November is the month to be thankful, and there is no shortage of reasons in 2010. Here are five upcoming fights that you should be thankful for.
5. BJ PENN VS. MATT HUGHES
UFC 123: Nov. 20
The former UFC Champions meet inside the Octagon for the third time, however, on this occasion no title is on the line—only bragging rights. Historically, Penn hasn’t fared overwhelmingly well outside of the lightweight division, with losses to Hughes, GSP(x2), and Lyoto Machida. Stopping Hughes will be no easy task for “The Prodigy,” as “The Country Boy” is on a three-fight winning streak.
4. JORGE RIVERA VS. ALESSIO SAKARA
UFC 122: Nov. 13
Ok, granted that these two guys aren’t the biggest names fighting this month, this fight still has the potential to be a slugfest. Neither man is opposed to staying in the pocket and throwing bombs, and fans love a good barn burner. Both men are on three-fight winning streaks—Rivera has TKOs over Nate Quarry and Rob Kimmons, while Sakara TKO’d James Irvin and decisioned Thales Leites.
3. URIJAH FABER VS. TAKEYA MIZUGAKI
WEC 52: Nov. 11
Faber makes his WEC bantam weight debut against a tough Japanese scrapper in Mizugaki. If Faber hopes to make a run at the title, it all starts here, because the WEC bantam weight division is loaded with Miguel Torres, Joseph Benavidez, Brian Bowles, Scott Jorgensen, and Champion Dominick Cruz. Mizugaki can brawl with the best of them, and he should provide a good initial test for “The California Kid.”
2. DAN HENDERSON VS. RENATO SOBRAL
Strikeforce St. Louis: Dec. 4
Technically, yes, this fight is not in November. However, you’ll probably still be comatose from the Thanksgiving turkey to notice. More than 10 years ago, Hendo defeated Sobral by majority decision in Tokyo, and who doesn’t love a long awaited rematch? It may be in the best interest of Showtime viewers for Hendo and Sobralto shelve their grappling pedigrees and settle this one with their fists.
1. JOE LAUZON VS. GEORGE SOTIROPOULOS
UFC 123: Nov. 20
This fight should be billed as “The Spider Monkey” vs. “The Tasmanian Devil.” Sotiropoulosis on a tear in the UFC, winning his last six fights, while Lauzon recently made quick work of Gabe Ruediger at UFC118. If Sots can lay down a beating on J-Lau like he did to Joe Stevenson and Kurt Pellegrino, he may be the next man in line for a lightweight title shot, after Maynard and Edgar settle their business.