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 November 24
3:00am: Hex Fight Series 12 ($11.28 Epicentre.tv)
6:00am: UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum Weigh-Ins (UFC Fight Pass)
6:00am: OneFC: Immortal Pursuit (FloCombat)
11:00am: M-1 Challenge 86 (m1global.tv)
Saturday November 25
3:45am: UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
7:00am: EFN Champions League 14 (FREE EliteBoxing.tv)
7:00am: UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum (UFC Fight Pass)
12:00pm: Absolute Championship Berkut 75 (FREE Fite.tv/YouTube)
1:00pm: It’s Fight Time 5 ($9.99 Fite.tv)
1:00pm: Ring Of Fire 8 ($9.99 Fite.tv)
4:00pm: Cage Warriors 89 (UFC Fight Pass)
6:00pm: World Series of Fighting Global Championship 8 ($19.99 TheMMAWorldCup.com)
7:00pm: Ohio vs. Buffalo (ESPN3)
9:00pm: Rumble In The Cage 56 ($14.99 Fite.tv)
10:00pm: Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy/Jason Sosa vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa (HBO/HBO Latino)
Sunday November 26
12:45am: Miguel Cotto: A Retrospective (HBO/HBO Latino)
3:00am: New Japan Kickboxing Federation 4th (FREE Fite.tv)
Top-10 Viewing Options: A man who’s about to subsist on brown food and brown liquor for roughly the next 96 hours will attempt to, in vain, reach the remote or the keyboard and probably go back to napping before getting to watch any of these.
1. Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy/Jason Sosa vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa: The only televised major fight card of the entire weekend, which, I get it, being Thanksgiving and all, but man, that is a great weekend for TV being wasted.
2. UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum: Smart play by the UFC, booking Gastelum to be out of the country when Thanksgiving rolls around.
3. OneFC: Immortal Pursuit: You can make a case that Askren vs. Aoki is the biggest fight in OneFC’s history, wish there was any promoting behind it.
4. Cage Warriors 89: Solid lineup, and Karl Amoussou is capable of having a heck of a fight, even though he’s saddled with Dominique Steele.
5. Absolute Championship Berkut 75: God bless ACB for being free, available, and adding more name fighters by the week.
6. M-1 Challenge 86: Despite it being a relatively tame fight weekend, good golly is the European and Asian MMA scene loaded.
7. Miguel Cotto: A Retrospective: We’re a week and a half away from the swan song of one of the fiercest warriors of the sweet science. And good lord, do I wish it wasn’t against Sadam freaking Ali.
8. New Japan Kickboxing Federation 4th: Would like to see NJKF get more visible, so this is a damned good step.
9. Buffalo vs. Ohio: Dirty, having kids needing to make weight two days after Thanksgiving, but hey, they could have chose baseball.
10. EFN Champions League 14: Legs and eggs? Does that work? No, that doesn’t work. I’m an IDIOT.
Under The Radar: Five things to keep an eye on away from the headlines.
1. Ben Askren vs. Shinya Aoki: Granted, Aoki is past his prime and is fighting at least fifteen pounds above his prime weight, but this is still a bout between a promotion’s two biggest stars (sorry Bibi, you’re a close third), which isn’t exactly a common occurance. Askren is probably going to maul him, but it’s a cool event.
2. Dennis Siver made the bold choice to not re-sign with the UFC after his last bout, a win over BJ Penn, when he actually had some clout and name cache. Can’t blame him if he wants to stay in Europe and cash some checks, but maybe he just finds some inner fire and makes a David Branch-esque return to the UFC.
3. Muslim Salikhtov is an absolute monster and someone who needs to be paid attention to. Here’s all you need to know: Of his last five fights, four have ended by spinning kick KOs, including his last over Melvin Guillard. He compiled 185-13-1 record in kickboxing and muay thai, and has a closet full of medals in Sanda and Wushu.
4. Sullivan Barrera is fighting on the HBO undercard, who’s responsible for Vyacheslav Shabranskyy’s only loss, and by TKO. So, if Shabranskyy lands his one-in-a-million punch and actually beats Sergey Kovalev, he’ll have a ready-made challenger if Barrera can get by Felix Valera.
5. Ivan Buchinger could go down as one of the best European fighters to never get a crack on the big stage. He’s the M-1 Featherweight champion, was the Cage Warriors Lightweight champion, is 32-5 with three of his losses coming to UFC mainstays like Akira Corassani, Anton Kuivanen, and someone named McGregor. He’s 31 with some hard miles on him, but I want to see him on the big stage. He defends his title against Khamzat Dalgiev Friday at M-1 Challenge 86.
Bold, Yet Probably Fruitless Predictions: When you see me by the side of the road holding a sign saying “WILL MAKE PIX 4 CASH”, please be generous.
Best Fight of the Weekend: Alex Garcia vs. Muslim Salikhtov
Most Underrated Fight of the Weekend: Alex Caceres vs. Wang Guan
If My Life Depended on One Pick: Sergey Kovalev over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
Best Card Top-to-Bottom: UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum
Upset of the Week: Wang Guan over Alex Caceres
Most Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Michael Bisping