Another month relegated to history. September provided plenty of entertainment, capped off by a great night of fights last night courtesy of the WEC and Bellator. Now we turn our attention to October, sorry, BROCKTOBER. Everyone is excited for the return to the cage of the mighty Brock Lesnar. But what other fights should we start gearing up for this month? Here's five.
5. Satoru Kitaoka vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (Pancrase Passion Tour 9, October 3rd): Ah, Pancrase. The sport's groundbreaking promotion has fallen on hard times in recent years. Founders Minoru Suzuki and Masakatsu Funaki departed for pro wrestling and many of the promotion's top stars jumped ship for a variety of leagues worldwide. Now Kitaoka is back after a mixed bag in Sengoku. While he beat Takanori Gomi in his highest profile fight to date, Kitaoka lost his last two before slinking back to Pancrase in June. His opponent is UFC and Dream veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka who cut down to lightweight in 2009 after competing his entire career at 170 pounds. This should be a really competitive and fun fight.
4. Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit (UFC 120, October 16th): This should be an amazing fight. Carlos Condit is one of those guys that just seems to trail excitement. Jon Fitch would do well just to bask in the glow of Condit's left over excitement. Combine the unpredictable Condit with Hardy's growing and well rounded game and this should be a fight that starts standing and then goes completely and irrevocably bonkers. I can't wait.
3. Usama Asiz vs. Joachim Hansen (Superior Challenge 6, October 29th): There's a pretty good little card brewing in Stockholm, Sweden, probably on par with the UFC's German offering later this year (okay, at least comparable to the undercard). Murilo Bustamante, Daniel Acacio, and Hector Ramirez will all throw down, but the best bout of the night will feature Swedish wrestler Sammi Asiz against former Pride standout Joachim Hansen. Anytime Hansen fights it's a major milestone for me as an unabashed "Hellboy" fan. This is no exception.
My top two fights after the break, photos via sherdog.com.
2. Sarah Kaufman vs. Marloes Coenen (Strikeforce, October 9th): Sure, I may have given Ms. Kaufman a bit of a hard time. But she made a real statement against Roxanne Modafferi in her last fight and got her wish - an appearance on the main card of a big Strikeforce event on Showtime. This should be a really competitive fight and go a long way towards establishing the winner as a legitimate rating's booster for Strikeforce.
1. Eddie Alvarez vs. Roger Huerta (Bellator 33, October 21st): After a shocking loss in his second Bellator fight and a summer spent trashing giant woman beaters on the street, Roger Huerta is returning to the cage. The former Sports Illustrated cover boy racked up a 6-2 record in the UFC, losing only to contenders Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard. Huerta is good - real good. He's the perfect test for Eddie Alvarez. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says Alvarez belongs in the discussion of the very best at 155. If Alvarez beats Huerta, it will be hard to argue he isn't right.
Which fight are you looking forward to the most? Vote in our poll.