Weekend MMA Preview

Weekend MMA Preview: UFC Headed to Macao; Warrior Nation, Cage Titans Headline Local Action

Image by Mike Dunn.

UFC on FUEL TV 6: Promotion Heads to China for First Time

New England mixed martial arts fans will have their hands full this weekend as there are a ton of major and local promotions putting fantastic shows.

For the first time in the UFC’s history, the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion will be heading over to China as UFC on FUEL TV comes to Macao.  Headlining the promotion’s latest venture into the Asian MMA market will be former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin who will be taking on former Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le.

Many of Asias most notable UFC stars will also be featured at the event as former Pride champ Takanori Gomi, one-time WEC top contender Takeya Mizugaki, Korean welterweight standout Dong Hyun Kim and  China’s own Tiequan Zhang round out the main card.

I’m really excited to see Le’s high flying, Sanshou kicks in action and am also curious to see how well the UFC does in this new market.

However, I am definitely not a fan of the start time for UFC: Macao as prelims are set to air live on Facebook at 7:30am EST on Saturday morning with the main card scheduled to kick off at 9am EST on FUEL TV.

Check out highlights from the weigh-ins below:

Bellator 80: Warren to Make First Cage Appearance After Brutal March Beatdown

It’s been a while since we’ve seen former Bellator featherweight champ Joe Warren step inside the cage.

Earlier this year, the Team Quest standout suffered a brutal knockout loss at Bellator 60, losing his featherweight title to Pat Curran in what has to be one of the most egregiously late stoppages in MMA history.  Thankfully, Warren returns tonight at Bellator 80, headlining the Hollywood, FL event opposite Owen Evinger.

Warren comes into this fight following back-to-back knockout losses making it hard for me not to be worried about the 35-year-old’s physical health, especially if he gets into another bloody war like he did in his last outing against Curran, which you can see a highlight of below:

Also on the card will be two tournament semi-final bouts as Rad Martinez looks to advance to the featherweight final over Wagnney Fabiano while Vinicius Queiroz and Alexander Volkov vye for a spot in the heavyweight tournament finale.

If you haven’t heard about Martinez before, this 145er is one of the most inspirational figures in MMA today.  Martinez is in the precarious position of balancing both his professional fighting career with the responsibility of taking care of his father, who’s been living in a near-vegetative state since suffering an automobile accident in 1991.

Martinez was featured in an ESPN Outside the Lines special last year which prompted Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney to sign the featherweight.

I wish all the best for this guy and can’t wait to see him duke it out later tonight.

Prelims for Bellator 80 can be seen on Spike.com starting at 6pm EST while the main card starts at 8pm EST on MTV 2.

Warrior Nation, Cage Titans Make for Action Packed Weekend in New England

For those of us who won’t be able to make to Macao for this weekend’s action, do not fear!  Two of the regions top local promotions will be in full swing as both Warrior Nation and Cage Titans will be putting on fantastic shows.

Tonight, Warrior Nation will be live in Chicopee, MA at the Hu Ke Lau Showroom with a stacked card featuring some of New England’s top talent.

Check out a fantastic breakdown of the event by my friends over at WesterMassMMA.com here.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it live to the show but be sure to check back in to NEB this weekend as all the results come out.

I will, however, be at the Local 103 Union Hall in Boston tomorrow night for Cage Titans “Glory”.  I had a blast covering the promotion’s last show in Plymouth and can’t wait to see what’s in store this time around.

The fight card features a ton of great match-ups headlined by a bantamweight battle between undefeated rising star Billy Giovanella of Connors MMA and veteran 135er Dan Bonnell of team Renzo Gracie.  I am so stoked for this fight which will definitely be a barn burner.

Check out the full fight card here.

Well, that’s it for this weekend’s preview.  Be sure to check back this weekend for a full review of Cage Titans “Glory” and don’t forget to read Monday’s full wrap-up of all of the weekend’s results and news.

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