April has a host of match ups in the UFC and SBB are here to give the low-down on what’s going down MMA wise, around the world.
We will have to wait until the end of the month and the 29th April to see Jon Jones take on Chael Sonnen in UFC 159 in new Jersey. It’s some way away now and fairly off the radar but expect fireworks before it starts, it will be a huge event by the time it arrives
Sonnen will be fighting at light heavyweight for the first time since 2005 against Jones, who will be criticised once again, as his last challenger wouldn’t be described as a legitimate heavyweight as the question mark hangs over Sonnen. Jones should be able to finish this fight within the distance, however if Sonnen does manage to last out, the decision will surely go Jones way
So let’s look at the rest of the main match ups for the month
Pat Curran v Shahbulat Shamhalaev (Atlantic City)
Curran brings an 18 and 4 record to the octagon against the Russians, 12-1-1. Curran is the current Bellator featherweight champion and has lost only once in his last ten fights. Shamhlaev’s last ten fights have all finished in his favour, the last five by KO or TKO. He got this shot at a title through the Bellator tournament where he went though each of his opponents inside two rounds. He is a worthy opponent and has every chance of taking the title on April 4th
Alexander Gustafsson v Gegard Mousasi
Over in Sweden on April 6th this pair go head to head in the light heavyweight division on the UFC on Fuel 9, international road show Gustaffson has the potential to meet Jon Jones with his form coming into this match up and will not want to be making any mistakes and putting that potential fight in jeopardy. Mousasi has had three consecutive victories prior to this fight but has been off been off the boil for a while, whether his kick boxing style will work against the very tall Swede remains the biggest question. A question, the answer to, I am afraid will be, ineffectual Gustaffson can adapt and take Mousasi out in the latter biggest fight to date. Gustaffson, with a record of 15-1 may not have the experience of Mousasi with 33-3-2, but we are looking at two fighters heading in different directions in their careers
There are two fights on UFC on FOX 7 worth taking a look at. Firstly undefeated Daniel Cormier comes finally to meet Frank Mir in a fight that we have been waiting on due to injuries to both fighter at some point in the run up. Cormier beat Josh Barnett in the Strikeforce tournament last year and makes his octagon debut in California on April 20. Mir lost to Junior De Santos last May and may have something to prove, not for the first time it might be said. Cormier could be looking to drop in weight to take on Jones, (they are all wanting Jones aren’t they?!). Cormier is taken to win through on the night. And watch out for Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez on the same card. The Ceser Gracie camp are looking to shake off the voodoo of the UFC title fights, although this isn’t an official title fight. Melendez will be up against it, he’s not walked in the cage for almost twelve months, whilst Henderson has won 15 of his last 16 and is fighting in his prime. Henderson should out.
That’s the highlights from the cages in April, look out for the hype in the Jones v Sonnen event, and watch Jones put Sonnen away at the end of the month