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 March 16
6:00am: Thunderdome 24 ($14.99 Fite.tv)
11:00am: 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships Quarterfinals (ESPN3)
1:00pm: UFC Fight Night Weigh-Ins (UFC Fight Pass)
1:45pm: UFC Fight Night Q&A (UFC Fight Pass)
2:00pm: Top Rank on ESPN Weigh-Ins (ESPN3)
6:00pm: Triumph Kombat 4 ($19.99 Fite.tv)
7:00pm: American Kombat Alliance 3 (FloCombat)
7:30pm: TKO 42 (UFC Fight Pass)
8:00pm: 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships Semifinals (ESPN3)
8:30pm: Johnny Lewis Boxing Series at the Star ($19.95 Epicentre.tv)
8:30pm: LA Fight Club ($9.99 Fite.tv)
9:00pm: Xcessive Force Fighting Championship 14 ($14.99 Fite.tv)
9:00pm: Cageside: Madness (AXS)
11:35pm: Juan Ruiz vs. Sammy Valentin (Telemundo)
Saturday March 17
10:30am: Super Fight League Finals (FREE Fite.tv/YouTube)
11:00am: 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships Medal Rounds (ESPN3)
12:00pm: King of Kings 55 Prelims ($4.99 Fite.tv)
1:00pm: Yakuza Fight 4 ($9.99 Fite.tv)
1:45pm: UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
2:00pm: Hard Fighting Championship 13 ($9.99 Fite.tv)
2:00pm: Ansgar Fighting League MMA 14 ($9.99 Fite.tv)
2:00pm: King of Kings 55 World Grand Prix ($9.99 Fite.tv)
2:30pm: Partouche Kickboxing Tour ($9.99 Fite.tv)
5:00pm: UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum (UFC Fight Pass)
5:30pm: Top Rank on ESPN Prelims (ESPN3)
7:00pm: Pyramid Fight 6 ($14.99 Fite.tv)
7:30pm: UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum Post-Fight Press Conference (UFC Fight Pass)
8:00pm: Amir Imam vs. Jose Carlos Ramirez/Mehdi Amar vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (ESPN/ESPN3)
8:00pm: 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships Finals (ESPN3)
8:00pm: Fight To Win Pro 66 (FloGrappling)
9:00pm: Danny O’Connor vs. Steve Claggett/Mike Oliver vs. TJ Doheny ($24.99 Fite.tv)
11:00pm: 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships Trophy Presentations (ESPN3)
Sunday March 18
11:00am: Lion Fighting Championship 15 ($14.99 Fite.tv)
Top-10 Viewing Options: Oh, let me just open my door and welcome a br–IT’S STILL FUCKING SNOWING! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS, IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH MARCH FOR THE LO–*gets wrestled down by mental health authorities*
1. 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships: After a long, dark, cold winter, it’s finally here, the harbinger of spring, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. If you like anything about wrestling, you’ll be glued to your screen for the best of the best, and names you’ll see in MMA or the Olympics soon.
2. Amir Imam vs. Jose Carlos Ramirez/Mehdi Amar vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk: And the weeks-long journey to unfuck the junior welterweight division rolls on!
3. UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum: Feels like the UFC has off of TV for seventeen years in the current landscape, and it’ll be a little bit until they’re back again. I like the main event, even if Werdum has one foot out the door, but the rest of the card is, well, Fight Pass worthy.
4. Cageside: Madness: AXS’s next highlight package focuses on “Madness” of AXS TV fights that have had crazy comebacks, big upsets, and soforth.
5. Fight To Win Pro 66: Wrestling may rule the roost this weekend in the grappling world, but F2W is your trusty jiu jitsu companion along with it.
6. TKO 42: The field is fallow this week in the fight game, so Fight Pass’s preferred Canadian development promotion makes the cut.
7. Juan Ruiz vs. Sammy Valentin: I kind of admire Telemundo’s airing time being, essentially, “whenever the hell we feel like it”. Anyway, winner here is only about another win or two away from a welterweight title shot on a bigger show.
