With the amount of mixed martial arts content to digest this weekend, it’s understandable that one wouldn’t be able to catch every punch and kick thrown in every major event. While the UFC and Bellator MMA begin a three week stretch of ‘double-dip’s’ if you will, events also take place this weekend under the banners of Titan FC, Legacy Fighting Alliance, ACA, KSW & Cage Warriors. We understand that there may be an inability to keep up with such a loaded slate, and that’s why we’re here to help. Here are five fights (along with some honorable mentions) you need to keep your eye on for this weekend.
5. Roman Szymański vs. Salahdine Parnasse for the KSW Interim Featherweight Title
In Saturday’s KSW 48 main event, Poland’s Roman Szymański (11-4 MMA, 3-1 KSW) takes on the undefeated frenchmen Salahdine Paranasse (12-0-1 MMA, 3-0 KSW) for KSW’s interim featherweight title. Top International prospect Mateusz Gamrot (15-0 MMA, 11-0 KSW) is the current KSW Featherweight champion, as well as the current Lightweight champion for the promotion. One would believe it’s likely that fight would be available for the winner of this matchup, a great matchup on both sides of the coin. Parnasse is more of a surgical style of fighter, and is yet to score a finish in KSW competition. Szymanski has also been searching for a finish of late, having gone to decision in his last three outings. Both fighters are very technical and smart fighters, and should make for a fight fan friendly duel.
4. (C) Jason Soares vs. Ariston França for the Titan FC Featherweight Title
Originally slated to face Anderson Hutchinson, top featherweight prospect Jason Soares (12-0 MMA, 2-0 KSW) puts his undefeated record as well as Titan FC title on the line against short-notice replacement Ariston França (10-4 MMA, 0-0 KSW) in what many are calling one of the biggest fight cards in the history of the promotion. Fighters will undoubtedly be a notice from top to bottom on this card, with UFC president Dana White expected to be in attendance as a prelude to his own promotion’s fight card up the block on Saturday. Soares will undoubtedly be one of the highlights on Dana‘s watch tomorrow, and an emphatic victory as a result could certainly seal the UFC future for Jason Soares.
3. Harvey Park vs. Demarques Jackson for the vacant LFA Lightweight Title
Recently the Ultimate Fighting Championship proved once again that one of the most direct pathways to the biggest stage in the sport could be by way of an LFA championship belt. Ironically enough, that very signing of former lightweight titleholder Austin Hubbard to take on Davi Ramos in Rochester come mid-May has paved the way for a new 155 pound champion to be crowned for the feeder organization. Harvey Park (11-2 MMA, 2-1 LFA) and Demarques Jackson (10-2 MMA, 2-0 LFA) will square off for that spot on Friday night, with the two combining for a 75% finish rate amongst their LFA wins. All of those finishes have come inside of the opening round.
2. (C) Albert Tumenov vs. Murray Abdulaev for the ACA Welterweight Title
Former UFC welterweight Albert Tumenov (18-5 MMA, 3-0 ACA) will defend his ACA 170 pound title for the first time when he takes on Murad Abdulaev (18-6 MMA, 0-0 ACA) in Saturday’s main event to cap off a card with a trio of championship attractions. Tumenov has been flawless on the heels of his UFC departure, winning all three of his fights as well as finishing two of them since joining forces with the ACB, now known as ACA. Abdulaev is on a similar win streak of his own, winning his last three fights all by KO/TKO inside of two rounds. Abdulaev’s only defeats since 2014, have come from current undefeated UFC welterweight Alexey Kunchenko.
1. (C) Jack Shore vs. Scott Malone for the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Championship
One of the biggest stars on the regional scene of mixed martial arts, Jack Shore (10-0 MMA, 9-0 CWFC) returns on Saturday in front of his home crowd in Wales to take on Scottish challenger Scott Malone (6-1 MMA, 3-0 CWFC) in the main event of Cage Warriors 104. Shore is undoubtedly a top prospect at 135 pounds, and also brings the weight of a nation behind him on his back. Since joining the promotion in June of 2016, Shore has finished all but one of his nine wins for Cage Warriors with five coming by way of submission. As for his adversary, Scott Malone dropped his professional debut in April 2015 to Imam Dabo by armbar. Since then, he has yet to suffer defeat and has finished five of his six wins in that timespan.
Titan FC 54: Friday, Apr. 26 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Titan FC Interim Lightweight Championship
Rafael Alves (17-9) vs. Felipe Douglas (17-4)
Herbert Burns (7-2) vs. Luis Gomez (7-2)
Marcel Fortuna (9-3) vs. Andreas Michailidis (10-3)
Cage Warriors 104 – Saturday, Apr. 27 – Cardiff, Wales
Donovan Desmae (12-5) vs. Mason Jones (6-0)
ACA 95: Saturday, Apr. 27 – Moscow, Russia
ACA Middleweight Championship
Salamu Abdurakhmanov (10-1) vs. Brett Cooper (26-13)
ACA Flyweight Championship
Yunus Evloev (22-8) vs. Josiel Silva (10-2)
KSW 48 – Saturday, Apr. 27 – Lublin, Poland