Here we’re debuting a new weekly feature where we look at the upcoming week’s cards and do a quick rundown of the one’s we really think you should go to, watch on TV/online or at worst check out the following day*
*Disclaimer – Kumite does not endorse or recommend the usage of sites like mma-core.com or mmaversus.com to catch up on fights that happened overnight or were not viewable directly in your area. If you know of any similar sites, please let us know and we will add them to this list of places we recommend that you don’t use.
Anyways, the events we’re showcasing this week are Bellator 101: Warren vs. Kirk and Pancrase 252: 20th Anniversary
Portland, Oregon, USA
Friday September 27th
Headlined by a bantamweight clash between former Featherweight champion and FightMaster coach Joe Warren (8-3) against Nick Kirk (10-2) this isn’t Bellator’s most heavyweight (no pun intended) offering, which is likely to be a theme running up to their PPV debut as their big names like Michael Chandler are held off for that.
However, the rest of the main card is filled with the opening round of the new lightweight tournament and it’s a truly compelling, if strange field featuring some veterans, some tantalising prospects and some undoubted talents who’ve been unlucky with injuries.
First up is UFC vet Marcus Davis, drawing out his long career at lightweight against Russian, Alexander Sarnavskiy who was my pick for last season’s tourney before being ruled out through injury.
More veterans Rich Clementi and John Alessio face off against last season’s also rans Will Brooks and Ricardo Tirloni, while my favourite fight is the meeting of last season’s surprise package Saad Awad, who impressed after being a late replacement and British debutant and TUF winner, Martin Stapleton who is no stranger to the tournament format.
I’ll talk about him more tomorrow…
Bellator 101 is viewable live on SPIKE TV in America and will show on VIVA in the UK a week later, for tickets or viewing in other areas, please check http://www.bellator.com
Pancrase 252: 20th Anniversary
Sunday, September 29th
This event is notable just for being the 20th anniversary of one of MMA’s most long lived and beloved shows, but the card is deep and has some real international interest.
Headlined by the experienced pairing of Ryo Kawamura (15-8-4) vs. Kazuo Takahashi (30-26-3) – that’s 86 pro fights between them – my relative ignorance of Japanese MMA (something I really should remedy, but you can only watch so much MMA before it starts affecting your normal life, strains your eyes and generally warps your perception of reality) means that the bouts which stand out for me are on the under card.
Bellator and Sengoku vet Marlon Sandro features, as does Sweden’s Sirwan Kakai, who we feel is easily one of the best bantamweights outside the UFC alongside other familiar names like Richie Whitson and an awesome women’s match between Tara LaRosa and Rin Nakai.
Mix in with some of the more familiar Japanese names like Mitsuhisa Sunabe and Satoru Kitaoka and this is a card that is definitely worthy of your notice.