This final week of March is stacked. So much so I decided to separate this one week for itself. Let's get to it.
Mar. 28 - Lion Fight
#1 MMA Cris Cyborg vs. Jorina Baars (Muay Thai fight live on AXS TV 10 pm EST)
Jorina Baars may be 25-0-3. She may be Cyborg's toughest challenge to date, at least on paper. However, I think Cyborg will bring a viciousness and aggression Baars has never experienced in her 28 Muay Thai fights.
Baars is from the Netherlands, and employs a very Dutch style kickboxing game. Her style requires space, and she does not maintain that space well enough. It is especially difficult in the ring, where she can be cut off much easier.
Baars has the height and probably the reach advantage. But, I see Cyborg taking a kick or two, then immediately closing the distance barraging Baars with hooks and whatever else she has added to her arsenal. The striking I saw from Cyborg at the last Lion Fight was vastly improved from the striking of Cyborg in MMA. Perhaps not having to worry about sprawling, allows her to bring more in the stand up department.
All that being said, this is still a must watch fight for me. Also, very good news for Cyborg. She passed her random drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commision. I believe this is what caught Alistair Overeem (even though he was TOLD there would be two random tests in the next 6 months).
Mar. 28 - 408 Fights
105lbs Atomweight (unconfirmed)
#7 Stephanie Frausto vs. Stephanie Skinner (Muay Thai)
It's just nice to see fighters staying active anyway they can if they can't get a MMA fight going. Frausto's older sister, Zoila, fought in her Muay Thai about a month ago, and now 'Macaquinha' will make her Muay Thai debut as well.
Mar. 29 - PXC 43
Kind of a weird move from Yamaguchi. She was year after year one of the best strawweights, and a spot on the UFC roster seemed imminent. But for now the 5 ft fighter from Japan will give 105 a try. She hasn't fought since losing a controversial decision to Bellator veteran Patricia Vidonic at PXC 40. I was actually quite impressed with Iniong's boxing, and wouldn't be surprised to see her box Yamaguchi up a little. "Conviction", a likely nod to Gina Carano, made her return to MMA last year after a 3 year hiatus and showed a clean right straight, that was able to knock her opponent down. However, Yamaguchi is solid everywhere, and if Iniong isn't able to handle the ground, she'll be out quickly. Potential upset, and exciting fight.
Mar. 30 - Fatality Arena MMA
Porto destroyed Maria about 7 years ago in a fight that also allowed leg strikes to a downed opponent. It was one sided, but Maria showed she could take quite a bit of punishment, and if it wasn't for a flying two-footed stomp, she might have been able to continue even longer. But, clearly that broke her as she tapped almost immediately to a rear-naked choke moments after. Porto has a real thirst for the finish once she see an opponent hurt or weak.
I'm interested how Maria does as a flyweight, but it would be a great upset for Porto if she were to do anything, but get a finish or dominating performance. And very surprising is that Ana Maria is 35 or 36.
Ana Maria nicknamed "India"
Mar. 30 - MMA Super Heroes (event streams 4pm EST)
this teaser actually got me pumped for this event
#11 Flyweight Kalindra Faria vs. Laura Balin
In my latest flyweight rankings Faria was ranked as the #11 Flyweight. She will be removed on the next update with her move down to 115lbs. She just won a decision 2 weeks ago in her strawweight debut, and looks to continue that streak. Balin is much smaller than Faria, and I'm skeptical with the only reason being, to my knowledge, there has not been a single Argentine fighter to break through the ranks in MMA.
Faria has had 16 fights, and many seasoned opponents. It's time for her to move away from the regional South American scene.
#22 Strawweight Herica Tiburcio vs. Aline Sattelmayer
It has been reported that Tiburcio would drop to 105lbs with her signing to Invicta FC, but for now she will fight once more at 115lbs and Sattelmayer is no 'gimme' fight. She is not athletically gifted, but can turn the fight into a grinding affair. Tiburcio has trouble with girls that can stop takedowns, and counter her flurries into the clinch. Tiburcio should be superior on the ground. Regardless of what happens, though, Tiburcio and her 4 ft 11 frame should be much more comfortable and effective at atomweight.
Also on this card is a 115lbs strawweight one night tournament. The contestants don't have the best records, but it's on this free card, and one night tourneys are almost always fun.
- Roberta Marreta vs Michele Angelo
- Bruna Wing vs Renata Baldan
- Luciana Treze vs Graziele Riccota – reserve bout