The Fight Weekend: What’s On
By Alex Conway
We’ve got a busy week of combat sports on our hands, despite there being no UFC event.
For fans that like to spread their fisticuffs viewing across different sports, this is a weekend that has a little something for everyone.
Here is a quick glance at what’s happening in the world of hurt.
Wilder vs. Ortiz II
Nov. 23 (Las Vegas)
Deontay Wilder will put his WBC heavyweight title on the line in a rematch against Luis Ortiz. The pair have fought once before in March 2018. In that fight, Ortiz hurt Wilder early before gassing out and allowing the otherworldly power of Wilder to overcome him late.
While many are looking ahead to the high-profile rematch between Wilder and lineal champ Tyson Fury in February, this fight is no small task for Wilder. Ortiz is older, but power is the last thing to go. We could very well be looking at a fight between the two heaviest hitters in the sport.
The co-main event is no slouch either as Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Flores will fight it out for the vacant WBA junior lightweight title.
Bellator London: MVP vs. Melillo
Nov. 23 (London)
Michael Page makes a quick turnaround against Giovanni Melillo of Italy. The fight will be on MVP’s home turf in England, but the Italian will look to play the spoiler.
Page is continuing to rehabilitate his record after his big knockout loss to Bellator Welterweight Champion and Bellator Welterweight Gran Prix winner Douglas Lima in the semifinals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix back in May.
Fabian Edwards also gets back after it with a contest against longtime Bellator vet Mike Shipman. Edwards is the brother of top UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards.
Cage Warriors 111
Nov. 22 (London)
Cage Warriors 111 won’t feature Paddy Pimblett after his opponent Joe Giannetti missed weight, but it will feature three title fights.
James Webb and Nathias Frederick will battle it out for the middleweight title, Mads Burnell and Steve Aimable will go at it for the featherweight crown and Modestas Bukauskas versus Riccardo Nosiglia will see who the best 205-pounder in Cage Warriors is.
Smith vs. Ryder
(Nov. 23 (London)
London is the fight capital of the world this weekend. Outside of Wilder-Ortiz II, it feels like every big event is happening in England.
Callum Smith will defend his WBA super middleweight title against John Ryder on DAZN. This is a nice warm-up for audiences before the sport’s big heavyweight attraction later that evening.
Nov. 23/24 Chicago
Glory kickboxing has a doubleheader in the Windy City with Glory 71 and 72.
Glory 71 is headlined by a bantamweight title fight between Anissa Meksen and Tiffany Van Soest. Glory 72 has a main event between featherweight champion “The Professor” Petch and number one contender Kevin VanNostrand.
LFA 79: Royval vs. Williams
A flyweight fight between Brandon Royval and Nate Williams will headline the second LFA show on UFC Fight Pass since the two entities joined forces.
LFA has been the premier feeder league to the UFC in North America over the last several years, and it will be interesting to see how that relationship develops now that the UFC is their distribution provider.