Hello once more fans and friends and welcome back to “Sneak Peek”! Alongside my monthly “Top 5 Most Anticipated Fights” post, “Sneak Peek” is a once-a-month post giving fans a look at what they can expect as we start another month of MMA action. “Sneak Peek” will give fans a quick synopsis of all the major MMA cards going down in any particular month. So let’s dive right with today’s edition, covering the month of April 2011.
April 9, 2011 – “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley”: Nick Diaz looks to become the most dominant champion in Strikeforce history by defending his Welterweight Championship for a third time. Standing in his way is iron-fisted power-puncher Paul Daley. Also on the card, Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez defends his championship against international star Tatsuya Kawajiri.
April 9, 2011 – “Bellator 40”: Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren fights grizzled veteran and former champion Nick Thompson in a non-title bout. Also in action is another tough veteran, as Jay Hieron fights for his shot in the finals of the Bellator Welterweight Tournament against Brent Weedman. And Michael Chandler fights Lloyd Woodard to determine one of the finalists for Bellator’s current Lightweight Tournament.
April 16, 2011 – “Bellator 41”: Both the Bellator Bantamweight and Featherweight Champions will be in action, although in non-title bouts. 125-pound champ Zach Makovsky fights Chad Robichaux while Joe Warren fights Marcos Galvao. Also, both the Featherweight semi-final match-ups are scheduled for Bellator 41, with Daniel Straus taking on Kenny Foster and Wilson Reis fighting Patricio Freire.
April 23, 2011 – “Bellator 42”: The Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final round is scheduled for Bellator 42. Richard Hale will be taking on DJ Linderman while Tim Carpenter faces Christian M’Pumbu.
April 30, 2011 – “UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields”: In front of over 55,000 fans in Toronto’s Rogers Centre, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will defend the title against multiple-promotion champion Jake Shields. Also, Featherweight engine of destruction Jose Aldo makes the first defense of his newly-minted UFC Featherweight Championship against Mark Hominick. And to top it all off, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida will face legendary UFC Hall of Fame member Randy Couture.
And now, here are some thoughts on how I think the month of April 2011 will unfold.
I’m really looking forward to “Diaz vs. Daley”, it has the potential to be perhaps the best event Strikeforce has given us in 2011 so far. I think the main event will be an excellent fight, and I think Diaz will be willing to stand and trade with Paul Daley just to prove that he can.
The month of April will be a good time to be a Bellator fan, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Bellator champions compete, even in non-title bouts. The semi-final match-ups of Bellator’s various tournaments all have serious potential, and as a whole, I think April 2011 will be a very good month for the upstart promotion.
I can’t even begin to imagine how utterly insane UFC 129 will be. GSP/Shields, Couture/Machida, and Aldo/Hominick could have all been the main event of a Pay-Per-View on their own, but the UFC saw fit to cram those three mega-matches inside the sold-out Rogers Centre. I truly believe this will be a massive turning point for the UFC, it may even go down as the most important UFC event since UFC 100. I absolutely cannot wait for this event.
And what about you, fans and friends? What MMA events are you looking forward to in April 2011?