Fighters to Watch this Weekend

Strikeforce Challengers looks to be shaping up pretty nicely. Here are some people to watch out for on the card:

Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (10-0)– How do you not like a guy named The Monsoon? This guy alone might be worth the price of admission to see this Strikeforce Challengers event alone. He’s only been to a decision twice. This fight should be off the hook. His opponent, Gian Villante, is coming off a loss to Chad Griggs, who knocked out Valentijn Overeem. Villante is not going to be a cupcake here. He’s angry and may put a stop to “The Monsoon.”
Ryan “El Hijo de Natural” Couture (2-0)– Of course Ryan is worth watching. He’s the son of Randy “The Natural” Couture. Perhaps I’m speaking out of place, but I’d be hard-pressed to think of a bigger second-generation MMA fighter. He is also 2-0 with two submission victories.
Matt Ricehouse (4-0)– Couture’s opponent, he looking at 4-0 Matt Ricehouse, whose nickname is not yet known by Sherdog. Ricehouse looks pretty impressive. He’s coming off his fourth victory. What distinguishes him from Couture is that Ricehouse has victories by TKO, submission & decision. That is a very impressive resume, and that’s why I wouldn’t be surprised to watch him beat Couture.
Derek Brunson (6-0)– This guy is undefeated in his young career. He has submission and TKO victories. He’s never gone more than 3 minutes in a fight.
Jeremy Hamilton (8-0)– He’s made it to the second round twice in his eight fights. He also has a great variety of win: decision, submissions & TKO. Oh, and here’s the best part… He’s fighting Derek Brunson.
I’ve been trying to think of 5 guys I would like to focus on. I can’t narrow down the list, so I’m pointing out the best 6 this weekend (Friday and Saturday)
Luis Palomino (16-6)– Palomino is known as the Baboon. His hair is a weird color that does not exist in nature. He is a well-traveled veteran, losing to names like Jonathan Brookins (winner of Ultimate Fighter 12) and Yves Edwards and wins over names like Jorge Masvidal (whom I got to watch cut a man last Saturday). Palomino is a multi-faceted fighter who may be one of the highlights of the Bellator night.
Nick “Afrozilla” Gaston (5-0, 1 NC) – The main event of King of the Cage from the Winstar Casino in Thackerville, OK. (Which I just discovered. I’m now in love with this place.) A former “Bully Beatdown” participant (the fighter, not the Bully), Gaston has never lost. He’s just been to a decision once. He’s got submissions, TKO’s and a decision, with a victim list including Darrill Schoonover (the one Rampage Jackson kept on calling “Titties” on The Ultimate Fighter 10).
Trey Houston (5-0)-This just is one to watch just because he has the coolest nickname ever-“That Just Happened.” He’s never made it 8 minutes in a fight. (Which means he should probably work on his conditioning just in case). And all his fights are submissions, so it should be interesting to see if he can develop KO power.
Alex Soto (6-0)-Fighting in sacred Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Alex Soto is fighting outside of North America for the first time in his career. We have a pretty even spread of victories with submission, TKO’s and a decision. He finishes off his opponents quickly, only making it past the second round once. If you’re not already following DEEP, this is a good reason to.
Dean “Renegade” Amasinger (7-4)-Mr. T the British version is fighting at Ultimate Challenge MMA in London, England. I remember him from The U.S. vs. Britain version of The Ultimate Fighter. He was the one that Michael Bisping slept through his fight (whereupon my total unbridled hate of Bisping began). Coming from a very successful team (which includes Paul Daley, Dan Hardy and Ross Pearson), Renegade has all the tools in place to make him successful. He also needs this fight, as his last 2 are losses.
Joey “Boom Boom” Rivera (6-0)– Main-eventing World Fighting Federation 5, Rivera looks to be a shining star on top of their card. He is undefeated with one TKO and 5 submissions. Oh, and none of his fights have lasted seven minutes. If you are in Tuscon, Arizona, this fight looks to be OFF THE HOOK!
There’s about a million and one reasons to go see some MMA this weekend. Remember if you are in the area, support the shows. Buy the sponsors’ product. If you have the money to dispose, dispose.
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