Five MMA Fights To Be Excited For In April 2013

Gilbert Melendez The month of April 2013 is going to be very good for MMA fans, as the UFC has four events scheduled, Bellator has one, and even Invicta FC has one. And, as always, will be here to cover all of your betting needs for all of these upcoming fight cards. Here’s a look at five fights from all over the world of MMA that fans should be excited for this April. Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez, UFC on FOX 7 In my opinion, the best fight scheduled for April 2013 is the upcoming UFC lightweight title fight between the UFC champion Benson Henderson and the former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, which takes place April 20 at UFC on FOX 7. This is a matchup between the top two lightweight fighters in the world and it should be a hell of a main event, with the MMA odds at Several Bookmakers currently listing Henderson as a -250 favorite to win, with Melendez listed as a +210 underdog. Henderson (18-2) has looked absolutely dominant in all of his UFC fights so far, winning all six of his bouts in the big show since coming over from the WEC, where he was the lightweight champion there until losing his belt to Anthony Pettis at the last WEC event. Since joining the UFC, Henderson has defeated top fighters such as Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar (twice), Jim Miller and Clay Guida to earn his spot as the No. 1 lightweight in the world. But he’ll be fighting his sternest test to date when he takes on Melendez to unify the titles. Melendez (21-2) is finally making his UFC debut after a long reign as the Strikeforce lightweight champion. Melendez, who is a member of Team Cesar Gracie, is an excellent all-around mixed martial artist and he should give Henderson plenty of problems in this fight. He’s also going to have homefield advantage in this bout as it takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA, which is where most of Melendez’ Strikeforce bouts were held. This should be an excellent matchup and it’s the front runner to win “Fight of the Night” at the stacked UFC on FOX 7 card. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC 159 Another big fight this month is the lightweight heavyweight title fight between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his arch nemesis Chael Sonnen, which takes place at UFC 159 on April 27 in New Jersey. There’s no reason why Sonnen should be in this fight and most expect it to be a blowout, which is why Jones is currently a -1100 favorite to win, while the comeback on Sonnen is a ridiculous +700. Jones (17-1) is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and is currently riding an eight-fight win streak that includes Ws over established veterans like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. He is both the present and future of MMA, and it’s expected he will wipe the floor with Sonnen (27-12-1), who is coming off a TKO loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 148 and who has no business being in a light heavyweight title fight considering he has no wins in the division. Expect Jones to win this fight with flying colors and to continue his domination of the UFC light heavyweight division. Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi, UFC on FUEL TV 9 Another big light heavyweight fight that takes place this month is the main event bout at UFC on FUEL TV 9 featuring Swedish superstar Alexander Gustafsson taking on former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. The fight takes place April 6th in Sweden. Gustafsson is currently a -255 betting favorite, with Mousasi listed as a +215 dog. Gustafsson (15-1) has won six fights in a row and if he can defeat Mousasi he will likely earn a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title. He is an excellent fighter but he’ll be taking on an extremely underrated gem in Mousasi, who is a live dog in this bout. Mousasi (33-3-2) may not be familiar to UFC fans but he’s a tremendous talent and he has a very good shot at claiming the upset in this bout. And if he does, expect the calls for a Mousasi vs. Jones fight to be just as loud as the calls for Gustafsson vs. Jones are now. Pat Curran vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev, Bellator 95 The Bellator featherweight title is up for grabs as champion Pat Curran puts his belt on the line against Shahbulat Shamhalaev at Bellator 95, which takes place April 4 in New Jersey. Curran (18-4) recently made the first defence of his title against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 85, but that was a very competitive fight and if he leaves the door open against Shamhalaev, it’s possible there will be a new Bellator world champion. Shamhalaev (12-1-1) won the most recent Bellator featherweight tournament with three knockout performances in three fights and if he can continue his hot streak and defeat Curran, there will be many people talking about this guy as one of the top five featherweights on the planet. There is no betting line for this fight available at the current time but expect it to be close to even. Cris Cyborg vs. Fiona Muxlow, Invicta FC 5 Finally, one more fight to be excited for is the upcoming women’s featherweight bout between Cris Cyborg and Fiona Muxlow, which takes place at Invicta FC 5 on April 5 in Kansas City. Cyborg (10-1, 1 NC) is one of the top female fighters on the planet, but hasn’t fought in over a year since a positive drug test saw her stripped of the Strikeforce women’s featherweight championship. She’ll be looking to take out a lot of her pent-up frustration on Muxlow, who took this fight on short notice after an injury to Ediane Gomes. Muxlow (6-2) needs to be commended for stepping up to take this fight, because not many women did. And that’s because Cyborg is one scary, scary fighter. Expect Cyborg to be close to a -1000 favorite to win this fight, with her being as close to a lock as possible in MMA.

Written by Adam Martin.

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