Five More Fights to Watch in May

We’re back, with five more fights you won’t want to miss this month.  After all, May does have 31 days, so why not run out another five fights to keep you occupied by the TV this month.  These are the fights that won’t be held in the UFC, but are still well worth the watch.

Joachim Hansen .vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida at Dream 17 on May 29th

This is a very interesting match between two very talented and accomplished fighters.  “Hellboy” will be bringing his 21-10 record into this fight with Ishida who owns a very respectable 20-6 record and is 2-0 since dropping to featherweight.  For Hansen it’s easy, he has a pressure striking game that is top notch.  He throws short accurate punches and kicks, and stings opponents with knees in the clinch.  When the fight hits the mat however, he also utilizes a solid submission game.  Most would be surprised to know he has as many victories by Submission as he does Knock Out.

Mitsuhiro Ishida has a tendency to work a gameplan and is often happy with a decision victory.  He has 15 decision victories among his 20 wins and that gameplan could be dangerous against someone like Hansen.  What makes this match so compelling is how each of them will likely try and carry out their gameplans.  It’s risky to stand with “Hellboy” and you can’t ride him on the mat because he has better than adequate submissions.

This should be a tremendous fight and if nothing else, it will be great to see Japan MMA come back after all that’s happened.  This card is set to help victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami that wreaked havoc on Japan on March 10th.

Hector Lombard .vs. Falaniko Vitale at Bellator 44 on May 14th from Atlantic City, NJ on MTV2

Hector Lombard is a very talented fighter who a lot of mainstream fans don’t know much about.  He’s currently the holder of the Bellator and CFC Middleweight Championships.  He sports an impressive 28-2 record and his losses have come to Gegard Mousasi and Akihiro Gono better than five years ago.  He is currently on a 21 fight winning streak, sans a draw with Kyle Noke in 2007.  His only knock and what keeps him from being a household name is the level of his competition.  He’s not stepped up onto the big stage and consistently fought big name opponents.

Falaniko Vitale has been around.  He’s been all over the globe fighting including stints in Strikeforce, IFL, and the UFC.  He retired for a couple years beginning in 2008, but is 3-0 since his return but this is a big step up for the talented submission grappler.  In order to have success against Lombard it would be smart to take the monster down and use his superior Jiu Jitsu and look for submissions.  He holds wins over notable fighters like Matt Lindland, Dave Menne and Yushin Okami.

As a longtime fan of Falaniko Vitale, this fight is compelling.  He’s very capable and could force Lombard into late rounds and deep water.  This is a fight most will just chalk up as another easy win for the Middleweight champion, but something tells me Vitale has other ideas.

Tom Watson .vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua at BAMMA 6 on May 21st from London, England

This fight is taking place in London, but can be viewed online.  Tom Watson is a talented fighter sporting a 13-4 record and is the current BAMMA Middleweight champion.   He trains at TriStar Gym and Jackson’s MMA with Georges St Pierre.  He was part of one of the biggest fights in the UKs history when he defeated Alex Reid at BAMMA 4.  You can view highlights of that fight here.  “Kong” is on the verge of making the move to the big time, but in his way is the always tough Brazilian, Murilo “Ninja” Rua.

“Ninja” has been fighting since 2000 at a myriad of weights against the best talent in the world.  He’s known as a puncher who will come in and lay it all on the line and go out on his shield if need be.  He’s an exciting fighter and will be looking to win the BAMMA gold when he steps in with “Kong.”  Ninja has looked sharp since his move to 185 and poses a dangerous matchup for anyone in the division.

This fight excites me because Ninja always brings it and Tom Watson is an impressive fighter who I’m excited to see fight.  BAMMA is top notch MMA and if you haven’t seen their brand of fighting, you should check out this card regardless.  It also features fighters like Frank Trigg, Ivan Salaverry, and Phil Baroni was scheduled for this event but was forced off with an injury.

Karo Parisyan .vs. Ryan Ford at MMA Live 1 on May 19th in London, Ontario, Canada TV:TBA

Well, not sure I need to say too much here, I mean, it’s Karo Parisyan and anything can happen.  The troubled fighter will be making his comeback after being released by the UFC for a second time after his loss to Dennis Hallman at UFC 123.  Karo has the physical tools but it’s been more mental for him in recent years.  When he’s on top of his game, he’s top notch at Welterweight.

Ryan Ford is an exciting Canadian fighter who has made a name for himself as a durable mainstay in Maximum Fighting Championships before his on again off again business relationship with MFC founder Mark Pavelich fell ‘off’ again.  He fought successfully at Aggression MMA 6, defeating Johnny Davis, but this is a considerable step up in talent for Ryan Ford, and it will be interesting to see if he’s able to stay in there with the talented Judokan.

I’m interested in this fight because it’s Karo Parisyan and when he’s on, he’s amazing to watch.  I sincerely hope we see Karo of old and he can get his MMA life back together.  It won’t be easy, Ryan Ford isn’t showing up to be on the bitter end of a feel good story and that’s why this fight is compelling.

Patricky Freire .vs. Michael Chandler at Bellator 44 on May 14th in Atlantic City, NJ on MTV2

This fight will settle this year’s Lightweight Tournament and both fighters have looked outstanding this season.  Patricky Freire has gone through the two tournament favorites, knocking off Rob McCullough and Toby Imada, the latter with a highlight reel flying knee.  He’s looked untouchable at times in this tournament but will need to avoid the takedown which is what Chandler lives on.

Michael Chandler will stand long enough to take you down, and lump you up on the mat.  Don’t sleep on his submissions or you might actually catch a nap, like Chandler’s first round opponent Marcin Held who was caught in an arm triangle.  In Chandler’s second fight, he managed to outwrestle and exhaust Lloyd Woodard on his way to a unanimous decision victory.  Chandler is undefeated and 2-0 inside of Strikeforce as well.  The University fo Missouri wrestler is a force in the lightweight division.

The two fighters have looked great this season and this final will live up to the old striker .vs. grappler cliché.  It’s going to be a great contest and the winner will prove a serious threat for Bellator Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.  These two bring in a combined 16-1 record, so neither is used to losing.  Should be an all-out war.

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