free on Fox SportsNet at 8:00.
Then Saturday doesn't need any hype. B.J. Penn is facing another UFC lightweight challenger in Renzo Gracie product Frankie Edgar. Expect Penn to either toy with him as a cat to a mouse for a few rounds with his boxing before finishing him with a rear naked choke on the ground.
Then Anderson Silva will defend his belt against Damian Maia, who is a fantastic BJJ player (and that's about it). If Maia can get through Silva's ridiculous MMA muay thai and get Silva to the ground, it will get interesting. But that's a long shot.
And 43 year old Renzo Gracie himself will be making his UFC debut against WW legend and notorious asshole Matt Hughes. Looking forward to this one. The rest of the card is great too, but there's more the next Saturday with...
Strikeforce Nashville (and it's free on CBS!) Gilbert Melendez, Strikeforce LW champ (and training partner of the greats Nick Diaz and Jake Shields) will square off against Dream champ Shinya Aoki. This will be a battle between a great boxer and a great submission expert. Also, Mo Lawal will fight Gegard Mousasi (awesome fight) and Jake Shields will face Dan Henderson! Look for Henderson to pummel the undersized MW champ, and then watch Shields leave Strikeforce to enter the UFC, drop back down to WW and challenge Georges St. Pierre. Reality star Jason Mayhem Miller will also be fighting.
This is a huge week of MMA. UFC 112 is, IMO, a better card than UFC 100. Two out of three of these events are free, so if you're new to the sport, enjoy the show. And buy 112. You will not regret it.
(Hope FightDr enjoyed the Nick Diaz plug.)