As always, programming is listed in EST
Live fights are in BOLD.
Premiere programming is in ITALICS.
MMA programming is in ORANGE.
Boxing programming is in RED.
Kickboxing/Muay Thai/Karate programming is in BLUE.
Wrestling/Jiu Jitsu/Grappling programming is in PURPLE.
Misc./Combination combat sports programming is in GREEN.
Friday May 25
7:00am: Ganigan Lopez vs. Ken Shiro/Jamie McDonnell vs. Naoya Inoue (ESPN+)
12:00pm: German Heroes Fight Night ($9.99 Fite.tv)
12:30pm: Bellator 200 Prelims (Bellator.com)
5:00pm: Top Rank on ESPN Weigh-Ins (ESPN+)
9:00pm: Legacy Fighting Alliance 40 (AXS)
9:00pm: Mauro Ranallo: Bipolar Rock and Roller (Showtime)
9:00pm: Bellator 200 (Paramount Network)
9:00pm: Dynasty Combat Sports: Rumble at the Ralston ($14.99 Fite.tv)
Saturday May 26
1:00am: Kunlun Fight World Tour: Russia ($5.99 EliteBoxing.tv)
5:00am: Boxingmania 2 ($14.95 Epicentre.tv)
7:20am: The Champion Muay Thai (YouTube)
8:00am: 2018 NHSCA National Duals (FloWrestling)
10:00am: UFC Fight Night Weigh-Ins (Fox Sports 2)
11:30am: Extreme Fighting Championship Worldwide 70 Prelims (Facebook)
12:00pm: Battle of Berlin 8 ($9.99 Fite.tv)
3:30pm: Extreme Fighting Championship 70 (EFCWorldwide.tv)
6:30pm: Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Prelims (ESPN+)
9:00pm: Argenis Mendez vs. Eddie Ramirez/Oscar Escandon vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar (Fox Sports 1)
9:30pm: Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan/David Carmona vs. Khalid Yafai (ESPN+)
Sunday May 27
7:20am: MAX Muay Thai (YouTube)
8:00am: 2018 NHSCA National Duals (FloWrestling)
10:00am: UFC Fight Night Prefight Show (Fox Sports 1)
10:00am: UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Thompson Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
11:00am: UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Thompson Prelims (Fox Sports 1)
1:00pm: UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Thompson (Fox Sports 1)
4:00pm: UFC Fight Night Post-Fight Show (Fox Sports 1)
7:00pm: Urban Legend 4 (FREE Fite.tv)
8:00pm: UFC Tonight: Special Edition (Fox Sports 2)
Top-10 Viewing Options: A man readying his house for a summer of awesome fights that start in June attempts to clean his carpets while watching these appetizers.
1. UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Thompson: Alright now! Sunday afternoon MMA! I’ve long been a proponent of Sunday-MMA after the NFL season, and there’s nobody who enjoys night-time cards more than me.
2. Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan/David Carmona vs. Khalid Yafai: Well, the ESPN+ Era is officially upon us, with ESPN holding their first big card on the platform, one featuring two world title fights.
3. Ganigan Lopez vs. Ken Shiro/Jamie McDonnell vs. Naoya Inoue: Good on the folks from ESPN and Top Rank to get this up and streaming! The time is pretty rough, but the card is absolutely fantastic.
4. Bellator 200: Luckily, Bellator ran this card very deep since the main event (thankfully) was scrapped, as Mirko Cro Cop pulled out with injury and couldn’t engage it what would have been a pitiful fight with Roy Nelson.
5. Legacy Fighting Alliance 40: It’s AXS’s 400th fight broadcast, and LFA is putting out a damned good offering featuring a legit great title unification main event.
6. Argenis Mendez vs. Eddie Ramirez/Oscar Escandon vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar: PBC counters Top Rank’s ESPN+ card with a very pedestrian offer, but at least it’s free.
7. Mauro Ranallo: Bipolar Rock and Roller: A behind-the-scenes look at the combat sports announcer and his struggles with mental illness.
8. 2018 NHSCA National Duals: Three straight days of wrestling (Sat-Sun-Mon) from some of the biggest up-and-comers.
