Three Great MMA Fights Coming Up In May

Photo Courtesy of the PFL

The MMA world has some killer cards coming up in the month of May with some of the sport’s most talented fighters facing off in the major promotions’ cages. The PFL, Bellator, and The UFC have some major fights this month, but these are three of the fights that we are excited for at the moment.

Kayla Harrison Vs. Marina Mokhnatkina PFL 3

Marina Mokhnatkina is a Sambo fighter hailing from Russia. This will be her second fight in the PFL. She has previously fought in Bellator and has a career record of 6-2. She will have her work cut out for her in Kayla Harrison. Harrison is a two time Judo Olympic Gold Medalist and back to back PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion. Harrison recently resigned to the PFL after a lengthy free agency period where she was pursued by both the UFC and by Bellator. Bellator made an impressive offer, but the PFL matched their offer forcing Harrison to sign with the Promotion. The undefeated Harrison is a heavy favorite to win the PFL’s new season title  as she’s a very big fish in a very small pond.

Justin Gaethje Vs. Charles Oliveira UFC 274

The UFC Lightweight title is up for grabs in a bout that will feature Justin Gaethje facing off with Submission Specialist the Reigning Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira. Gaethje is no stranger to big fights as he is the Former World Series of Fighting Lightweight Champion and is also a former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion he hopes to take Oliveiras belt. Oliveira will do everything in his power to stop this. The Brazilian grappler has been on an awesome ten fight winning streak two of those wins were title fights where he beat Michael Chandler vacant UFC Lightweight Championship. Broke the UFC record for most finishes (17). And a great title defense against one of the best Lightweights in the world Dustin Poirier. This matchup between Gaethje and Oliveira is going to be must-see TV and we are excited to watch how this goes down.

Update: Charles Oliveira missed weight and has been stripped of his UFC Lightweight title and will not be eligible to win the Lightweight title if he is victorious at UFC 274

Michael ‘Venom’ Page vs. Logan Storley Bellator 281

Former four-time All-American wrestler will face off against #1 ranked British Kickboxer Michael ‘Venom’ Page for the Bellator Welterweight title at the OVO Arena in London.  Storley is coming off back to back victories against Dante Schiro and Jiu Jitsu ace Neiman Gracie. It will be interesting to see how this one shakes out for Storley who will face Page’s ferocious striking. MVP is riding a six fight win streak and looked very good in his last fight against Douglas Lima who was previously considered the best Welterweight outside of the UFC.

What’s Next For Cris Cyborg?

Cris Cyborg (blue gloves) in the cage after defeating Julia Budd (not pictured) in their featherweight world title fight at The Forum on January 25, 2020 in Inglewood, California. Cyborg won by TKO in the 4th round

Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino is one of the most dominant female Mixed Martial artists of all time. Cyborg has held titles in MMA’s four major promotions Bellator, Invicta, Strikeforce, and the UFC making her the first Grandslam Champion of MMA. Cyborg has successfully defended her Bellator title three times. This last time was against Sinead Kavanagh who Cyborg made quick work of, winning by KO (punches) at Bellator 271 earlier in November. This makes one wonder what’s next for Cyborg? Cyborg really has no equal in the promotion, but there are some interesting fights that could be made. 

One interesting fight that could be made would be a fight with fellow UFC veteran Cat Zingano. Zingano was on a four fight skid before she got cut by the promotion. She says she was cut over her involvement in the Halle Berry MMA themed movie, Bruised. However it seems like her losing streak was more likely the reason. Since joining Bellator Zingano has won both of her two fights with the promotion. It’d be great to see Zingano enter the Bellator cage and fight Cyborg. Zingano is one of the few fighters to beat Amanda Nunes so this could be a way for Cyborg to avenge her loss to Nunes in an odd way.

The other possible fight for Cyborg would be a match up with Free agent Kayla Harrison. Harrison is a two time PFL champion and has gold medals in Judo. It is not known if Harrison would sign with Bellator but it seems like this is an obvious choice for the Bellator matchmakers if Harrison does sign with the promotion. Harrison has an undefeated record and if she signs with Bellator she might be fighting for the title right away or maybe two fights down the line. I think noncausal MMA fans would love to see this fight. 

Cyborg has made quick work out of all the fighters she’s faced in the Bellator cage but these two fights against Zingano and Harrison would be great fights and would be the only challenge since facing Amanda Nunes.  Besides her fight with Julia Budd, who Cyborg won the title from, she hasn’t fought anyone that could be on her level in Bellator. We shall see!

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What’s Next For Kayla Harrison?

