Lots and lots to get to, with a crowded weekend including the UFC, Bellator and Invicta. Still, there’s a ton to go over and keep an eye on, so make sure you have some time carved out of your schedule to check out some of the other goings on.
ONE Championship starts bright and early for the morning people out there, with a Muay Thai main event between Sam-A and England’s Jonathan Haggerty. But the MMA offerings are still interesting, with former UFC and World Series of Fighting competitor Yushin Okami (35-12) making his ONE debut against Kiamrian Abbasov (20-4). Marat Gafurov (16-2) looks to pump the brakes on Tetsuya Yamada (26-6, 2 draws), who is coming into the fight with back to back wins.
Standout talent Keanu Subba (7-3) is scheduled against Japanese menace Ryogo Takahashi (11-3), while former Ultimate Fighter contestant and LFA talent Thanh Le (8-2) makes his ONE debut with a rough welcome against Yusup Saadulaev (17-4, 1 draw).
ONE Championship: For Honor begins at 7:30am EST, streaming live on their proprietary app and on YouTube.
Abu Dhabi won’t wait for the UFC to come back to get another fix of MMA action, as Friday morning brings us UAE Warriors 6.
Former BAMMA, ROAD, Bellator and UFC fighter Oli Thompson (19-10) appears to be in the shape of his life to get to light heavyweight and face off against Tarek Suleiman (7-5). His last two bouts were back to back finishes, and they were bonkers.
Another former UFC talent takes the stage as Rolando Dy (11-7) continues his international excursions, this time against Erzhan Estanov (16-7, 1 draw).
UAE Warriors streams live on FITE.tv on Friday morning for $9.99
Friday night brings us LFA action with some of the best prospects in the country, this time from the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. Exciting featherweight action takes top billing with undefeated Jon Neal (10-0) against Tyler Diamond (9-1).
Remember Josh Burkman (28-17)? He’s back, and this time against another former UFC fighter in William “Patolino“ Macario (9-4). Macario is 2-1 since leaving the UFC, while this will be Burkman’s first fight since leaving the UFC.
Also on the card is a fight between up and comer Bobby King (6-2) and Fabio Serrao (9-6) at lightweight, and former Invicta and Bellator fighter Katylin Neal (4-3) against Lisa Mauldin (2-0).
LFA 65: Diamond vs Neal starts at 9:00pm on their usual television home, AXS TV.
EFC keeps the wheels turning with another event this week, as featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa (11-1) welcomes Croatia’s Karlo Caput (8-0) to defend his championship. Kabesa is fast, technical and vicious, riding a three-fight win streak. Caput is known as the Croatian Cowboy, and has legit skills despite being an unknown.
Themba Gorimbo (6-2) will be in action at welterweight against Brazil’s Mauricio de Rocha Jr. (10-5), while Tumisang “The President“ Madiba brings his own brand of dynamic violence against another Brazilian, Reinaldo Ekson (14-4).
EFC 79 streams live and exclusively over at DAZN. The event starts Saturday morning at 9:00am EST.
Russia’s RCC sets up a wild event for this weekend, headlined by former Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko (58-12) colliding with former UFC fighter Viscardi Andrade (20-7). Germany’s Jonas Billstein (20-6) deals with Artem Frolov (11-1) on his home soil, while Joilton Santos (29-7) continues his European tour against Artur Karaev (9-6).
But there’s more. A lot more.
Former UFC fighter Shane Campbell (15-7) brings his Hadouken technique against Pavel Gordeev (13-1), and Josh Barnett protégé Victor Henry (17-4) takes a break from fighting in Japan to face Nikita Chistyakov (11-4, 1 draw) at bantamweight. Former UFC fighter and eyepoke victim Wagner Prado rounds out the heavyweight portion against Anton Vyazigin (12-3). Former UFC talent and Cage Fury Fighting Championship standout Jonavin Webb (12-3) tangles with Nikolay Aleksakhin (23-5).
RCC6 starts at noon EST this Saturday.
Shooto’s anniversary tour keeps rolling along. Yes, still.
This week, it’s a set of title fights, as former Ultimate Fighter contestant and grappling ace Hiromasa Ogikubo (17-4, 2 draws) brushes his RIZIN loss to Kyoji Horiguchi and defends his flyweight title against Kiyotaka Shimizu (22-1). The lightweight belt takes co-main event honors as Koshi Matsumoto (19-8, 2 draws) attempts to fend off hard-nosed vet Naoyuki Kotani (36-16, 7 draws).
Former UFC fighter and certified O.G. Caol Uno (33-19, 5 draws) steps in against Duane van Helvoirt (17-8). Korea’s Eun Ji Choi (0-1) will inexplicably be fed to Enson Inoue-trained Sarah Jane McCann (2-1).
Shooto Koruaken anniversary starts Sunday night into Monday morning at midnight EST.
Finally, Marius Zaromskis (20-9) will fight a fighter making his pro debut for some reason at MMA Bushido 77 in his native Lithuania on Friday morning. Amilcar Alves tries to stay barely above the .500 mark as he comes into his next fight at 18-17 against Andreas Berg at Austrian FC 10 on Saturday. Will Chope (37-14) is no longer the Worlds Tallest Featherweight, as he fights at welterweight these days. He’ll be up against Italy’s Giovanni Melillo (12-4) at Fight Clubbing 24 this Saturday, live from Pescara, Italy.