The High Five – five fights you absolutely cannot miss in February

The High Five – five fights you absolutely cannot miss in February

There are a bunch of quality fights this February, but here’s five you cannot miss

You ever go to work on Monday and everyone is standing around the water cooler talking about the great fight from the weekend and you missed it?  You feel left out, sad and I’ll just go ahead and say it, pathetic.  Well, I’m here to help.  Here’s The High Five, the fights your friends will surely be talking about, and when are where you can see them.

Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson – UFC 208 – February 11th on PPV

spiderIt goes without saying that anytime Anderson Silva fights, you’d better be watching.  He’s a legend, one of the best ever to compete in this great sport.  He’s on the way down, but he’s still must see TV. Always.

Anderson Silva (33-8) has unfortunately lost four fights in a row.  He lost twice to Chris Weidman, lost to Michael Bisping and was smothered by Daniel Cormier as a last minute replacement at UFC 200.  You can add into that mix a no-contest against Nick Diaz.  What was once considered unthinkable, Silva losing four in a row, has become reality.  He will be facing Derek Brunson in what should be a fun standup clash.

Derek Brunson (16-4) is looking to rebound from a loss to Robert Whittaker who finished him in the first round of their Fight Night 101 clash.  Before that loss, Brunson had won five in a row, and had discovered some really good striking.  So good in fact that before the loss, his previous four wins were all first round stoppages.  He’s a good wrestler, but loves to strike.  I fully expect he’ll want to test those hands against Silva.

When Anderson Silva is engaged and active, he’s spectacular.  When he plays his games, and gets cute, he’s not at all spectacular.  You’d have to think he understands the urgency at this point.  He has to win. We should see a focused Anderson Silva.  If we do, it’ll be magic.  It always is.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione – Bellator 172 – February 18th – Spike TV

Two words, Fedor Emelianenko.  The GOAT.  He is the best fighter to ever step into a cage, ring or ice cream parlor.  fedorHe’s back in the good old US 0f A and he’s competing live and free for our viewing pleasure.  Like all fighters who are winding up their careers, Fedor isn’t what he once was.  He’s not the killer that ruled Japan with an iron fist and the will to match.  That said, it’s still Fedor, and I’ll be glued to my television on the edge of my seat.

Fedor (36-4) is one of the most popular fighters on earth.  I am not easily star-struck, but when I met Fedor, I was like a little kid being introduced to Santa Clause on the North Pole.  While I can confirm he is a real human being, I can not confirm he isn’t also part cyborg.  He has won five consecutive fights heading into this match and was last defeated by Dan Henderson in 2011.  That was also the last time he fought in the USA.  He can strike, wrestle, and his submission game is on point.  He will likely find a willing striker in Matt Mitrione so expect fireworks when they meet.

Matt Mitrione (11-5) is 2-0 since making the jump to Bellator.  “Meathead” loves to stand and trade, and fears nobody.  He will be looking to not just put himself in line for a Bellator title match, but make history on February 18th.  To beat Fedor is something few can boast of.  Matt has improved a great deal since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter Season 16.  He’s gone from a brawler to a mixed martial artist.

This fight is going to be good. You have two big men who will stand and swing until only one of them remains vertical.  The difference might be how proficient Fedor is going to the body.  He has wicked body shots, and that could spell trouble for Mitrione.  Don’t miss this fight.

Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne – UFC Fight Night 105 – February 19th – Fox Sports 1

You like knock outs? Then watch this fight.  Someone is undoubtedly being knocked out here.  There’s just no other way this plays out.  These guys are going to punch, kick and plod their way around the Octagon until one of them sleeps the other.

lewisDerrick Lewis (17-4) is on the verge of becoming a superstar.  He’s 8-2 under the UFC umbrella and riding a four fight winning streak, which in the UFC heavyweight division, gets you involved in title talk.  He goes by “The black beast” and I can tell you, he’s a beast alright.  He stalks his pray and throws hard.  Really hard.  He’ll be looking to win his fifth in a row, and climb into the top five of the UFC rankings.

Travis Browne (18-5) is another heavy handed fighter who likes throwing hands.  He is training for this fight in Las Vegas, with coach Edmund and a host of other coaches. He chose to relocate to Vegas for this camp because there are more bodies for him to train with.  All that being said, this is a big fight for Browne, who has lost two in a row and three of four.

This fight is going to be one you won’t want to miss. There’s just no way they won’t come out and throw down.  I fully expect this one to end inside of two rounds, and someone is going to sleep.  Don’t miss it.

Jim Miller vs. Dustin Poirier – UFC 208 – February 11th – PPV/FS1

Jim Miller is talented fighter who somehow doesn’t seem to get the respect he deserves.  The fact that he’s not a ranked Lightweight on the UFC.com rankings page is completely insane.  He has grit, determination and always shows up in shape and ready to war.  Dustin Poirier is another great fighter who shows up ready to go to work.  He’s attempting to rebound from a loss to Michael Johnson in his last outing.poirier

Jim Miller (28-8) has won three consecutive fights.  He has good standup, great wrestling and a complete knowledge of the submission game.  Look up well rounded in the dictionary and there should be a picture of a smiling Jim Miller.  He’s dangerous anywhere the fight goes, and likes to move forward and engage his opponent.  He’ll be looking to continue his climb up the Lightweight ranks.

Dustin Poirier (20-5) doesn’t have boring fights.  Of his last nine fights, the judges were needed only once.  He’s a striker first, but also has a complete game at his disposal. Poirier has won four of his last five and is climbing the rankings in the Lightweight division.  A win here, would certainly push him into that top five region, where an additional win would have him in the mix for the title.

I think against Jim Miller, his best bet is to stand and try and bring the fight to Miller.  He can’t get hypnotized by Miller’s style and get drawn into a technical battle.  He likes to square up and throw hands, but he also has great low kicks and knees.  This fight could spend some time in the clinch, and if so, knees will be a priority.  This fight features two true professionals, and it’ll likely be a great fight.

Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie – UFC 208 – February 11th – PPV

This fight is must see, not as much for the fight itself, but for what it means.  The winner of this fight becomes the first ever UFC Women’s Featherweight champion.  For that reason alone it is noteworthy.  A Featherweight championship not involving Cris Santos would have been thought crazy, but she’s once again suspended for running afoul with USADA.  That said, the UFC made the fight before Cris failed a test, so it remains quite puzzling.

holmHolly Holm (10-2) has backed into a title shot with two consecutive losses.  It doesn’t seem a logical path to championship gold, but that’s the world we live in.  She was beaten in consecutive fights by Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko.  That being the case, it only makes sense her next fight would be for a championship, right?  She has a rich history in boxing, and will be looking to utilize that against Randamie.  Holm has kicks as well, and she’ll need them as Randamie is an excellent kick-boxer.

Germaine de Randamie (6-3) enters the fight on a two fight win streak.  She is a kickboxing machine who will look to utilize her size and reach advantage in this fight.  Germaine has a two inch advantage is both categories, and she also has very long legs.  She will utilize push kicks to create distance, and then throw big shots behind them.  It’s an effective style.  Her last defeat came to current UFC Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.  Germaine is 3-1 inside the UFC Octagon.

Styles make fights, and this one should be a stand up clash. Will Holly be able to get inside and land heavy shots, or will Germaine keep her on the outside and pick her apart?  It’s going to be for a UFC belt, so it’s a fight you have to watch.  Whether you believe former Bantamweight champion Holm deserves a title shot, she has it.  It could be a compelling fight.