Between “free” TV and online pay-per-view, MMA fans will be able to get their fill on fight action this weekend.
Here’s a closer look at three can’t-miss-fights that will take place between the cards. Side note, sorry to RFA, but Bellator and the UFC take top-billing in this article:
Will Brooks vs. Marcin Held for the Bellator lightweight title
To be the man, you have to beat the man. Currently in the Bellator 155-pound division, that “man” is Brooks.
Fresh off wins over Dave Jansen and Michael Chandler (twice), Brooks has solidified himself in the world lightweight rankings. He’s 16-1 in his career and on a seven-fight win streak that includes avenging his lone career loss.
Brooks looked strong last November when he scored a fourth round TKO over Chandler after claiming a split decision earlier in the year. He bested Jansen via decision in April.
The 23-year-old Held (21-3) sports a six-fight win streak that includes four submission wins and a TKO since losing to Jansen in 2013. His title shot comes after winning the Season 10 lightweight tourney, as he followed up with an April submission of Alexander Sarnavskiy.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Daniel Straus for the Bellator featherweight title
Freire will be trying to put the finishing touches on a three-win calendar year, as he started off 2015 by submitting Friday night’s opponent in the fourth round.
In June, Freire earned his 24th career with by knocking out Daniel Weichel, claiming his 18th career finish. He owns 10 knockouts and eight submissions, including five since a 2013 loss to Pat Curran.
As for Straus, this bout comes served with revenge, as he tries to erase that submission defeat to Freire and a decision loss in 2011. Overall, the former champion is just 2-2 in his last four, 24 wins to his credit including 10 stoppage victories.
Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson
No titles will be on the line in Brazil when Belfort and Henderson step inside the Octagon, but respect will be.
This marks the third meeting between the two legends, as Belfort claimed the most recent when he landed a head-kick in 2013. After working his way off TRT, the former champion was stopped by Chris Weidman in May.
Henderson remains hopeful for a possible title run yet, as he stopped a two-fight losing skid by knocking out Tim Boetsch in June. Overall, though, the former Pride and Strikeforce champion is just 2-5 in his last seven.
Honorable mention status for can’t-miss-fights go to Gilbert Burns-Rashid Magomedov, Yan Cabral-Johnny Case and Michael Chandler-David Rickels.