Photo by Josh Hedges Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
After an excellent March, April is looking to be an amazing month of fights as well. Bellator is in full swing, with great cards every week, and the international MMA community is bringing the goods. These are my five favorites from a collection of great ones. As always, vote for your favorite in our poll.
People have been quick to proclaim Aldo as a pound for pound great, but Hominick is a real test for him. He's an opponent that should in theory be able to match Aldo in the standup game. Will we see the champion's grappling game here? If so, know this - Hominick has made a career of tapping out people he has no business submitting. This one is very, very interesting.
4. Shamil Zavurov vs. Rashid Magomedov: M-1 Global Challenge 25, St. Petersburg, Russia (April 28)
Dagestan, Russia is a true melting pot, hosting dozens of ethnicities and languages in a single state. Its champion fighter, Shamil Zavurov, has an equally diverse fighting resume. He's won championships in combat sambo, Wushu, and wrestling. He's also won all of his MMA fights - save one. In 2009 he lost a controversial decision to Russian boxer Magomedov. He's looking for revenge and I'm looking at an amazing fight.
Everyone knows that Jeremy Horn is one of my favorite fighters of all time. Cerebral and crafty, the veteran grappler has piled up 87 wins in a historic career. Leites is another super grappler, so I'm hoping for fun exchanges on the ground rather than tepid kickboxing. Fingers crossed. This is just one of several great fights on a stacked card that also has Reza Madali making a case that he belongs on the international scene against Rich Clementi and David Bielkheden taking on DEEP welterweight champion Yuya Shirai.
Horn might be my favorite all time if Nick Diaz had never been born. I once called Nick Diaz the greatest man to ever live. Was that stretching? Watch this highlight and get back to me. In the meantime, know this - Strikeforce has found a great opponent for Diaz in Brit Paul Daley. It's a classic battle between technical striker and power puncher - with the added wrinkle of Diaz's incredible jiu jitsu game making Daley think twice about being too aggressive standing. This is a great fight.
1. Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields: UFC 129, Toronto, Canada (April 29)
Is Jake Shields for real? Yes. Can he compete with the best welterweight of all time? Now that's a trickier question. My money is on no, but I'm willing to pay to find out.
Do you have a favorite? Vote in our poll.
Which is your favorite fight this April?
Shamil Zavurov vs. Rashid Magomedov (M-1 Global) (22 votes)
Thales Leites vs. Jeremy Horn (Superior Challenge 7) (39 votes)
Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick (UFC 129) (468 votes)
Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran (Bellator 39) (47 votes)
Taiki Tsuchiya vs. Takeshi Inoue (Shooto) (3 votes)
Justin Wilcox vs. Rodrigo Damm (Strikeforce Challengers) (1 vote)
Douglas Lima vs. Terry Martin (MFC 29) (7 votes)
Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (Strikeforce Diaz vs. Daley) (117 votes)
Patrick Cote vs.Kalib Starnes (Ringside 10) (42 votes)
Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields (UFC 129) (1165 votes)
Ben Askren vs. Nick Thompson (Bellator 40) (14 votes)
Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley (Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley) (1257 votes)
Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture (UFC 129) (447 votes)
Other (20 votes)
3649 total votes