Five For Fighting – April’s Best Upcoming Bouts

Jacare Rockhold

With the first quarter of the year in the books, we roll straight into April with plenty of pep in our MMA step after the UFC announced it had the most successful three month period in the company’s history. Now, that’s obviously pretty hard to live up to going forward but April doesn’t take a bad stab at it with plenty of quality match-ups throughout. These are the five best bouts in the next 30 days.

5 – Al Iaquinta vs. Jorge Masvidal – UFC Fight Night 63, April 4th

In a packed lightweight division it’s tough to stand out and separate yourself from the pack – this match-up it’s a perfect chance to do just that. Both Masvidal and Iaquinta are just coming into their primes as MMA practitioners and would be a huge name to take for one another. Add in that fact both love to duke it out hard in every fight and it makes for a wonderful scrap.

4 – Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Gabriel Gonzaga – UFC Fight Night 64, April 11th

In today’s UFC heavyweight division everything has to be put into perspective. This fight, in essence, is a fun meeting of MMA legends who are well past their best. With that taken into account, and the fact that Gonzaga knocked out Cro Cop the last time the pair fought, then this one is a not-too-important yet, in a way, intriguing bout which doesn’t allow the viewer to blink.

3 – Chad Mendes vs. Ricardo Lamas – UFC Fight Night 63, April 4th

With Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo battling it out for the UFC featherweight title in July, this one could very well go a long way to find out who is next in line for the winner. Lamas has been impressive since being demolished by Jose Aldo while Chad Mendes, who lost to Aldo last time out for the second time, will be dead set on getting the first top-5 scalp of his career and his third title shot.

2 – Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza – UFC on Fox 15, April 18th

With champion Chris Weidman fighting Vitor Belfort this summer, there is a real opportunity for someone to separate themselves from the pack to earn the next title opportunity. Jacare and Romero are two of the front runners. This fight has epic written all over it as vicious striking world champion grapples go toe-to-toe in the eight sided cage. Watch it.

1 – Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold – UFC on Fox 15, April 18th

At the very top, the middleweight division may be the strongest in the world and these two both have arguments for, on their day, being the very best. Machida ran champion Chris Weidman extremely close in their title fight last year and is standing in the way of giving Rockhold an opportunity to do the same. As two of the most well rounded fighters in the world this one is absolutely guaranteed to be the highest of quality in terms of technique no matter where it goes. Unmissable.

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