Easter is here and for those lucky enough to get a public holiday, there’s plenty of face-punching action to be had.
AFC 18 14/4
This weekend Australian Fighting Championship kickstarts its push to become a major player in China’s burgeoning MMA industry, with two blockbuster nights of action.
Tonight, UFC and PRIDE veteran Rameau Sokoudjou will face Marcelo Tenorio in a light heavyweight showdown. Sokoudjou made a brief appearance at the weigh-ins yesterday, after tipping the scales almost a 1kg overweight.
A second card tomorrow night will see the crowning of a new AFC lightweight champion when New Zealand native James ‘Pitbull’ Bishop steps up to face Australian Isaac Hardman in the main event.
Shanghai Media Group will televise the AFC events and a stream will likely be available. Somewhere.
ROAD FC 38 15/4
Jangchung Arena, South Korea
ROAD FC has put together a solid card for its 38th show, with an interesting bantamweight title fight to headline the stacked card. Kim Soo-Chul and Kim Min-Woo will slug it out for ROAD FC’s bantamweight title and both fighters were on point during today’s official weigh-ins.
The match has serious implications to decide who is the top bantamweight in Asia. Heading into the fight, Kim Soo-Chol is a likely frontrunner, with high-profile wins over UFC veterans and top international fighters such as Taiyo Nakahara, Maike Linhares and Marcus Brimage.
In the co-main event, an openweight match will see Myung Hyun-Man face Chris ‘Huggy Bear’ Barnett, who smashed the scale flat with 135.7kgs.
Other bouts to watch out for include trials for Road FC’s $1 Million lightweight tournament. Asia MMA veteran “The Korean Bulldozer” Nam Yui-Chul, who also fought in the UFC, will face a last minute replacement in Tom Santos.
The card will stream live and free on ROAD’s official YouTube page.
Yokohama Arena, Yokohama
Surging Japanese promotion RIZIN Fighting Federation will debut at the Yokohama Arena this Sunday (16 April) for Rizin FF 5: Sakura.
Several high-profile fighters who have walked away from the UFC will feature on the card, but most notable is former No. 3 ranked Kyoji Horiguchi, who makes his promotional debut against Yuki Motoya.
One heavyweight bout to watch out for is RIZIN GP 2016 runner up Amir Aliakbari, who is looking to get back on the winning track by derailing a long time journeyman, Brazil’s own Geronimo Dos Santos. This is a matchup of two massive individuals with ungodly power that is really reminiscent of the heyday of Japanese MMA 10 years ago.
RIZIN 2017 in YOKOHAMA ~ SAKURA will be available for purchase from the official RIZIN website.