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Top 5 MMA fights to watch in January

| December 26, 2010 | 2 Replies

As the countdown to the New Year begins, the reflection of the past year and the hopes for the future begins as well. MMA fans are constantly looking forward to what is next for certain fighters, weight classes, even brands and companies themselves. While we look back and think of all the great moments in MMA from 2010, let’s also look ahead at what is coming up to start off 2011 with a bang. The following is a list of five fights you do not want to miss in January.

Frankie Edgar (13-1) vs. Gray Maynard (10-0) at UFC 125

The first time these two met, Maynard used his strength to control Edgar and work his way to a Unanimous Decision. After that day, their paths branched out, and are finally coming back together in this rematch. This fight will be different from the first as both men have grown as fighters, and this time the UFC Lightweight Championship will be at stake. As everyone knows, Maynard is responsible for the lone loss on Edgar’s record and he would love nothing more than to avenge that loss and continue his reign as a champion.  Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar aren’t the only two whose futures are in limbo with this fight, Anthony Pettis is also patiently waiting to see who he will face to unify the WEC and UFC Lightweight Championships.

Nick Diaz (23-7-1) vs. Evangelista Santos (18-13) at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg

For the past few months, Nick Diaz has been at the center of a very dramatic, back-and-forth verbal battle between himself, along with the rest of Team Caesar Gracie, and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. After the “Nashville Brawl”, Mayhem has been trying to get a fight with Diaz, to no avail. After coming to terms that it wasn’t going to happen, both sides have moved on.  Evangelista Cyborg , not to be confused with his wife Cristianne, earned his title shot after beating the man Diaz beat to become the Strikeforce Welterweight Champion.  With both guys being great strikers, as well as elite grapplers, this fight will definitely cause some fireworks.

Ovince St. Preux (9-4) vs. Abongo Humphrey (7-2) at ShoMMA 13: Woodley vs. Saffiedine

Since signing with Strikeforce, OSP has been dominant in his three fights, picking up a TKO and two Unanimous Decision victories. In his last fight, he dominated Benji Radach for fifteen minutes, but many people feel that the fight should’ve been stopped well before the first round. We haven’t seen Abongo since his loss to Mike Kyle back in July. While Abongo hasn’t had as much success in his three fights with Strikeforce, he holds six KO victories outside of the company. The thing that makes this fight so interesting is that not only will it be a step up in competition for OSP; it will also be his third fight in as many months.

Ronaldo Souza (13-2-1) vs. Robbie Lawler (20-8-1) at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg

Jacare is 3-0 since signing with Strikeforce and in his first title defense he’s set to face off against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. Jacare has been pretty dominant in his three fights (two decisions and one submission) but Lawler is no slouch and will bring the fight. Seventeen of Lawler’s twenty victories have come by way of knockout; the most recent being Matt Lindland. In just under a minute, Lindland was lying flat on his back, stiff as a board as Lawler backed away from him and returned to his corner. If Jacare isn’t careful, he could definitely meet the same fate.

Clay Guida (27-11) vs. Takanori Gomi (32-6-1) at UFC 125

On Fight Night, Clay Guida has more energy than the Energizer Bunny after downing a six-pack of Red Bull, Monster AND Urijah Faber’s favorite Amp Energy.  For years, while he was fighting over in Japan, Gomi was considered one of the top Lightweights in the world, and his performance against Tyson Griffin reminded us all why. In that fight, for the first time in Griffin’s career, he was stopped; unmistakably knocked unconscious.  Now he faces Clay Guida, owner of four post-fight bonuses, who has also never been knocked out. Two of the most exciting Lightweight fighters will clash heads and you will not want to miss it.

There are five weekends in January, and four of them are filled with UFC and Strikeforce cards, alternatively. After two weeks of virtually no MMA in the US, January promises a month full of great fights, which we can all appreciate.  With over twenty fights happening in just the first month alone, 2011 is already starting to look like a great year for the sport of MMA and its fans.

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Tags: Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, MMA, Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler, Ronaldo Souza, Strikeforce, Strikeforce Challengers 13, Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg, Takanori Gomi, UFC, UFC 125

Category: Featured, MMA, Opinion, Strikeforce, UFC

About the Author ()

Aspiring chef turned MMA writer after financial issues prevented me from pursuing my first dream. Ever since I started watching MMA, I've read up about it and talk about it all the time and with the encouragement of family and friends I finally decided to actively pursue a career in writing about it.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jack says:

    Great article. I’m really looking forward to that Diaz/Cyborg fight – kind of wish more people were paying attention to it. Also have to give props to Strikeforce for putting together a great Challengers card coming up next week.

  2. @Jack
    The Challengers card is really good huh. Maybe its a good sign of things to come from Strikeforce?

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