Saturday, February 27, 2021

Saturday’s UFC/Bellator Tripleheader Offers Something For Everyone (Editorial)

UFC Fight Night 99, Bellator 165 and UFC Fight Night 100 will all take place this Saturday on either digital stream or “free” television.

That means 30-plus bouts in all of live action, including a lightweight title fight featuring Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson.

Things kickoff early Saturday with an all-UFC Fight Pass card from Northern Ireland with Gegard Mousasi meeting Uriah Hall in the main event. The middleweights have history, as Hall stunned Mousasi back in 2015, earning his biggest win to date.

Ross Pearson, one of the toughest veterans in the sport, is also slated for action, as he takes on Stevie Ray, while heavyweights Timothy Johnson and Alexander Volkov and Artem Lobov and Teruto Ishihara round out the main card.

On the prelims, flyweights Ian McCall and Neil Seery should put on quite the show, while fellwo 125-pound fighters Kyoji Horiguchi and Ali Bagautinov are also set to collide. Two female fights – Anna Elmose vs. Amanda Cooper and Marion Reneau vs. Milana Dudieva – should provide a jolt of energy early in the card.

Mark Godbeer and Brett Johns are not as well known in the U.S. as they are over in Europe, but that could change soon. Godbeer, a heavyweight, meets Justin Ledet, while Johns takes on Kwan Ho Kwak at bantamweight.

Bellator 165 is all about Chandler and Henderson. The promotion is putting a lot of work into the card, hyping Chandler as the man to submit Eddie Alvarez, while Henderson owns wins over UFC fighters Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone and Frankie Edgar.

But that isn’t all from the SAP Center in San Jose, as Michael Page puts his rising star status on the line vs. veteran Fernando Gonzalez and Keri Melendez – the wife of Gilbert Melendez – makes her MMA debut after a career in kickboxing.

If all goes as planned, the prelims will see Kevin Ferguson Jr., the son of the late Kimbo Slice, finally compete. His previous bouts have been cancelled due to issues with the opponent. Ferguson is set to face Aaron Hamilton at welterweight.

The UFC Fight Night 100 card from Brazil presents a solid rematch in the main event, as Ryan Bader battles Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Bader won the first encounter, and you can bet the Brazilian Nogueira wants redemption.

We also get Thomas Almeida, who is coming off his first career loss to Cody Garbrandt, against unbeaten Albert Morales and former title contender Claudia Gadelha returning to take on Cortney Casey.

Justin Scoggins-Pedro Munhoz at bantamweight is interesting, as Scoggins was on the verge of being a contender at flyweight before issues with his weight prompted the move to 135 pounds.