8. King of Kings 55 World Grand Prix: No big-ticket kickboxing or muay thai this weekend, KOK is a fine option, but it really starts to ratchet up in the upcoming weeks.
9. Yakuza Fight 4: I love that this card is televising the biggest heavyweight boxing bout of the weekend, but I dig it even more because it’s tossing in some kickboxing with it. All I want is a reliable viewing source for European/Asian big-ticket boxing, and I beg Fite for it, and here they are. ON TO JAPAN NEXT, DAMMIT!
10. Super Fight League Finals: Remember SUPA FITE LEAGUE?? Well, they’re still here, and are now team-based, like the old IFL, still bringing free cards on weekend mornings.
Under The Radar: A few things to keep an eye on away from the headlines.
- One of the most unlikely world champions in recent memory, Sam Soliman, is in action in his native Australia this weekend. Soliman was a 40-year old journeyman when he defeated Felix Sturm for the IBF Middleweight Championship in 2014 and was a feelgood story before losing to the corpse of Jermain Taylor four months later, and twice after that.
- You don’t know him yet, but give it two more fights and Kudratillo Abdukakhorov is going to be a name on your radar. The 24-year old from Uzbekistan is 13-0 with 9 KOs and is facing his biggest test yet in Laszlo Toth for the WBC Silver Welterweight strap.
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 International Super Cruiserweight Championship: Arhur Gorlovvs. Neil Aquino [LNK Fight Night 6]
4. WKN International Lightweight Championship: Samuel Hadzima vs. Tarik Mahillon (8-1) [Simply The Best 18]
3. Welterweight Bout: Artem Pashporin (17-6) vs. Magnus Andersson [RSBI Battle of Champions 10]
2. 93kg Bout: Noureddine Ajnaou (17-3) vs. Sergej Moslaboyev (26-6) [King of Kings 55 World Grand Prix]
1. WKN World Super Middleweight Championship: Vladimir Idranyi (82-29) vs. Dylan Colin [Simply The Best 18]
5. WBO World Minimumweight Championship: Ryuya Yamanaka (c) (15-2) vs. Moises Calleros (28-7-1)
4. WBC Silver Welterweight Championship: Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (c) (13-0) vs. Laszlo Toth (25-3-1)
3. Vacant WBA World Junior Flyweight Championship: Carlos Canizales (19-0-1) vs. Reiya Konishi (15-0)
2. Interim WBC World Light Heavyweight Championship: Mehdi Amar (34-5-2) vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0) [Top Rank on ESPN]
1. Vacant WBC World Junior Welterweight Championship: Amir Imam (21-1) vs. Jose Carlos Ramirez (21-0) [Top Rank on ESPN]
5. Bantamweight Bout: Terrion Ware (17-7) vs. Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) [UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum]
4. TKO Featherweight Championship: TJ Laramie (c) (7-2) vs. Joao Luis Nogueira (25-6) [TKO 42]
3. Welterweight Bout: Leon Edwards (14-3) vs. Peter Sobotta (17-5-1) [UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum]
2. Light Heavyweight Bout: Jan Blachowicz (21-7) vs. Jimi Manuwa (17-3) [UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum]
1. Heavyweight Bout: Alexander Volkov (29-6) vs. Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1) [UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Werdum]
5. 197lb Division Championships [NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships]
4. 165lb Division Championships [NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships]
3. 184lb Division Championships [NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships]
2. Heavyweight Division Championships [NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships]
1. 149lb Division Championships [NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships]
Bold, Yet Probably Fruitless Predictions: I’ve been taking minimal losses for a couple weeks now, a few bucks here, a few bucks there, I feel it’s really time for me to hit big, or enjoy walking on two legs while I can.
Best Fight of the Weekend: Jan Blachowicz vs. Jimi Manuwa
Most Underrated Fight of the Weekend: Carlos Canizales vs. Reiya Konishi
If My Life Depended on One Pick: Robert Helenius over Yury Bykhautsou
Best Card Top-to-Bottom: NCAA Wrestling Championships
Upset of the Week: Peter Sobotta over Leon Edwards
Most Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Mehdi Amar vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk