MMA came back with a bang last week, with ONE Championship, KSW, UFC and Combate Americas bringing us fans some big events.
This weekend sees the UFC close out a decade of pay-per-view events with UFC 245. The promotion’s traditional showpiece end-of-year event is earlier in December than usual, but it’s not short of headline-grabbing fights as you will see below.
Then there’s the launch of Ares Fighting Championship, who will hold their first event in the history of this upstart promotion on Saturday.
Read on to find out where and when these cards are taking place, as well as who is fighting on the card. We’ll also throw in some viewing details so you can watch the action for yourself.
Saturday 14 December – Ares FC 1
There may be a new player on the horizon in African MMA.
Ares Fighting Championship will host its inaugural event on Saturday 14th December in Dakar, Senegal, and there’s plenty of buzz about it in the continent and beyond.
The upstart promotion’s first offering is a 12-fight card featuring competitors from across the globe.
For the main event, Lithuania’s Laurynas Urbonavicius takes on former UFC light heavyweight Ildemar Alcantara.
While the main event lacks a fighter from Africa or a European fighter with lineage from the continent, the vast majority of the Ares 1 bouts features at least one combatant either from Africa or of African stock – north and south.
The co-main event features French Cage Warriors veteran Sofiane Boukichou and the debuting Senegalese wrestling champion Oumar Kane.
That fight is pretty symbolic of what it seems Ares FC is trying to achieve in its first event: feature some well-known names from Europe or South America and pair them with an African talent or a fighter from the African diaspora.
Elsewhere on the card, the likes of Joe Meunier, Damien Lapilus and Taylor Lapilus will be hoping to delight the Dakar crowd on Saturday night.
I love seeing knew promotions sprout from the ground up and it will certainly be interesting to watch Ares 1’s first show.
Luckily for you, it’s easy to watch. Ares 1 will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass and could serve as the perfect appetiser for UFC 245 later that day.
Check the event out here to see when the event starts in your timezone.
Full Ares 1 fight card:
Light Heavyweight: Ildemar Alcântara vs. Laurynas Urbonavicius
Heavyweight: Sofiane Boukichou vs. Oumar Kane
Bantamweight: Taylor Lapilus vs. Marcos Breno
Middleweight: Glenn Sparv vs. Gregory Babene
Heavyweight: Marat Aliaskhabov vs. Moussa Togola
Featherweight: Damien Lapilus vs. Łukasz Sajewski
Lightweight: Asikerbai Jinensibieke vs. Joanderson Brito
Welterweight: Jonathan Meunier vs. Nassourdine Imavov
Women’s Bantamweight: Rizlen Zouak vs. Jamila Sandora
Heavyweight: Matunga Djikasa vs. Josh Parisian
Lightweight: Baba Boundjou Nadjombe vs. Mairon Santos
Middleweight: Djati Melan vs. Eslam Abdul Baset
*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.
Saturday 14 December – UFC 245: Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington
We alluded to it earlier. The UFC is signing off 2019 and a whole decade of pay-per-views with three massive title fights on Saturday.
The headline act sees long-time foes Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington settle the score over the UFC welterweight championship.
Before that, we will be treated to a war – of which I am absolutely certain – between UFC featherweight king Max Holloway and Australia’s Alex Volkanovski. And before that, Amanda Nunes, perhaps the greatest female MMA fighter to ever do it, is set to defend her UFC women’s bantamweight belt against former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine De Randamie.
Then there’s the undercard.
A further 10 fights features some firework fights like Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo, Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber, Geoff Neal vs. Mike Perry, and so much more.
To keep it short, on paper, this looks set to be one of the best cards of the year and is filled with fights that all have potential to steal the show.
In the USA, you can catch the early preliminary card on UFC Fight Pass. The prelims will then be broadcast on ESPN2, with the main card being broadcast on pay-per-view, which you can order and watch through ESPN+ – the only pay-per-view carrier.
In the UK, the early prelims will also be on UFC Fight Pass, with the later preliminary and main cards broadcast on BT Sport 1.
UFC 245: Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington fight card:
Welterweight championship: Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Colby Covington
Featherweight championship: Max Holloway (c) vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Women’s Bantamweight championship: Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Germaine de Randamie
Bantamweight: Marlon Moraes vs. José Aldo
Bantamweight: Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber
Welterweight: Geoff Neal vs. Mike Perry
Women’s Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana
Middleweight: Ian Heinisch vs. Omari Akhmedov
Welterweight: Matt Brown vs. Ben Saunders
Featherweight: Chase Hooper vs. Daniel Teymur
Flyweight: Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France
Women’s Flyweight: Jessica Eye vs. Viviane Araújo
Middleweight: Punahele Soriano vs. Oskar Piechota