Every month I pick my five favorite bouts. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes there's a dearth of quality fights. But this March I'm having problems. Not with a lack of fights - instead there are too many to choose from. March is loaded! This week alone we've got great fights from Bellator, Strikeforce, and the UFC. The pace doesn't slow down as March turns into April either. The UFC is back towards the end of the month and Titan Fighting joins the fray on HDNet as well. These are my five from that morass of great ones. As always, vote for your favorite in our poll.
5. Matt Horwich vs. Danillo Villefort: Shark Fights 14 (March 11, Lubbock, Texas)
Matt Horwich will always have a special place in my heart. From his zany interviews to his superlative submissions, Horwich is a fighter who never fails to entertain. He submitted former UFC contender Thales Leites last year and knocked out the amazing wrestler Jake Rosholt as well.
Villefort is equally as tough. Since being bounced from the UFC after a single appearance, a close fight that was stopped due to a cut in the third round. Since then, Villefort has won three in a row, including a decision over the tough Joey Villasenor at the last Shark Fights show.
Judo! Jim Wallhead has been Britain's best unsigned fighter for years. Before signing with Bellator last year, he was the hard luck kid - opportunity after opportunity seemed to pass him by as recounted in the great new book Bloody Revolution. But, with eight wins in a row and a U.S. deal, Wallhead seems poised for the big break British fans have been waiting for since 2005.
Standing in his way is Rick Hawn. Hawn, who finished ninth in the 2004 Olympics actually has better Judo credentials than a man who has "Judo" as his nickname. Somebody's getting tossed in this one and I can't wait to see it. Amazing way to kick off the new Bellator season.
After the break, the top three fights of the month
3. Tim Kennedy vs. Melvin Manhoef: Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Feijao (March 5, Columbus, Ohio)
Tim Kennedy has complained for months about BJJ specialist Jacare refusing to engage him on his feet in their fight in Houston last August. That shouldn't be a problem with the heavy handed Manhoef. Someone is going to be put to sleep here. The smart money is on Manhoef staring at the ceiling, wondering just what hit him.
Diego Sanchez is possibly the most exciting fighter in UFC history. A high energy scrapper, Sanchez is guaranteed to take the fight to his opponent or take a horrible beating trying to do so. Kampmann is just as well rounded and the two should combine for a fight that will bounce up and down off the mat and feature a wide variety of technique. I will never miss a Diego Sanchez fight.
What an unbelievable fight. Is Jones really MMA's next big breakout star? Most think so, but Bad Boy fighter Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was derailing stars before Jones even considered taking up the sport. Rua has a good case as the best light heavyweight of all time. A win over Jones further cements that legacy. It's worth repeating: What an unbelievable fight!