Another week is winding down and as usual the fight God’s have some nourishment for your combat appetite.


Friday, April 22nd

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson


As MMA matures, so do the options for its fighters. Bellator, now owned by media leviathan Viacom, has pockets deep enough to help create the free agency hustle in mixed martial arts and one of its first contestants is Ben “Smooth” Henderson.

Fans remember Henderson (23-5) from his days mopping fools up in the now defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) organization, then the UFC where he became the Lightweight champion.

Having now jumped ship over to Bellator, his first fight is against current Welterweight Champion (170lbs) Andrey Koreshkov. Although possessing an impressive record of 18-1 with wins over Douglas Lima and Nah-Shon Burrell, Koreshkov is a relative unknown.

The fight is more about Henderson, whose highlights include his extreme flexibility, as displayed against “Cowboy” Cerrone in WEC 43, for which he received the nickname “Bendo”, or when he took the kick to the face from the now infamous Anthony Pettis cage walk. If successful, prepare to see more disgruntled UFC headliners departing for Bellator.

Watch Bellator 153 live from the Mohegan Sun Arena tonight at 8pm EST on Spike.


Saturday, April 23rd

BOXING

Gennady Golovkin vs. Dominic Wade

What more can be said about Triple G? This kid has been racking up belts since 2009, and clearly everyone with a name and a strap is scared to put it all on the line against him.

The Kazakh native turned Los Angeles resident faces mandatory challenger to his IBF Middleweight title in Dominic Wade (18-0). Golovkin (34-0) is expected to mop up Wade en route to the winner of Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan on May 7th, but still he must face the challenge in front of him.

“I understand it’s very important, every fight with an opponent,” said Golovkin about Wade. “I understand my motivation is my goal for all the belts in the middleweight division. I have motivation. I feel good. I’m working hard every day. You know, I just feel this is my time.”

The unsung Wade fought a hard fight against Sam Soliman last June where he took a split decision, which was cited as a good reason to make this fight by K2 Promotions Managing Partner, Tom Loeffler who promotes Golovkin.


“Sam actually got the chance that Gennady never got,” said Loeffler. “Sam Soliman beat Felix Sturm twice in Germany. So accomplishing that feat, and then Dominic being able to beat a champion like that, I think puts him right there in the position that he’s at now for the mandatory challenger. So you can never underestimate someone, especially that’s young and hungry and undefeated, like Dominic is.”

Watch Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Dominic Wade on HBO live from The Forum in Los Angeles at 10pm EST.


MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux & Demetrious Johnson vs. Cejudo

Through the war of words with fallen star Jon Jones (21-1), a steady hype was built for his rematch against current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier. However, Cormier got injured in training and stepped down from the bout, leaving the fans in limbo.

Then came “OSP” and the new addition of the interim Light Heavyweight belt to spice up the bout. Obviously, this is to build anticipation for a Jones vs. Cormier title unification bout, but we will play the labeling game because it does make the future that much more interesting for the winner.

Ovince Saint Preux (19-7) is a marginal light heavyweight whose biggest win was a first round 34-second KO over former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Most believe Jones will make quick work of “OSP” and move on to his nemesis, Cormier.

Also on the card, which should receive much more proper headlining, is dominant UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (19-2-1), who will be defending his belt for the eighth time in almost five years.

Johnson faces Henry Cejudo (9-0) who has won his last six fights by decision and looks to hand Johnson his first defeat in almost six years. Johnson’s dominance often gets overlooked due to the higher profile of other weight classes and his wrestling-heavy style, but as anyone who loves fighting will tell you, the little guys are where the fast-paced action is.

Watch UFC 197 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena with the Preliminary Card on Fox Sports 1 at 8pm EST and the Main Card on Pay-Per-View at 10pm EST.