We are winding down on 2018, but one of the most packed weekend in the world of combat sports is coming your way this weekend. Every weekend moving forward I'll let you know what you should go out of your way to see to scratch your combat sports itch every weekend. This weekend we have back to back Bellator cards in Hawaii, the final UFC on Fox card, Canelo Alvarez making his debut on DAZN, and the final WWE pay-per-view of the year. Let's rank them from absolutely, must watch, to catch the highlights later.
BELLATOR AND USO PRESENT SALUTE THE TROOPS - Friday, 10 pm Paramount Network
This is probably the least hyped card of the weekend, but in my opinion it features the most intriguing fight to kick things off. Michael Chandler is widely considered the best fighter in the world outside of the UFC. When he lost his title last June in controversial fashion to Brent Primus. Chandler injured his leg in the 1st round and the referee stopped the fight without giving the former champ a ton of time to recover. The rematch has been scheduled multiple times since then, but hasn't occurred because of injury struggles for Primus. It even looked like for a while the fight may never happen when Chandler briefly became a free agent. The former champ ultimately re-signed with Bellator and the fight will finally happen on Friday night in Hawaii. This will be the 1st of 2 events in Honolulu over the weekend and it will be a Tribute to the Troops event for our military that are stationed in Hawaii. The co-main event features former UFC heavyweight champion, Frank Mir looking for his 1st win in the promotion against Javy Ayala. Those 2 fights alone make this the must see card of the weekend.
BEST VALUE - Canelo vs. Fielding - Saturday, 8 pm DAZN
Most are used to paying anywhere from 75-100 bucks for a big pay-per-view fight. Things are changing with the multitude of streaming services out there. The new kid on the block is DAZN. They signed up Bellator and Anthony Joshua very quickly, but their prize fighter to this date is Canelo Alvarez. He signed a record breaking deal with the company and will make his debut on Saturday in a middleweight title fight against Rocky Fielding. Fielding doesn't present nearly the challenge that Canelo has seen recently, but for the biggest star in boxing you will only have to lay down 10 bucks to see one of the biggest names in boxing on Saturday. That is a great sign for any fight fan. You are now getting more bang for an even less buck. Canelo's last fight against GGG would've cost you a Benjamin. If you aren't currently a DAZN subscriber, you get your 1st month FREE. Tomorrow would be a great day to sign up for that. Other than the main event, the undercard features one of the biggest stars in female boxing Katie Taylor.
FEEL GOOD STORY - Bellator 213 - Saturday, 10 pm DAZN
Immediately following the Canelo fight, the 2nd night of the Bellator double header will take center stage. The main event will feature a young Hawaiian star returning home. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will defend her women's flyweight title against former UFC title challenger, Valerie Letourneau. This isn't Max Holloway returning to the islands, but Macfarlane is probably the 2nd biggest star coming from the state right now and it will certainly be a great homecoming if she is able to retain her title. The rest of the card isn't shabby either. Lyoto Machida will make his debut for the promotion against former champion, Rafael Carvalho. Machida was written off before winning his final 2 fights in the UFC. A win over Carvalho would likely earn him a title shot against the winner of Gegard Mousasi and Rafael Lovato Jr. Saturday will also see the continuation of Bellator's Welterweight Grand Prix. Douglas Lima defeated Andrey Koreshkov in the 1st fight of the tourney, but the winner of this fight will likely be the darkhorse to win it all. Neiman Gracie, yes from that Gracie family, will face one of the hottest young prospects in the division, Ed Ruth.
HISTORICAL VALUE - UFC ON FOX 31 - Saturday, 8 pm FOX
It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the UFC on Fox relationship. It doesn't feel like that long ago that Cain Velasquez was defending his heavyweight title against Junior Dos Santos on a 1 fight card when the promotion made their debut on the network. The UFC will move to ESPN in January and Saturday night in Milwaukee marks the final fight night card before that departure. After seeing plenty of title fights and grudge matches throughout the years it kind of feels like this card doesn't have the buzz it should for a send off. This isn't a shot at Kevin Lee or Al Iaquinta. The 2 lightweights that will face off in the main event are legit contenders and it will be a great rematch, but after starting things off with a heavyweight title fight it just shows us how far this relationship has fallen.
CAR CRASH VALUE - WWE TLC - Sunday, 7 pm WWE Network
It is no secret that the last few months haven't been the greatest for WWE programming. Stock is at an all time high because of the new TV deals that will kick in next year, but Monday night RAW ratings have dropped to record lows. The company is dealing with injuries to stars like Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman along with Roman Reigns stepping away to deal with Leukemia. That isn't to say Sunday night won't be a good show. It actually should be. TLC always features a ton of car crash value with great matches. Sunday's main event will be the 1st ever Women's TLC match when Becky Lynch defends her Smackdown Women's title against Charlotte and Asuka in a triple threat match. The card will also feature what could be a 5-star match when Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose battle for the intecontinental title. Plus, Bobby Lashley and Elias will battle in a guitar ladder match. See, I told you this has car crash value.