The upcoming weekend is a great one for fight fans. There are three major events this weekend, two of which are free to watch. Bellator has it’s “British Invasion” fight card headlined by Emmanuel Newton vs Liam McGeary on Friday night. Invicta has an event Friday night as well headlined by their top draw, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. The fight weekend will be wrapped up Saturday with UFC 184 being headlined by Ronda Rousey, one of the biggest stars in all of MMA.
Let’s take a look at some of this weekend’s important matchups.
Alexa Grasso vs Mizuki Inoue
Alexa Grasso is a name to look out for in women’s MMA. Grasso’s boxing is outstanding and she shows better head movement than most male fighters. She isn’t one-dimensional though. She’s shown a very active guard in her past fight against Ashley Cummins, almost securing an armbar finish. Japanese fighter, Mizuki Inoue, is a decent step up in competition, but Grasso has knockout power that the strawweight division can’t seem to handle. Grasso will be in the UFC very soon, so this is a fight you should be sure to watch.
Pick Alexa Grasso -140 @5Dimes
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs Charmaine Tweet
Unfortunately, the odds for this fight make it not even worth a bet. Cyborg is an even bigger favorite than Rousey is in her fight. Cyborg will likely be too big of a favorite to bet on until she fights Rousey (if they can ever get that fight together). I’d make sure to check this fight out that as it should end in devastating fashion.
Don’t bet it! At -1450 Cyborg is nowhere near being worth the return on investment.
Emmanuel Newton vs Liam McGeary
Liam McGeary might be the most exciting fighter that Bellator has to offer. He’s 9-0 as a professional and has finished every single fight. McGeary is able to finish fights from any position in the cage, standing or on the ground. At 6’6″ tall with an 81″ reach, McGeary has an immediate striking advantage over anyone he steps into the cage with and it’s amazing that at that size he’s able to make the 205 lb limit. McGeary also has some of the best jiu-jitsu for MMA in his division. He’s incredible active off of his back. He’s also very creative with his submissions (see his inverted triangle choke in his last fight).
McGeary isn’t someone who I see as just a potential Bellator champion. This is a guy I could see giving Jon Jones a run for his money if Bellator were to ever allow him to slip away. McGeary’s size accompanied with his skill and ability to adapt in any situation make him a tough match up for any light heavyweight.
Pick Liam McGeary -180 @5Dimes (This is my pick of the week. If you’re betting on one fight this weekend, make it this one)
Tony Ferguson vs Gleison Tibau
Even in the crowded lightweight division, the fact that Tony Ferguson is unranked is a travesty. Ferguson is 7-1 in the UFC and his only loss came from #6 ranked, Michael Johnson. Ferguson is a ridiculously explosive athlete who can take you out at any moment with his powerful striking. Ferguson’s wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu game may be even better than his tremendous boxing. His recent performance against Abel Trujillo showed that Ferguson is as tough as he is talented. Ferguson was dropped in round one by a vicious left hook and battled back to secure the submission finish in round two.
Tibau is a great veteran of the sport, but I see the young Ferguson being simply too much for him to handle. Tibau will likely struggle with Ferguson’s speed advantage. Tibau will likely be looking to take this fight to the ground and even if he gets it there I think Ferguson submits him. Ferguson trains at 10th planet, one of the best Jiu-Jitsu academies in the world, under Eddie Bravo (a legend in the jiu-jitsu world). Ferguson may welcome taking the fight to the ground if that’s what Tibau is looking for.
Pick Tony Ferguson -225 @Bovada
Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano
Smart money is not being bet against Rousey. Until she shows that she’s human in the octagon I can’t recommend placing money against her (even at +600 odds for Zingano). However, Zingano is a legitimate #1 contender. Rousey has had a few fights against sub-par competition that didn’t even deserve to fight her. This is not the case this time around. Zingano has proven her mettle against the likes of Miesha Tate in the octagon. Zingano’s win over Tate is the best measurable we have for how she’ll fair against Ronda. Tate is the only fighter to make it to round 3 with Ronda. I’m not confident enough to back Zingano to win the fight, but I think she’ll be able to perform as well as Tate.
Pick Fight Starts Round 3 +192 @5Dimes