While the UFC makes its maiden voyage (for a full event) on ESPN and Bellator pulls off another doubleheader, there’s a lot to look forward to elsewhere in the fight game.
Also, a friendly reminder that Invicta has a title fight this Friday on Fight Pass.
LFA continues to do some of the best legwork in the country when it comes to quality talent scouting. Light heavyweights Clayton York (5-0) faces Lithuanian-born Julius Anglickas (5-1) for the vacant title. Anglickas cut his teeth on the Midwest scene in Nemesis and Shamrock FC, establishing himself as a heavy hitter with a good submission game.York has fought somewhat less-established competition, but has looked great as a strong athlete with good scrambles and consistent offense.
Lightweight brings the most to the table here with the co-main event between Anthony Bacacm (12-6) and Trey Ogden (11-3) square off in what should be a fun and frenetic bout, while Jordin Hinman (7-4) takes on Dakota Bush (5-1), who fought for RFA as an amateur and had a pro bout in Shamrock FC as well.
LFA 60: Anglickas vs York starts at 10:00pm EST this Friday night on their usual television home, AXS TV.
ONE Championship returns to Thailand with another hybrid kickboxing/Muay Thai/MMA card. While there’s plenty to appreciate there, we’ll only focus on the MMA portion of the event. DEEP and Pancrase vet Shuya Kamikubo (9-1, 1 draw) looks to make it 3-0 in his ONE run as he takes on Korean vet Dae Hwan Kim (14-3, 1 draw).
Shooto and Vale Tudo Japan vet Daichi Takenaka (11-0, 1 draw) also returns to ONE, this time facing off against Kiwi bantamweight Mark Abelardo (17-5). Shannon Wiratchai (9-3) brings his striking arsenal against strong Mongolian DEEP veteran Tsogookhuu Amarsanaa (4-1).
ONE Championship: Clash of Legends starts Saturday morning at 7:00am EST.
ACA returns with a LOT to look forward to this weekend, as they return to Poland. Warsaw hosts ACA 92, headlined by a light heavyweight championship fight between sturdy veteran Karol Celinski (16-6, 1 draw) against Turkmenistan’s finest (and Certified Finisher™), Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (16-5, 1 draw). Yagshimuradov is on a six-fight winning streak and only one decision victory in his entire career, and this fight could be something of a true coming out party for him with a win.
Veteran and former UFC fighter Daniel Omielanczuk (20-9, 1 draw) will have a very stiff test ahead of him Zelimkhan Uliev (11-2), who has only three decision wins. An exciting middleweight fight should be expected between Piotr Strus (13-4, 2 draws) Ibragim Chuzhigaev (12-5), who have a ton of submission and TKO finishes between them.
Standout wrestler Tony Johnson (12-4, 1 draw) shows up for a big boy showdown against Estonian Denis Smoldarev (13-4). UFC and World Series of Fighting veteran Brian Foster (28-10) comes off his sensational PFL win over Ramsey Nijem as he faces Abdul-Aziz Abdulvakhabov (15-2). Abdulvakhabov just had his 13-fight win streak snapped against Ali Bagov, whom he is 2-1 against.
Mexico’s Jorge Gonzalez (14-3) takes on former UFC and Venator fighter Luke Barnatt (14-6), and another former UFC fighter Efrain Escudero (30-14) steps in against Amirkhan Adaev (14-5). Escuderpo attempts to bounce back from his loss to Gleison Tibau at the ill-fated inaugural Golden Boy MMA event, while Adaev tries to extend his win streak to four.
ACA 92: Poland starts at 2:00pm EST for those of us that are stateside.
Cage Warriors returns to Liverpool with a great heavyweight scrap between Sofiane Boukichou (6-2) and local favorite Tom Aspinall (5-2). Aspinall is a teammate of UFC star Darren Till, who speaks very highly of him. Aspinall had taken some time off from the sport due to conflicts with finding opponents at the time, but is returning to the sport for his first MMA fight since June of 2016.
Aspinall’s striking is his strong suit, and he’s had some fun finishes over the course of his career. Boukichou also comes from a striking background, yet is a bit of an opportunist when it comes to snagging simpler submissions.
Certified Finishers™ Bryan Creighton (9-6) and Croatia’s Manuel Bilić collide in the co-main event.
Cage Warriors 101 starts at 3:00pm EST, streaming live on UFC Fight Pass.