Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward
Tonight wraps up a year in boxing that has seen the welterweight division decide who is the best, who is an up-and-coming threat and who will duke it out for supremacy during the first quarter of 2017.
However, tonight the newly reignited light heavyweight ranks will decide who truly is the best in the division when current unified light heavyweight titleholder, Sergey Kovalev, takes on former super middleweight juggernaut turned light heavyweight threat, Andre Ward.
The stage was set for this pairing back in 2014 when Kovalev defeated Bernard Hopkins with a dominating unanimous decision in Atlantic City. Ward was in a bitter battle with former promoter Dan Goossen and rehabbing after surgery on a recent shoulder injury. He was stripped of his WBC super-middleweight title and vacated the champion emeritus status they gave him feeling that he was stripped unjustly after literally cleaning out his division.
After defeating Paul Smith and unsuccessfully trying to make a blockbuster fight with Gennady Golovkin, Ward decided to step up in weight to challenge himself and attempt to topple the new guy that handily defeated his role model for boxing resilience, Bernard Hopkins.
Kovalev has been dominant and is the prototype Eastern European robotic puncher that used his ability to cut off the ring and pummel opponents into submission with just his jab. He has chased WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson for years to no avail and even though he was tested by his last opponent, Isaac Chilemba, he has never faced a fighter with such a high boxing intelligence and still in his prime.
With high level coaches in Virgil Hunter for Ward and John David Jackson for Kovalev, a big Las Vegas pay-per-view crowd and the world watching, this fight will be epic and close out a year of boxing that has been definitively deciding who is the best right now.
Catch all the action live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on HBO PPV tonight at 9pm EST / 6pm PST.
UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Hall 2
It was September 25th 2015 when Uriah Hall destroyed one of the most decorated fighters in MMA with a spinning back kick, flying knee and punches all in the first round. It was at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and the opponent was Gerard Mousasi.
It reminded people of Hall’s stint on Team Sonnen as a part of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, where during episode 3, Hall faced Adam Cella from Team Jones, knocking him out in similar fashion with just ten seconds left in the first round. The devastating spinning hook kick to Cella's head knocked him unconscious and was declared the most vicious knockout seen by UFC President Dana White over The Ultimate Fighter's eight-year history.
However, since the victory over Mousasi, Hall has gone on a two-fight losing streak to Robert Whittaker and most recently to Derek Brunson, who TKOd him in the first round in September.
Contrarily, Mousasi is on three-fight win streak, where he has dispatched of Thales Leites, Thiago Santos and Victor Belfort in 2016. As Mousasi is looking to climb the middleweight ranks and eventually make a case to fight current champion Michael Bisping, a win against Hall would help towards that crusade.
Catch all the action live tonight from Belfast, Northern Ireland on UFC Fight Pass at 4pm EST / 1pm PST.
Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson
Since entering Bellator in 2010, Michael Chandler has been one of the most dominant forces in the promotion’s history. He won the Bellator lightweight tournament in 2011, and eventually went on to take Eddie Alvarez’s belt before he departed to the UFC. He since lost that belt to Alvarez and fellow UFC departed champion Will Brooks until he won it back against Patricky Freire with a first round KO in June.
Wrestling doppelgänger Benson Henderson is a former UFC champion that left during the MMA free agency rush. Currently 1-1 in Bellator, Henderson has long been awaiting a matchup against the champion, and won a TKO via leg injury fight against Patricio Freire in August to get there.
With the wrestling-heavy-meets-striking-prowess of each fighter, this is an even match that literally will define the fluctuating lightweight division. With the departure of two former champions and with the UFC’s Conor McGregor dominating all headlines in the inter-promotional lightweight division, Bellator needs a barn burner tonight to get back in the conversation.
Catch all the lightweight championship action from the SAP Center in San Jose, CA live on Spike at 9pm EST / 8pm PST.