There are some absolutely fantastic fights that are scheduled to take place in March 2013, and as always MMAOddsbreaker has got you covered.
Here are five MMA fights to be excited for this month from all over the world of mixed martial arts.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, UFC 158
The main event of UFC 158, and one of the most anticipated bouts in a long time, will see UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre take on arch-rival Nick Diaz in a fight that will finally end their feud once and for all.
St-Pierre (23-2) is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and is currently riding a 10-fight win streak, having not lost since a shocking TKO defeat to Matt Serra in 2007. St-Pierre is an incredible wrestler, a talented striker, and has a black belt in BJJ to help him out on the ground. Most people believe that he should steam roll Diaz in this fight, but can Diaz shock the world?
Diaz (26-8, 1 NC) hasn’t fought in a year since a controversial decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, as he was later suspended for one year after testing positive for marijuana metabolites. Still, St-Pierre asked specifically to fight Diaz next and he got his wish, as “The Stockton Badboy” will fight St-Pierre in his hometown of Montreal in what is by far the biggest fight of his career. Yes, Diaz has amazing boxing and BJJ, but his wrestling has always been a weakness and there is no better wrestler in MMA than St-Pierre, making this a very difficult stylistic matchup for Diaz.
St-Pierre is currently sitting as a big -500 favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook (bet $500 to win $100), while Diaz is a +400 underdog (bet $100 to win $400).
Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit, UFC 158
The co-main event of UFC 158 is a tremendous welterweight matchup between top contenders Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit, with the winner likely earning a title shot, especially if it’s Hendricks, who is currently riding a five-fight win streak.
Hendricks (14-1) has been nothing short of phenomenal in the Octagon, going 9-1 in the UFC with KO wins over Martin Kampmann, Jon Fitch and TJ Waldburger and decisions over Josh Koscheck, TJ Grant and Mike Pierce, among others. That’s a who’s who of UFC welterweights, and if Hendricks can defeat Condit, he definitely deserves a crack at the belt.
Condit (28-6) got his shot at St-Pierre at UFC 154, but lost a hard-fought unanimous decision in a fight many considered to be “Fight of the Year” in MMA in 2012. “The Natural Born Killer” is one of the best strikers in MMA and has wins in the UFC over Kampmann, Nick Diaz, Dong Hyun Kim, Rory MacDonald and Dan Hardy. Sure, he lost fair and square to St-Pierre, but it was the most competitive fight St-Pierre has had in years and if Condit can take out Hendricks, he will have earned his rematch.
The MMA odds for this fight currently list Hendricks as a -135 favorite, while Condit is a +115 underdog. This is a very close matchup on paper, but with Hendrick’s wrestling advantage, it’s justified he’s the favorite.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Andrei Arlovski, WSOF 2
WSOF has an absolutely tremendous main event for their second event, as former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (19-9, 1 NC) will take on Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (14-4) in a heavyweight bout. Both men are currently riding win streaks, with “Rumble” going a perfect 4-0 since being cut by the UFC last year and Arlovski going 4-0, 1 NC since being cut by Strikeforce two years ago. With that in mind, it’s fair to say that the winner of this matchup will be under serious consideration to be re-signed by the UFC.
This is actually one of the fights I’m most looking forward to all month even though many people think that Arlovski is shot. Well, the truth is he isn’t, as he’s looked tremendous in his recent fights, and “Rumble” is the perfect test for him at this point in time. Sure, Johnson is moving up to heavyweight for the first time in his career and will actually be at a size disadvantage for once in his life, but he’s a supremely talented athlete and an extremely dangerous fighter and, at the very least, him moving up in weight to fight Arlovski is just a fun fight for the fans.
The MMA line for this fight hasn’t come out yet but expect it to be close to a Pick ‘em.
Marlon Moraes vs. Tyson Nam, WSOF 2
The co-main event of WSOF 2 is an awesome matchup pitting top-ranked bantamweights Marlon Moraes and Tyson Nam against each other. Both fighters are currently ranked in the MMA Fighter Rankings so this should be an excellent matchup that will determine who is arguably the best bantamweight fighter in the world not in the UFC.
Moraes (9-4) is coming off a big upset victory over former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres at WSOF 1, while Nam (12-4) defeated current Bellator World Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas last summer at a Brazilian charity event. Since both fighters looked better than ever in their last outings, it will be interesting to see how much they’ve improved in the time between now and their last fights — or, conversely, it will be interesting to see if their last performances were flukes.
Like Arlovski vs. Johnson, the MMA odds for this fight haven’t come out yet but it should be close to a Pick ‘em as well.
Dave Jansen vs. Marcin Held, Bellator 93
Bellator 93 is headlined by Season 7′s lightweight tournament final, as Dave Jansen will take on Marcin Held with the winner getting a title shot at Bellator World Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler. This fight has been scheduled before but was postponed, so knock on wood that doesn’t happen this time and the fight goes through this month because it’s a good one.
Jansen (18-2), a WEC veteran, has been very impressive in Bellator so far, going 5-0 and defeating Ricardo Tirloni and Magomed Saadulaev to reach the lightweight finals. The Sports Lab representative is a former NCAA Division I wrestler and that skill has translated well to MMA as he’s able to dictate where his fights take place. As such, a fight against Chandler would be intriguing. On the flipside, Held (15-2) is a submission specialist who is a heel hook master, finishing veteran Rich Clementi with one to advance to the finals. Held has already fought Chandler once, losing via submission after coming close to locking in a kneebar of his own, but the 21-year old has improved a lot and a rematch would be interesting.
The MMA line for this fight will be released in the coming weeks, but it’s likely Jansen will open as a slight favorite due to his wrestling advantage and ability to keep the fight on the feet. When they were previously scheduled to fight at Bellator 84, Jansen opened at -165 and Held was +135, but the line moved closer towards fight time.
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