Weekend Preview: Diaz vs. Daley, Melendez vs. Kawajiri, Askren vs. Thompson & Jimmo vs. Newton (VIDEO)

Four major belts are on the line this weekend and another champion enters the cage for a non-title superfight.

On Fri. night, Maximum Fighting Championship makes its first foray into newly MMA-friendly Ontario with MFC 29: Conquer. MFC Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Jimmo (#21 Light Heavyweight) defends his strap against Emmanuel Newton (#25), a man he beat in 2009. MFC Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima will take on challenger and UFC vet Terry Martin. Fellow Octagon vets Hermes Franca, Marcus Davis, David Heath, Marvin Eastman, and Pete Spratt will also appear on the card.

MFC 29: Conquer will air on HDNet at 8 p.m. EST on Fri., April 8. Go here to view the full card.

The next day and a few “kilometres” to the east in Quebec, UFC vets Patrick Cote and Kalib Starnes will tangle at Ringside MMA. Go here to view the full card.

On Sat. night in San Diego, Nick Diaz (#6 Welterweight) will defend his Strikeforce Welterweight Championship against Paul Daley (#11 and Gilbert Melendez (#3 Lightweight) will defend his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship against Tatsuya Kawajiri (#10). The title fights are supported by Gegard Mousasi (#8 Light Heavyweight) vs. late replacement Keith Jardine (#51) and Shinya Aoki (#4 Lightweight) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (#68).

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley takes place in San Diego, Calif. and airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. on Sat., April 9. Go here to view the complete card.

Also on Sat. night, Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren (#15 Welterweight) will take on Nick Thompson in a non-title superfight at Bellator 40. Winners of Jay Hieron (#19 Welterweight) vs. Brent Weedman (#45) and Michael Chandler (#57 Lightweight) vs. Lloyd Woodard will complete the Welterweight and Lightweight Tournament finals, respectively.

Bellator 40 takes place in Newkirk, Okla. and will air on MTV2 at 9 p.m. EST, Sat., April 9.

Check back on Monday for full results of the weekend’s noteworthy cards, updated rankings and full analysis.

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