According to a Nov. 14 report from MMA Junkie, Nov. 15 will be a historic night for the sport of MMA, as three of the top promotions in the world hold events that evening. UFC emanates from Mexico City with a stacked card that includes a heavyweight title fight, Bellator returns with a solid offering that includes a pair of UFC Hall of Famers colliding in the main event, and World Series of Fighting will trot out fast-rising star, Justin Gaethje, in its headlining slot.
Which fight card is the best? There are several must-see fights on all three of the MMA events set to go down on Nov. 15, so there’s no real answer to that question. UFC 180 would have clearly been the top card to watch, had it not been for Cain Velasquez, Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon going down with injuries. All three were originally slated to appear at UFC 180, but they were forced to withdraw due to various injuries.
UFC 180 is still a loaded card, with Mark Hunt colliding with Fabricio Werdum in the main event. Whoever wins the fight between Hunt and Werdum will walk away as the UFC’s interim heavyweight champ, so it’s important as far as the future goes for the UFC heavyweight division. If Velasquez is unable to compete by early next year, the winner of Hunt’s fight with Werdum will be name the official heavyweight champ, not just the interim title holder.
Besides the main event, UFC 180 features a must-watch women’s bantamweight scrap, with Jessica Eye slated to fight Leslie Smith. A win by Smith would be a major upset, as Eye’s technical boxing style has made her an early favorite in the bout. A win by Eye would put her in the mix for a title shot against the winner of Ronda Rousey’s upcoming fight with Cat Zingano.
Is UFC 180 a better card than Bellator 131? That’s a tough question to answer, since Bellator’s main event features two legends in the sport. With Tito Ortiz colliding with Stephan Bonnar in the headliner, Bellator 131 might just be a can’t miss event as well. Making matters even more interesting, Bellator 131 is free on Spike TV, while UFC 180 airs on pay-per-view for 55 dollars or more.
Bellator 131 also features high-profile superstars such as “King Mo” Lawal and Melvin Manhoef. Since Lawal and Ortiz are well-known in the pro wrestling community, Bellator is clearly trying to draw in the same people who tune in for Spike’s TNA wrestling show. Bellator embraces pro wrestling-style theatrics, while the UFC is dead-set against it.
That’s the main difference between Bellator and the UFC. Is there room for both to succeed? So far it certainly appears that way, with Bellator doing well to draw in pro wrestling fans and UFC shifting away from the sports entertainment aspect of the show. With so much fanfare surrounding Bellator 131 and UFC 180, some fight fans forget that World Series of Fighting 15 is also set for the evening of Nov. 15.
That is a major mistake, as the World Series of Fighting 15 main event is a must-see fight. Gaethje battles UFC vet Melvin Guillard in the WSOF 15 main event, and whoever wins could possibly earn a call-up to the UFC. Gaethje is one of the top newcomers in the sport, and he could further make a name for himself by defeating a grizzled UFC veteran such as Guillard. The former UFC star missed weight, so the bout is no longer a title fight.