(Photo credit: MMA Junkie)
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, giving combat sports (or Power Sports, as we like to call them) fans some good options for their viewing pleasures. From boxing to MMA, this weekend will have you doing the two-button tango between “free” TV and pay-per-view. So without further adieu, in the words of Michael Buffer, "Let's get ready to rumble!"
Premier Boxing Champions
Al Haymon’s promotionally branded usurpation of the boxing industry, aka Premier Boxing Champions, is back this Saturday, May 23rd, as Super Middleweights Andre Dirrell and James Degale face off from Beantown, USA live on NBC.
Andre Dirrell, older brother to former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell, is a boxer from Flint, Michigan that holds a Middleweight bronze medal from the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Dirrell’s lone loss out of his 24 fights was back in 2009 against Carl Froch during the Showtime Super 6 World Boxing Classic. Dirrell, who has fought as much as five times in one year, slowed down after his victorious fight against Arthur Abraham in 2010. He took 21 months off to heal from the neurological injuries he sustained and has since been on a five fight win streak that saw him out of competition in 2012.
His next challenge lies with the UK’s James DeGale for the vacant IBF Super Middleweight title. In this southpaw showdown, James DeGale attempts to become the first British boxer to win both Olympic gold and a professional crown.
UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier
Since Jon Jones has been stripped of the UFC Light Heavyweight title due to his suspension and pending legal matters involving a hit and run accident, the UFC decided to give challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson a new opponent in Daniel Cormier, the man Jones defeated at UFC 182.
Unlike the anticipation generated by the Jones vs. Cormier fight, fueled by a media day scuffle in the MGM Grand, this fight has MMA fans stoked for the sheer randomness of the pairing.
No one would have thought that Daniel Cormier would be back in title contention a mere 4 months after his unanimous decision loss to former UFC fighter & Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. This puts Cormier in an interesting position as despite him being the smaller competitor, his wins against super sized fighters like Antonio “Big Foot” Silva for titles prove that size means nothing to D.C.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has been on a tear since first parting ways with the UFC back in 2012 when he lost to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 (ironically, Belfort co-headlines against Chris Weidman).
After leaving, Johnson finished four of six opponents, running through fighters like Andrei Arlovski, Mike Kyle and David Branch. Once he returned to the UFC, Johnson defeated Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueria and Alexander Gustafsson.
UFC 187 also features current UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman, who faces off against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort. Belfort has finished his last three opponents which included Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson.
Weidman, after successfully defeating the seemingly unbeatable Anderson “The Spider” Silva twice for the Middleweight belt, is an undefeated champion who fights out of the Serra-Longo gym Long Island.
UFC 187 is live on PPV this Saturday, May 23rd 2015.