ACA MMA

From ACA to UFC: Top 5 MMA Events to Watch This Weekend (April 26-28)

For help navigating the sporadic schedule of mixed martial arts, look no further. Here are the top five MMA events to watch in the last weekend of April.

 

5. KSW 48: Szymański vs. Parnasse

Date: Saturday, April 27
TV listing: DAZN (2 p.m. ET)
Main event: Roman Szymański vs. Salahdine Parnasse

The skinny: The leader in European MMA, KSW isn’t waiting around for two-divisional ruler Mateusz Gamrot to make up his mind. The promotion is pitting 21-year-old phenom Parnasse (12-0-1) against the Polish-born Szymanski (11-4) for the interim featherweight strap.

In support of the main event, light heavyweight veteran “Stipe” Stjepan Bekavac (19-9) makes his promotional debut after touring the Russian circuit for seven years. There to meet the newcomer will be Lukasz Jurkowski (16-11), 38, who has competed under the KSW banner all the way back to their very first show in 2004.

 

4. Fight Nights Global 93: Mytyshchi Cup

Date: Friday, April 26
TV listing: Fight Network/Match TV (11 a.m. ET)
Main event: Fábio Maldonado vs. Anatoly Malykhin

The skinny: Fresh off another submission victory, the undefeated Russian upstart Malykhin (4-0) will try to extend his four-fight finishing streak against former UFC competitor Maldonado (25-13), who is known for his hellacious body assault.

Before that, a pair of previously-unsuccessful title challengers Kuat Khamitov (20-5-2) and Nariman Abbasov (23-3) duke it out for the vacant Fight Nights Global lightweight title.

Update: On one days notice, Alexei Kudin replaced Maldonado. The Brazilian pulled out of the main event (he also dropped out of a boxing match last month just days out from the event.)

 

3. ACA 95: Moscow

Date: Saturday, April 27
TV listing: iPPV/Match TV: Boec (2 p.m. ET)
Main event: Albert Tumenov vs. Murad Abdulaev

The skinny: Three title fights in all, Absolute Championship Akhmat continues to flex their muscle over every MMA promotion outside of the United States.

Last year, looking lethal as ever, Tumenov (18-5) crushed Ciro Rodrigues to lift the ACB welterweight belt. Abdulaev (18-6) is on the back of a three-fight winning streak and received the lucky draw of being Tumenov’s first challenger—and latest victim.

Title tilts at flyweight and light heavyweight also bolster the 17-fight card.

 

2. UFC on ESPN+ 9: Jacare vs. Hermansson

Date: Saturday, April 27
TV listing: ESPN+ (9 p.m. ET)
Main event: Ronaldo Souza vs. Jack Hermansson

The skinny: With “Jacare” Souza (26-6) on the precipice of an overdue title shot, Dana White and Co. are sending a band of their heaviest hitters down to Fort Lauderdale, including Mike Perry, John Lineker, Glover Teixeira, Ben Saunders, and Andrei Arlovski.

 

1. Bellator 220: MacDonald vs. Fitch

Date: Saturday, April 27
TV listing: DAZN (10 p.m. ET)
Main event: Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch

The skinny: The first round of Bellator’s 170-pound Grand Prix comes to a close with MacDonald (20-5) and Fitch (32-7-1), two acclaimed welterweights, but with an age gap of over a decade, two men on seemingly opposite trajectories.

In chief-support, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (9-0) continues to make a small claim as the very best flyweight in the world of women’s MMA. A successful trip to the cage over Veta Arteaga (5-2) would mark Macfarlane’s third title defense.

Also a part of the 18-fight show are recognizable wrestlers Ben Henderson (26-8) and Phil Davis (19-5).

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