Sports Strength

4 MMA Fights to Look Out For the Rest of April

The month of April has a ton in store for MMA fans worldwide. 

From the introduction of the partnership between Venum and the UFC to the debut of One Championship on TNT, there is a lot in store for the rest of the month. Not to mention the kick-off of the Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix and the start of the PFL 2021 regular season. 

Of course the main attractions are UFC 261’s three championship bouts, the PFL debuts of Anthony Pettis and Rory Macdonald and the continuation of Bellator’s light heavyweight Grand Prix, featuring the champ Vadim Nemkov and Phil Davis. However, the fights picked here include highly touted prospects debuting in big promotions, veterans and former champs returning to the cage. And just some absolute barn burners. 

Although fights like Rose Namajunas vs. Weili Zhang are highly anticipated matchups, here are four lesser-known fights in the month of April you don’t want to miss.

1. Sabah Homasi (15-8) vs. Paul Daley (41-17-2) at Bellator 257 on April 16th

If you know both these fighters, you’ll see why this is an obvious favorite for fight of the night. American Top Team product and TUF 21 veteran Sabah Homasi has some serious power in his hands and is well rounded everywhere. Homasi excels in the kickboxing game and is known for leaving the judges out of the equation, considering 19 of his 23 fights have ended in a finish. He has won four straight including a viral flying knee KO of Bobby Voelker back in October at Bellator 250. 

Paul Daley, on the other hand, is an ultimate veteran of the sport and has fought a ton of legends since his pro MMA debut in 2003. England’s Daley comes from a kickboxing background and is an absolute warrior. You might know him from his five-minute war with Nick Diaz in 2011 or from him sucker punching Josh Koscheck after his loss to him at UFC 113 in 2010, but you do know him. No matter if you like Daley or not, he is must watch TV in most of his bouts. In Daley’s 60 pro bouts, 41 have resulted in a finish. Daley has proven he’s still got it, as he’s on a two fight win streak including a TKO win over Saad Awad in his last bout at Bellator 232 in 2019. 

Without a doubt, this should be a kickboxing fire fight and I would be surprised if the judges end up being involved in this bout. Also, this fight has been booked twice previously so let’s hope it goes down on April 16th.

2. Chase Sherman (15-6) vs. Andrei Arlovski (30-20) UFC Vegas 24 April 17th

Chase “The Vanilla Gorilla” Sherman returns to the octagon for the 9th time in his pro MMA career. The 31-year-old is an absolute savage on the feet with some underrated combinations and overall boxing. The former BKFC heavyweight champ is in his second stint with the UFC after going 2-5 in the promotion. It is clear Chase Sherman has made the adjustments needed to have success in the UFC. Currently, Sherman is on a four fight win streak, including three first round KOs. In his 21 pro MMA bouts, he’s only been to the judge’s scorecards three times. 

However, he will have his hands full against a man he watched as a kid in Andrei Arlovski. The resume of Arlovski speaks for itself, but to sum it up: he is a former UFC heavyweight champion, a pioneer of the sport and a future UFC Hall-of-Famer. He made his UFC debut in 2000 and is a veteran of 34 UFC bouts. The craziest part of this is the 42-year-old is as active as ever; this will be his seventh fight since April of 2019. He looks to get back in the winning column on the 17th after a tough loss to Tom Aspinall in February. It is always a pleasure watching a legend the caliber of Arlovski step in the octagon and as a fan; grateful is an understatement. 

3. Jeremy Stephens (28-18) vs. Drakkar Klose (11-2-1) UFC Vegas 24 April 17th

In the co-main event at UFC Vegas 24, we have nothing short of a war. Fan favorite and nearly 14-year UFC veteran, Jeremy Stephens, looks to end his losing streak this weekend in what is envisioned to be a kickboxing and Muay Thai battle with Drakkar Klose. When you talk about a guy that has been in nothing but wars, Stephens’ name has to be brought up. His striking is elite and he brings the fight to everyone with his relentless pressure. Not to mention he’s fought a ton of the highest level fighters in his weight classes. If there is one thing to say about a Jeremy Stephens fight, it’s do not blink. 

Drakkar Klose is no slouch. He is a pretty well-rounded martial artist, but also likes to bring the fight to his opponent. Klose has some notable wins over Bobby Green, Lando Vannata and Marc Diakiese. Klose is solid technically, which could be a path he takes to negate the pressure of Stephens and use his range. However, the aggressive style of both fighters is a recipe for a knockout. Also, this is a real interesting bout considering both guys are coming off vicious KO losses and Stephens is moving back up to lightweight, while Klose contemplated a move down to featherweight. 

4. Lance Palmer (22-3) vs. Bubba Jenkins (14-4) PFL 1 on April 23rd

PFL and WSOF legend Lance “The Party” Palmer returns to action on April 23rd in the main event of the kick off to PFL’s 2021 regular season. Palmer was a former standout wrestler in his college days at Ohio State University, earning a Big Ten championship in 2010. Following a quality wrestling career, he took his talents to MMA where he has been nothing short of very successful. Palmer was the proud owner of the WSOF featherweight belt and is a two-time PFL featherweight tournament winner looking to make it three this season.

Bubba Jenkins will look to shut “The Party” down come April 23rd. Jenkins is quite the wrestler as well. He is an NCAA champ and even earned himself a gold medal at the World Junior Championships representing his country. Following his great success of a wrestling career, he turned to MMA and also performed well at a high level. Jenkins had a long career in Bellator and even had a chance to fight for the featherweight strap. The 11-fight Bellator veteran made his way to Brave CF after a short stint in ACB and became Brave CF’s featherweight champ in 2019. In his last bout, he finished Lucas Martins in the first round, retaining his belt. 

The paths both they took to get to the position they are in now are wildly similar. Also, if you are an MMA fan you know when two evenly matched grapplers meet, it tends to be a standup war. 

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