Thursday, 23 April 2015

Three fights to watch this weekend

By Ash Cooper @LUFCCooper

The UFC returns to action this weekend for UFC 186, where Mighty Mouse Demetrious Johnson will look to defend his flyweight title for the 6th time when he faces KyojiHoriguchi. BAMMA 20 also takes place this weekend, from the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, where Ed Arthur and Alan Philpot will battle to become BAMMA’s new world bantamweight champion. Here are three fights you should be watching this weekend.

Quinton Jackson Vs Fabio Maldonado UFC 186

After winning three straight fights in Bellator, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson will make his long awaited return to the octagon.After a legal battle with Bellator Rampage is now cleared to fight, and will fight tough Brazilian brawler Fabio Maldonado.  Maldonado has won four of his last five fights, and looked very impressive in his last outing stopping Hans Stringer, and earning a performance of the night bonus.
Both fighters have explosive knockout power, and will be looking to add another impressive knockout victory to their records. A former professional boxer Maldonado will provide a tough test for Rampage on the feet, and I expect the fight to be a real brawl. Both fighters like to sprawl and brawl so fans can expect the fight to stay on the feet, with both fighters trading heavy shots. Both fighters have granite chins and like to take a shot to give one. Both fighters are rarely finished and I expect this fight to be a 15 minute war, this battle has fight of the night written all over it.

Ed Arthur Vs Alan Philpott 

Undefeated English prospect Ed Arthur will challenge Northern Ireland’s Alan Philpott, to be crowned BAMMA’s bantamweight champion. Arthur has won his first five professional fights, and has finished his three opponents inside the BAMMA cage. Philpot is currently riding a three fight win streak, and will have the advantage in experience having 14 more professional fights than Arthur.
Both fighters will be coming into this fight high on confidence, after putting in the most impressive performance of their careers so far in their last fights. Both fighters are well rounded and skilled on the floor as well as standing.  Both fighters always come to fight and like to push the pace, so I expect a real back and forth battle. Both fighters have been engaged in a war of words on social media, adding to the excitement of this fight. Neither man will want to lose this fight and will do everything in their power to get the victory and the bantamweight title.

Demetrious Johnson Vs Kyoji Horoguchi

Since moving down to flyweight Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson has looked unstoppable. Defending his title six times, and finishing top contenders with ease, Johnson has cemented his position as one of the UFC’s most talented athletes. The fast pace and constant pressure Johnson sets would give any opponent problems, and Johnson is well versed in every aspect of MMA appearing to show no weaknesses.

Japanese star Horoguchi has won his last nine fights, and is currently unbeaten in the UFC. Horiguchi is lightning fast, and throws a variety of shots from all different angles, making his strikes hard to time and a very awkward fighter to face. Horiguchi likes to stay on the outside and pick his opponents apart, if he can keep his distance from Johnson he will fancy his chances.
In the stand-up department is see this fight being fairly even, so Johnson may look to use his superior wrestling and take the fight to the ground. Horoguchi will need to keep this fight standing, and defend Johnson’s takedowns if he is to have any chance of winning. I expect this fight to be a lot closer than people expect, and Horiguchi could provide Johnson’s toughest test to date.


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