9. UFC Fight Night Post-Fight Show: Have to think the winner here (especially if it’s Till) is in the mix for title contention. We shall see.
10. Battle of Berlin 8: Very rough weekend in the grappling and kickboxing fields. This may be your best option, unfortunately.
Under The Radar: A few things to keep an eye on away from the headlines.
- One man’s trash is another’s treasure, and with Mirko Cro Cop being injured and his bout being scrapped, in comes Anastasia Yankova and Kate Jackson. Yankova is the highly-groomed, model-looking, Russian-kickboxer. She’s Shevchenko-lite. Then you have Kate Jackson. Rugged, TUF semifinalist before losing to Tatiana Suarez, and a hard-hitter and grinder. The winner will position herself as a main event player.
- At AXS’s 400th broadcast, they have a fantastic main event. Kevin Aguilar is the reigning and defending LFA featherweight champion, and has made two defenses, both against big-time opponents in Damon Jackson and Justin Rader. After a brief stint on the sidelines, he’s back taking on the LFA interim featherweight champ Thanh Le, who starched Bobby Moffett in one of the nastiest knockouts of the year to earn a shot. Now two of the best at 145lbs away from the big leagues go at it to see who’s the big dog at LFA and a contract to the UFC.
4×5: Every week, UCS’s Luke Irwin will list his Top-5 bouts in each of the four major different combat sports that he’s looking forward to the most, regardless of any conventional criteria, merit, or logic.
5. WKN German Championship: Luca Renzi vs. Ronny Kamenik [Fighting Rookies Part III]
4. WKN European Junior Championship: Carla Cano vs. Miriam Fanni [Barisardo Fight Night]
3. WKN World Super Heavyweight Championship: Tomas Mozny (20-6-1) vs. Tomasz Sarara (39-7) [Boxing Night 14]
2. 65kg Bout: Singdam Kiatmuu9 (272-66-2) vs. Tie Yinghua (38-8) [Glory of Heroes 31]
1. 65kg Bout: Kaew Fairtex (138-33-4) vs. Qiu Jianliang (48-7) [Glory of Heroes 31]
5. Featherweight Bout: Oscar Escandon (25-3) vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-0) [Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports 1]
4. WBA World Junior Bantamweight Championship: Khalid Yafai (c) (23-0) vs. David Carmona (21-5-5) [Top Rank on ESPN]
3. IBF World Junior Bantamweight Championship: Jerwin Ancajas (c) (29-1-1) vs. Jonas Sultan (14-3) [Top Rank on ESPN]
2. WBC World Junior Flyweight Championship: Ken Shiro (c) (12-0) vs. Ganigan Lopez (29-7) [Ohashi Promotions, ESPN+]
1. WBA World Bantamweight Championship: Jamie McDonnell (c) (29-2-1) vs. Naoya Inoue (15-0) [Ohashi Promotions, ESPN+]
5. LFA Featherweight Unification Bout: Kevin Aguilar (c) (13-1) vs. Thanh Le (ic) (8-1) [Legacy Fighting Alliance 40]
4. Light Heavyweight Bout: Linton Vassell (18-6) vs. Phil Davis (18-4) [Bellator 200]
3. Welterweight Bout: David Rickels (19-4) vs. Michael Page (12-0) [Bellator 200]
2. Bellator Middleweight Championship: Rafael Carvalho (c) (15-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2) [Bellator 200]
1. Welterweight Bout: Darren Till (16-0-1) vs. Stephen Thompson (14-2-1) [UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Thompson]
5-1. 2018 NHSCA National Duals
Bold, Yet Probably Fruitless Predictions: A man who’s taking more losses than Golden Knight opponents attempts to put an end to his “Fleury” (heh heh) of losses and get back on the winning track.
Best Fight of the Weekend: Jamie McDonnell vs. Naoya Inoue
Most Underrated Fight of the Weekend: Kevin Aguilar vs. Thanh Le
If My Life Depended on One Pick: David Lemieux over Karim Achour
Best Card Top-to-Bottom: Top Rank on ESPN+ from Japan
Upset of the Week: Trevor Smith over Elias Theodorou
Most Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Darren Till vs. Stephen Thompson