April has a fantastic lineup of fights, and even though the TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao II fight cancellation was disappointing news, there are plenty more that are definitely must see.
UFC Fight Night Mendes vs. Lamas
This UFC event hosted will be hosted at the Patriot Center in Fairfax this Saturday. Featherweights Ricardo Lamas and Chad Mendes headline the main event. Mendes is fresh from his enthralling decision defeat last October, to Jose Aldo.
Bellator MMA: Bellator 136
In the headline event, Will Brooks (15-1) defends his lightweight championship versus Dave Jansen (20-2). Also, previous Bellator heavyweight champion, Alexander Volkov, returns to the cage to face Tony Johnson. In Bellator, Volkov has a 6-1 record, with four wins by way of stoppage. Johnson (8-2) last competed at Bellator in 2011, when he beat Derrick Lewis (who now fights in the UFC) by unanimous decision.
Lawrence vs. Toomer and Cullum vs. Rave should both be entertaining fights.
Fight Night Live on CBS
A good boxing match might be worth a watch, when Adonis Stevenson meets Sakio Bika. Although Stevenson is the deserved favorite, an upset would not be out of the question. Bika used to hold the super middleweight title, and is an experienced, rugged opponent with a great chin, who can mix it with the best of them. Bika gave Joe Calzaghe a tough fight in 2006. Stevenson, who is currently the RING Magazine and WBC light heavyweight champion, has home advantage. However, Bika is no stranger to fighting on the road.
UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold
The UFC is holding its' Fox event in New Jersey, Newark at the Prudential Center. The headline event is a highly anticipated middleweight non title fight. Recent middleweight title challenger and former light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, faces ex Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold. The winner of this should be in line for a shot at the title, especially Rockhold, who has never fought for the UFC championship.
Invicta FC 12 Kankaanpaa vs. Souza
Stephanie Skinner vs Cassie Rodish should be a great fight - both are top atomweight prospects.
ONE Championship 26: Ben Askren vs. Luis Santos
Askren, is the former Bellator MMA welterweight champion, and this will be his 3rd fight with ONE Championship. Askren is undefeated with four straight wins. Santos, was also a Bellator fighter and started with ONE back in November, when he stopped Abbasov in round one of their match.
UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi
The Bell Center in Montreal is the venue for UFC 186, when Kyoji Horiguchi from Japan will challenge Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight championship. This is certainly an interesting match up. Horiguchi might be a bit out of his depth, but he does have power so anything can happen. Quinton Jackson might be prevented from competing on the main card at the Octagon, if the lawsuit Bellator has filed against him is successful. If he does compete, he will face Fabio Maldonado. Jackson defeated three opponents at Bellator previously, knocking out Christian M'Pumbu and Joey Beltran, prior to winning a decision over his nemesis Muhammed Lawal, at Bellator 120.
The other big fight worth mentioning on this card is Bisping versus Dollaway. Both men were trounced in their last outings, so this is a do or die match up. Bisping (25-7) tapped out for the first time, when he lost by submission to Luke Rockhold last time out. Dollaway (15-6) was overwhelmed by a kick to the body and numerous punches, when he was defeated by Lyoto Machida last year, in just over a minute.
In boxing, also on April 25, Wladimir Klitschko aims to continue his dominance of the heavyweight division, by beating Bryant Jennings for the Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Gardens. Recently, Wladimir has tended to fight in Germany. However, this new 'viable' American opponent has attracted American support for this fight, so fighting in the US is now a worthwhile option for Klitschko. Jennings is a good athlete, but he only started boxing aged twenty-four. He is a few inches shorter and about twenty pounds lighter than the champion, so it is hard to envisage him causing an upset. Most fans want to see Klitschko mixing it with either recently crowned WBC champion, Deontay Wilder, or the Brit Tyson Fury. If Klitschko gets past Jennings as expected, hopefully at least one of those fights can happen before the end of the year.