Happy January, Cagereaders. It's a new year, which means we have a fresh slate of fights to discuss, dissect, predict and then finally enjoy. Here are Cagewriter's top five. Which ones are you most excited about? Speak up in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.
Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn on Jan. 17: Bellator's move to Spike TV is starting with a bang. Lightweight champion Chandler will defend his belt for the first time (his bout with Akihiro Gono was a non-title bout.) He'll have to face Hawn, an Olympian in judo who won his last three fights with two knockouts and a decision.
Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire on Jan. 17: On the same night, Curran will put his featherweight title against Freire, a frightening striker who has been waiting for Curran since May.
Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping on January 19: The UFC on FX card will be headlined by a fight that could decide Anderson Silva's next challenger. Even without title implications hanging over it, Belfort taking on Bisping in Brazil is just a fun fight.
Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis on January 26: Fighters don't have to dislike each other for a good fight to happen, but it does make it a whole lot of fun. Pettis and Cerrone have been jawing at each other for months, and they finally get to settle their score at the UFC's next Fox card. Bonus: They're both thrilling strikers who seem incapable of boring fights.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson on January 26: For the main event of UFC on Fox 6, Johnson will get his first chance to defend the UFC's flyweight belt. It will be speed vs. speed in the cage, which is both fun and exhausting to watch.