It’s not very often MMA fans are faced with an evening that features both a UFC and Bellator card, but that’s precisely the case tomorrow, April 27th. So, while hardcore observers will no doubt find a way to watch key fights from both events, if you had to choose one scrap between UFC Fort Lauderdale and Bellator 220, what would it be?
UFC Fort Lauderdale’s Contenders
“Jacare” Souza vs. Jack Hermansson
As you likely know, originally, the UFC’s offering on Saturday was supposed to feature “Jacare” Souza taking on fellow middleweight contender, Yoel Romero (for a second time). But, the latter recently pulled out due to illness, and the surging Jack Hermansson stepped in.
Now, even if you’ve jumped on the Hermansson bandwagon, you have to admit that this match-up is not as enticing as Souza – Romero 2. After all, Souza and Romero are two of the best middleweights on the planet, and Romero squeaked by with a split decision victory in their first encounter.
Does this mean Souza – Hermansson can’t / won’t entertain? No. But, if you’re being honest, you likely wouldn’t pick this fight as your must-see for Saturday.
Mike Perry vs. Alex Oliveira
Sure, there are no title shot implications riding on this fight like the match-up above. But, from an entertainment perspective, almost everyone and their dog should be looking forward to this fight. Both Oliveira and Perry are ridiculously aggressive and dangerous, and as a result, this bout has “Fight of the Night” potential written all over it.
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba
This is another match-up that folks would be foolish to sleep on, even though it’s kind of flying under the radar. Teixeira is one of the top finishers in the 205 division, and Cutelaba is one of the bracket’s rising forces. Teixeira could (should) look to take this fight to the floor, however, and attempt to finish it there. So if that happens, the fight may not provide the fireworks some people are expecting.
John Lineker vs. Cory Sandhagen
Anytime Lineker is fighting it’s definitely worth tuning in, as “Hands of Stone” always brings heavy punches to your screen. In this case, he’s taking on the rising bantamweight Sandhagen, who could move into the title shot mix, if he can get by the hard-hitting contender.
Bellator 220’s Contenders
Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch
Since this fight features Bellator’s welterweight champ in action, in Mr. MacDonald, it’s certainly one of the weekend’s most important bouts from a meritocratic perspective. In Fitch, he’s facing one of the toughest outs in the game, who hasn’t lost a bout since 2014. But, Fitch often comes with a grinding, wrestling-centric approach, which isn’t everyone’s cup of MMA tea.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Veta Arteaga
This is another fight that has a lot riding on it, as Macfarlane is Bellator’s flyweight champ and a fighter the promotion is pushing for understandable reasons. But, Arteaga is not a household name at this juncture, and it remains to be seen whether she can push the champ on Saturday.
Liam McGeary vs. Phil Davis
This is a pretty intriguing rematch between two former 205 champs, as Davis ended McGeary’s reign back in 2016. So, the fight has that compelling storyline tied to it, and it could also provide some compelling action.
If you’re a MMA purist, and are throwing legacy, abilities and strategy into the mix, then, MacDonald – Fitch is probably your go-to. After all, it’s a fight that features two of the best welterweights from this past decade.
If the potential for jaw-dropping, fireworks is your primary concern, however, then Oliveira – Perry should be your selection.