MMA to Watch this Weekend: CES 45, Good Stuff from Brazil, Free Fights from Asia
If you’re curious about all the MMA you can watch this week, then this is the preview for you. We’ll start by going through events that require no more than US cable TV and Fight Pass, followed by notable events that may require a few extra dollars out of your pocket (or a little bit of stream hunting) to catch up with. Note that some MMA organizations are uninterested in communicating basic promotional details like show start times and card changes, and event times and broadcast info may be inaccurate by fight night; for updated viewing info keep an eye on @Jolassanda and @Grabaka_Hitman on Twitter and check out grabakahitman.wordpress.com for an extensive list of combat sports events (some free, some PPV) as the weekend approaches.
MMA That’s Easy to Watch
Relatively easy-to-find events broadcast via US cable TV, UFC Fight Pass, or a free internet stream.
CES 45 – Friday, 8/11 at 9:00 PM EST, Rhode Island (AXS TV and Fight Network)
Not much U.S. MMA to sink your teeth into this weekend, but AXS TV Fights has your usual Friday night fix from top New England regional CES. A heavyweight battle is brewing as Ashley Gooch (10-5) looks to defend his CES belt, and title of “Baddest Man in New England”, against colorful jiu-jitsu practitioner Banana Coutinho (7-3) – read more about Coutinho’s journey right here courtesy of MMA Today Senior Writer Nolan King. In the evening’s other marquee contest, grappling wizard Saul Almeida (19-8) will look to snag the vacant CES 145 pound interim title when he facing another surging jiu-jitsu practitioner in Pedro Gonzalez (12-5). And keep an eye on silky striker Nate Andrews (10-1) when he battles rugged WSOF vet Bruce Boyington (14-10) in a lightweight affair.
ROAD FC 41 – Saturday, 8/12 at 3:00 AM EST, South Korea (Free stream on ROAD FC YouTube)
U.S. fans who want to watch live will find ROAD to be a really late Friday night, but those of us who love sleep can just catch the event Saturday on the company’s YouTube channel. This is a relatively minor ROAD show with no bouts in the ongoing $1 Million Tournament. The show’s headliner features talented American heavyweight Chris “Huggy Bear” Barnett (15-4) in a rematch against South Korean tough guy Hyun Man Myung (4-3). The 5’9” spin kick master came in to his ROAD 38 bout with Myung in the best shape of his life, as he dropped all the way down to 259 pounds after years fighting well north of 300. But a freak cut above Barnett’s eye in the fight’s opening moments handed the South Korean the TKO win. Other notable fighters in action include WSOF regular Jake Heun (10-6), who will step up to heavyweight to battle South Korean heavyweight Mu Bae Choi (12-6), and 18 year old atomweight Ye Ji Lee (3-2) who will look to build off her upset of 35-2 can crusher extraordinaire Satoko Shinashi at ROAD 37 when she takes on Japan’s Tomo Maesawa (7-7).
Brave CF 8 – Saturday, 8/12 at 7:00 PM EST, Brazil (Combate Brazil, El Rey TV & Myx TV in the US; hopefully streaming free on Brave’s YouTube)
Well-heeled global outfit Brave CF is working on developing the world’s off-the-radar MMA regions in the Middle East, India, Mexico, and Brazil, much to the benefit of underexposed local talent. This show is probably going to end up streaming live on YouTube, though clear communication of broadcast plans is not the organization’s strong suit. Lining up good fights, on the other hand, is right up their alley. The headlining contests feature Lebanese MMA ace Mohammed Fakhreddine (10-1) taking on England’s Carl Booth (7-1) for the inaugural Brave 170 pound belt, and Brazil’s Klidson Farias (10-2) battling Germany’s Timo Feucht (6-0) for the inaugural 205 pound strap. The rest of the card reads as a parade of quality Brazilian prospects and talented regional vets looking to take a step up to global relevance; fighters to keep an eye on include explosive lightweight Killys Mota (10-0), 155 pound KO king Luan Santiago (11-2), and Renovacao Fight Team welterweight talent Carlston Harris (11-3).
