Five For Fighting: November’s Best Fights

markhunt

After all of October’s quintet of chosen fights went ahead in superb fashion, we get straight into the penultimate month of the year with another selection. With UFC, Cage Warriors, Invicta, Bellator and more all having events this month it wasn’t an easy task to keep it to just five but, in declining order, here is my choice.

5. Tom Breese vs. Philip Mulpeter – Cage Warriors 74, November 15th.

Having missed the last two years through injury, the highly touted Englishman Tom Breese will be looking to make a statement in his Cage Warriors debut. Breese was undefeated as an amateur before putting an impressive six fight run together as a professional the last of which came against Warren Kee in 2012. Mulpeter isn’t an easy comeback fight, though. He himself makes a return to competition after missing most of the year following the cancellation of his August fight at CWFC 70 against Jake Bostwick after his opponent failed to make weight. The Laoisman is a dangerous fighter on the feet with progressive grappling and will want to improve his 7-4 record against a fighter who the promotion have high hopes for. Breese is also a well rounded fighter but has favoured the submission in his career so far. We do know how talented both these guys are but what we don’t know is where their respective games are at the moment. That makes for a very intriguing fight.

4. Mark Hunt vs. Fabricio Werdum – UFC 180, November 15th.

After Cain Velasquez was injured and forced to pull out of his scheduled fight with Fabricio Werdum at the UFC’s debut event in Mexico you could have been forgiven for being heartbroken. What we’ve been left with, though, is a fascinating and fun contest between Mark Hunt and the aforementioned Werdum for the interim heavyweight strap. This is an old-school pre-zuffa type MMA fight between a world champion striker and a world champion grappler. Hunt, a former kickboxing champion, has resurrected his career and put himself smack bang in the middle of the world’s best. Werdum has done something similar after being cut by the UFC only a few years ago. It’s unfair, though, to label these men as purely sticking to their base. Hunt has added a superb takedown defence while Werdum’s striking has come on leaps and bounds of late. Still, on the feet Hunt will be favoured and on the floor the Brazilian will be best – and either man won’t need much time in their preferred area to force a stoppage. Don’t blink.

3. Will Brooks vs. Michael Chandler – Bellator 131, November 15th.

After fighting for the interim title earlier in the year the real strap is now up for grabs following Eddie Alvarez’ departure to the UFC. The first fight was a close encounter which Brooks took but it could have gone either way. The now interim champion took the fight on short notice after Alvarez was concussed in training but Chandler also has his share of injury woes which curtailed his performance. This fight should be another back-and-forth battle with furious transitions from wrestling to grappling to striking. This is one for the real purists.

2. Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson – UFC Fight Night 57, November 22nd.

In a ultra competitive featherweight division this is a humongous fight. According to Cub Swanson, he has been promised a UFC title shot should he beat Frankie Edgar here. But with Conor McGregor waiting in the wings he will need to make a real statement. Against the former UFC lightweight champion, that won’t be easy. Edgar is a rapid striker with unbelievable footwork and head movement while also being a very adept mma wrestler. Swanson too has developed his game and has added fast technical strikes to his jiu-jitsu black belt level grappling. On paper, this has all the makings of a fight of the year candidate and could very well earn the winner a world title shot.

1. Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold – UFC Fight Night 55 – November 7th.

In the history of fighting, a quality match-up has always been improved with a feeling of disdain between the fighters added into the mix. That’s exactly what we get in Sydney next weekend. Ever since Michael Bisping branded himself the “unofficial Strikeforce champion” after dropping Rockhold in a sparring a few years ago the heat between these two guys has been palpable with both men constantly taking verbal shots. When the anatomical shots start coming it should be equally fun. Rockhold is a stud athlete who puts jiu-jitsu, wrestling and striking together extremely well. Bisping, on the other hand, has a mainly kickboxing oriented attack and has a hugely underrated takedown defence. Rockhold has promised an early finish and, with Bisping not being backward in coming forward either – expect fireworks.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma