The TUF 28 Finale has its main event booked, as well as a couple new fights for Bellator’s debut event in Hawaii, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Kamaru Usman vs. Rafael dos Anjos, TUF 28 Finale
The five-round main event of the TUF 28 Finale will be a key welterweight bout between top contenders Kamaru Usman and Rafael dos Anjos. The card takes place Friday, November 30 at Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, and this bout between Usman and RDA was reported by Combate. Usman (13-1) is a perfect 8-0 in the UFC and he’s coming off of his most notable win to date, a five-round decision nod over Demian Maia. Usman recently made weight as a backup fighter at UFC 228 but didn’t end up fighting at the event. However, the UFC has done a good job of getting him another fight booked quickly. Dos Anjos (28-10) is 17-8 overall in the UFC between the lightweight and welterweight divisions. After winning his first three fights at 170lbs, he lost a decision to Colby Covington in his last fight, failing in his bid to become a two-division champion. With the announcement of this fight, it seems clear the UFC is going to book Woodley vs. Covington next, so Usman needed to stay busy and this RDA matchup certainly will keep him occupied. It’s an excellent fight between two of the best welteweights on the planet, but based on Usman’s fighting style being somewhat similar to Covington’s, I’d expect for him to be favored here based on the stylistic matchup here.
Bellator Hawaii Announced With Two Huge Fights
Bellator has announced it will be headed to Hawaii for the first time on Saturday, December 15 at Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, and the main event will see the native daughter of the island, Bellator women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Mei Macfarlane, take on top contender Valerie Letourneau for the belt. Macfarlane (8-0) is undefeated so far in her pro career and she keeps looking better and better each time out. Letourneau (10-6) is a perfect 2-0 since joining Bellator after getting released and earned her title shot with a decision win over Kristina Williams in her last fight. Although Letourneau is the best fighter that Mcfarlane has fought yet, there’s no doubt in my mind the champ will enter this bout as a significant favorite.
Also taking place on this card will be an intriguing light heavyweight matchup between Lyoto Machida and Rafael Carvalho ESPN.com reported the fight. Machida (24-8) signed a free agent deal with Bellator following back-to-back wins over Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort. He might not be the same dominant force he once was, but he’s still a very solid fighter. Carvalho (15-2) was the Bellator middleweight champion before getting stopped by Gegard Mousasi in his last fight. This is a really intriguing matchup but it’s hard not to favor Machida just based on his pedigree in the sport, though I wouldn’t completely count out Carvalho here as he’s the younger fighter in this matchup.