12-19-14. By JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
This will be the last weekend for MMA fights in 2014. I can’t believe how fast this year has passed in the fight world. Many things have changed and the change will continue, I’m sure. On this last fight weekend, I want to say to all the fighters THANK YOU for giving up your time with your family for the holidays to do something you love for those of us who love to watch you doing it. There are 3 promotions to watch this weekend. They will be showing us the best that they have got and will be bringing that into the ring again in 2015
ONE FC 24: Dynasty of Champions was in Beijing, China today, December 19th with their last card of the year and had one of the most exciting fights of the year. This event marked the first time a major organization has ventured into mainland China. There were semifinal-fights in the Flyweight and Featherweight divisions from which new champions will be crowned.
We will see Li Wei Bin vs. Wang Wei for the ONE FC World Flyweight Championship and Li Kai Wen vs. Wang Ya Wei for the ONE FC World Featherweight Championship. These men will fight sometime next year for those titles and we will see that they are the best contenders for those titles. ONE FC has demonstrated once again that they are becoming one of the best promotions in Asia as they keep getting better and better.
Titan FC 32 is in Lowell, Massachusetts at the Tsongas Center. If you are in the area go down and see some fights and see the live action they bring to MMA on the CBS Sports Network. There was supposed to be 2 title fight but there has been a change. The heavyweight title fight has been changed to next year for some unknown reason. We will see 2 former Bellator MMA veterans and a former TUF and UFC veteran in the cage for the first time since they were released. This is a very stacked card with fighters who want to keep moving up the ranks and make it to the bigger promotions.
In the co-main event we have Rick Hawn vs. Carlo Prater in a Lightweight fight. Both these men are coming off of losses and want to end the year as a winner. This makes this a must-win fight in a lot of peoples’ eyes. Hawn, a former Bellator MMA Tournament winner, who competed in the Lightweight and Welterweight divisions, is looking to get back on the winning track and get a title shot down the line. Prater is also looking to get a win and prove that he isn’t just a journeyman and can make it as a champion.
In the main event for the vacant Titan FC World Featherweight Championship we have Bellator MMA veteran Desmond Green vs. TUF and UFC vet Steven Siler. Green has been looking good since being released from Bellator MMA with a KO victory over Miguel Torres that got him the title shot back on October 31, 2014. Siler, a TUF and UFC fan favorite who was cut because he lost 3 fights straight fights in a row, knows that if wants to get back into the big shows he is going to have to work his way back to the top by beating Green.
UFC Fight Night 58 is in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil at the Jose Correa Arena. This event will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 Live and is free for all you fight fans. This will be the last fight of the year and it is one that I am super-excited about! That’s because not only are we getting the fights for free, we have a stacked card with two former champions looking to get back into the title hunt in their respective weight divisions.
In the co-main event we have former UFC World Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon in the Bantamweight division. This is Barao’s first fight back since his loss to current champion TJ Dillasaw and he is looking to get a title shot with this win. Gagnon is 4 and 1 since coming into the UFC and is on a major high with 11 of his last 14 matches won by submission.
In the main event we have former UFC World Light-Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida vs. C.B. Dollaway in the Middleweight division. With this fight we see Machida beginning to work his way back to another title shot at current UFC World Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman. Machida believes he will be the one to beat Weidman and become the 3rd man in the UFC to hold two titles in two different divisions. I have heard and read a lot about how many people think that this might be Machida’s last chance at getting a title shot. If so, he needs to bring up his game substantially and get those wins to get that shot again.
Dollaway, who is a former TUF runner up and 14-fight vet in the UFC, is looking to make a run at the title next year himself. If he beats Machida he will be one step closer to a title shot and I think he is right about that. However, he has a tough test ahead of him with the former champ Machida who’s style is so different from everyone else’s.
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