Harrison after her Lightweight Championship win in October. Photo Courtesy of Cooper Neill / PFL

Kayla Harrison is a free agent as of the conclusion of her dominant performance when she won the 2021 PFL Women’s Lightweight Tournament. She has many options in the MMA world; she could stay at PFL and keep cashing million dollar checks every year. The other option would be the UFC, the world’s biggest promotion for MMA. The other option would be Bellator, it seems like that would probably be the best option for Harrison who’d definitely make an amazing addition to their already great Women’s Featherweight Division.

Harrison has found a nice home at the PFL for the first part of her MMA career. She has won their Lightweight title in back to back seasons. She could definitely stay in the PFL for years on end and she could keep cashing million dollar checks till the cows come home. Harrison has carved out the Women’s Lightweight division in MMA for the PFL it seems like this would be the least likely option even if that’s what Dana White thinks that’s what she should do.

The UFC is a likely landing spot for Harrison. She was sitting close to the UFC Octagon at UFC 268 it is not known if Harrison met with UFC brass at the event. It could be an interesting match for Harrison as the UFC doesn’t have a featherweight division at the moment as Dana White has pretty much killed the division, and there are only three fighters left in the division one of those fighters being the reigning 145 pound Champion, Amanda Nunes. It’d be interesting to see Harrison take on Nunes who she trains with at American Top Team.

The most interesting option would be Bellator. Bellator has an active Featherweight division with many big names she could possibly face. The most obvious fight people would want to see would be Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg it’d be an awesome fight. Other names in that division that’d be interesting to see Harrison fight would be Arlene Blencowe and Cat Zingano. It seems like it’d be a better fit for Harrison; she wouldn’t have to fight her training partner, she’d be in a promotion with an active featherweight division; it seems like a natural fit. It is known that Harrison will be sitting cageside at Bellator 271. It’d be interesting to see if she meets with the promotion.

Harrison has many options in the MMA world. She’ll be a contender no matter what promotion she decides to sign with. MMA fans would love to see her sign with all of these promotions and fight Nunes, Zingano, or Cyborg. We’ll keep you updated on her free agency.

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Does Women’s MMA Need More Weight Classes?

Cris Cyborg Nutritionist: Controversial Birth Control Method Was Cleared by  Doc | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino Flexes at a weigh in. Photo Courtesy of Buda Mendes and Zuffa LLC

One of the more interesting debates around MMA is whether or not major promotions like the UFC, Bellator, and Invicta should add more women’s divisions. It seems silly that the UFC only has three active women’s divisions when there are eight men’s divisions ranging from flyweight to Heavyweight. Bellator only has two active women’s divisions, flyweight and featherweight. It seems like these Major promotions could add divisions for these fighters. PFL Took an interesting approach carving out a Lightweight Women’s division and it would be interesting to see if the major promotions followed suit. 

Dana White came out and said in 2011 that women would never fight in the UFC. He changed his mind and added multiple Women’s divisions over time. Rhonda Rousey became the UFC’s first female champion and would defend her title against Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157. 

This addition made sense for the promotion. And the UFC knew that there was money to be made with the additions of these fighters. One of the major rivalries between these new fighters was between Meisha Tate and Rousey who made the UFC oodles of money with their rivalry. You could tell that they didn’t like each other very much while they were coaching on the Ultimate fighter. This got fans involved who saw these women who didn’t have the marketing machine behind them in other promotions for the first time. This led to the UFC adding more divisions over time.

If you look at fighters like Brandon Moreno and Francis Ngannou you’d say there’s no way that these two fighters can be Champions in the same sport. Moreno is David to Ngannou’s Goliath. Two very different body types and weight classes, but they’re both amazing fighters. It would seem like Adding more divisions for Women’s MMA would make sense for the UFC if they’re going to have that many weight classes. It would at least make sense to add an Atomweight division and Lightweight division to the UFC.

Kayla Harrison proves that there are many talented fighters beyond the Featherweight division. Harrison has really carved out a new division at 155 pounds that makes sense for bigger stronger women. Maybe the UFC will take notice and add a Lightweight division for these fighters. 

The MMA community was shocked a few years ago when we saw Cris Cyborg sitting in a bathtub crying after a particularly hard weight cut down to 145 pounds. There’s been speculation about how healthy in the long run it is for these athletes to cut copious amounts of weight and that it could lead to problems down the road for fighters in the cage and later in life including further brain damage and damage to other organs. It would make sense in a case like Cyborg’s that it would benefit her to be in a new division other than the 145 pound weight class she currently competes in with Bellator especially when she walks around between 175 and 185 pounds. 

It seems like it would be good for the sport to become more inclusive by adding new weight divisions. It seems like there is a talent pool of bigger and stronger women competing outside of the major promotions. Lets not forget about smaller women too. It definitely would make sense to add an atomweight division in the major promotions. It would grow the sport and that is good for all of these promotions checkbooks and for the athletes a total win win situation.

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