GRACHAN 30 – Sunday, 8/13 at 11:00 PM EST, Japan (Free on YouTube )
This delightfully free Sunday card from Japan includes both grappling contests and two-round MMA bouts. It’s not exactly packed with regional contenders, although UFC vet Motonobu Tezuka (28-12-7) is scheduled to battle promising South Korean bantamweight Da Un Jung (7-1). The event also features the return of charismatic featherweight Shoji Maruyama (13-9-1), who was last seeing eating dust courtesy of the Korean Superboy way back in 2013.
Dana White Contender Series 6 – Tuesday, 8/15 at 8:00 PM EST, Nevada (UFC Fight Pass)
After scoring a solid finish on the DWCS series premier, AXS regular Charles Byrd (8-4) gets another chance to impress in the episode 6 main event against west coast regional vet Buddy Wallace (15-6), who took the bout on short notice after scoring a quick KO in the regionals last weekend. Who knows who will step up their game for Dana and crew, but on paper the shiniest prospects on the undercard are probably 23 year old Nebraska wrestler Grant Dawson (11-1) who is set to battle Stockton, California featherweight Adrian Diaz (11-4-1), and TUF 24 Tournament of Champions alumnus Jamie Alvarez (6-1) who will look to get his heavy hands in play against Hawaii’s Martin Day (5-1).
MMA Off the Beaten Path
Viewing these events requires an iPPV fee, a subscription service other than UFC Fight Pass, or an international TV/streaming source
Rebel FC 5 – Saturday, 8/12, early AM EST from Singapore (Broadcast Info Hazy)
This Rebel FC card has some worthy fights on the docket, assuming you can figure out a way to watch; a request for information from the promotion was met with silence. Quality bouts include Marcio Andrade (14-4) of Brazil versus top Kazakh featherweight Ermek Tlauov (13-3), Brazilian welterweight Adriano Balby (13-3) vs. American expat David Hulett (22-10), and Nova Uniao featherweight Rodolfo Marques (23-9-1) vs. Tastunao Nagakura (12-6).
FEN 18 – Saturday, 8/12 at 2:30 PM EST from Poland (PolSat Sport)
If we’re lucky there will be a stream floating about for this solid card from Poland’s #2 promotion, even though FEN only bothers broadcasting to their domestic audience. Quality Polish middleweight Marcin Naruszczka (18-7-1) highlights the lineup when he takes on countryman Andrzej Grzebyk (10-3). Plus Kamil Lebkowski (16-5) will tangle with France’s Dagir Imavov (10-2-1).
Cage Titans 35 – Saturday, 8/12 at 6:00 PM EST from Massachusetts (Flocombat.com $12/mo subscription)
FloCombat boasts a U.S. regional card from Cage Titans that rivals anything else going on across the country this weekend, and is definitely the best US fight card that you’ll find on Saturday night. A slew of strong prospects are slated for action, including bantamweight grappling talent Manny Bermudez (9-0), featherweight Frank Sforza (7-0) who owns an amateur victory over the UFC’s Andre Soukhamthath, lightweight technician Joe Giannetti (5-0), and lightning-quick lightweight finisher Jimmy Manning (4-0).
Aspera FC 55 – Saturday, 8/12 at 6:00 PM EST from Brazil (Esporte Interativo; free replay on Fite.tv starting Wednesday)
For whatever reason, Aspera FC makes North American fans wait until the Wednesday after the show to watch their events on Fite.tv, though it should be available live for those with a sense of how to watch Brazilian TV. Broadcast difficulties aside the organization has put together a genuinely impressive card, with a host of UFC veterans in action against an assortment of unheralded prospects and journeyman-types. Familiar names include globetrotter Maiquel Falcao (37-10) fighting all the way up at heavyweight, Glaico Franca (15-5), Ivan Batman Jorge (27-7), Alberto Uda (13-2), Iliarde Santos (31-13-1), Igor Araujo (25-9), Kevin Souza (16-5), and Marcio “Lyoto” Aalexandre (15-3). Not bad, Aspera!