As always, the landscape is quite broad on the MMA horizon this weekend. With ONE Championship’s flagship event in Singapore now in the rearview, the greater attention of the MMA hardcores turn to Cage Fury Fighting Championships on Friday night before a KSW and UFC doubleheader on Saturday. Shawn Bitter and I are back, with our list of the five most exciting up and comers in mixed martial arts that you do not want to miss this weekend.
#5. Welterweight: Joey Pierotti (11-1) vs. Manny Walo – CFFC 74
With former Cage Fury Fighting Championships welterweight kingpin Sean Brady seemingly off to the UFC, one half of the promotion’s next booking for the vacant 170 pound strap could very well come out of this matchup. Joey Pierotti made his debut appearance for the highly-renowned CFFC promotion back in February, earning a decision victory over David Mundell. Weirdly enough, as Pierotti’s career has progressed his level of competition has grown increasingly inferior up until his CFFC debut. That being said, Walo is no walkover fight and should be considered Pierotti’s best opponent to date. The winner of this barnburner of a welterweight contest will surely be in prime position for a title shot next.
#4. Featherweight: (C) Pat Sabatini (10-2) vs. Fabricio Oliveira – CFFC 74
Rated as one of the top 145 pound fighters on the regional scene today, CFFC Featherweight champ Pat Sabatini is inching closer and closer to the big time with every time he steps into the cage. Sabatini has now defended his strap twice, and even squeezed in a rear-naked choke victory for another promotion, CES MMA, in a win over Boimah Karmo last August. Sabatini is battle tested, and surely the better fighter in this equation so look for the Pennsylvanian to make a statement in an effort to see greener pastures.
#3. Welterweight: Roberto Soldic (15-3) vs. Krystian Kaszubowski – KSW 49
Widely considered one of the most dangerous fighters on the European MMA scene, KSW’s two-time Welterweight kingpin Roberto Soldic is a threat to score a devastating knockout every time he steps inside of the cage. Soldic has won 8 of his last 9 bouts, winning all of eight of those fights by knockout. Soldic welcomes an undefeated challenger for his first defense of his second reign as champion in this weekend’s co-main event in Gdansk, as he takes on 7-0 Krystian Kaszubowski.
2. Lightweight: Cesar Balmaceda (6-0) vs. Sidney Outlaw – CFFC 74
Cesar Balmaceda is a very skilled martial artist who was a high school wrestler that has shown well-executed takedowns in his MMA career. He is an even better striker with power in his hands and is dangerous in bursts. He is the current Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC) lightweight champ. Balmaceda has a win over fellow top prospects as well. He will defend his title against Outlay in a fight that has a lot riding on for a UFC contract.
1. Lightweight: Sidney Outlaw (12-3) vs. Cesar Balmaceda – CFFC 74
Sidney Outlaw is a veteran of regional jiu-jitsu competitions which has helped develop his stellar ground game. He is the current Ring of Combat and Titan FC champion and fought a very competitive fight with top UFC contender Gregor Gillespie. Outlaw also competed on the Contender Series on season one winning a unanimous decision. The grappling/wrestling ace is on a 7-fight win streak.