Get Ready For an August Gold Rush!
UFC 100 may have come and gone but the summer of MMA is just getting started. Yes, the historic 100th show under the Zuffa banner lived up to the hype, but it was just the appetizer. Next month will be the main course. Think of it as a five dish meal in a 5-star restaurant. That?s right, five must see events with stacked cards. A grand total of seven titles up for grabs. Enjoy the month of mayhem!
Affliction III on August 1st kicks the month off in style. The clothing company turned MMA promotion is hoping their third event is not their last. But if it is, they are going out with a bang. Last weekends UFC Heavyweight Title match between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir was a huge main event. The Affliction III main event is monumental and is for the WAMMA Heavyweight title. The worlds #1 ranked heavyweight Fedor ?The Last Emperor? Emelianenko faces the #2 ranked heavyweight Josh ?The Baby Faced Assassin? Barnett. For hardcore MMA fans this is the fight of the summer. Josh is the biggest threat Fedor has faced in some time now. He is on a four fight win streak and is in the best condition of his life. Fedor is…. well, Fedor. He steam rolled past two former UFC heavyweight champions is his last fights and is widely considered the pound for pound best fighter in the world. While both fighters are friends, look for this to be a war. Both want only one thing. To be the best in the world! Also on this fight card check out, Vitor Belfort as he takes on Jorge Santiago. Plus Renato ?Babalu? Sobral fights Gegard Mousasi .
The very next weekend is a double shot of ass-kicking with UFC 101 and WEC 42. Two nights worth of action with each card featuring some highly anticipated match ups. First on Saturday the 8th it?s UFC 101. The main event of the evening is for the Lightweight Title as BJ Penn defends against Kenny Florian. This should be a great battle between two great fighters. BJ is looking to redeem himself and plans to take out his frustrations on ?KenFlo?. Florian has different plans and has torn through the division to earn his shot at the champ. The co-main event features one of the most dominant champions in the business, Anderson ?The Spider? Silva. However Silva is not defending his title this time around. The middleweight champion is moving up in weight to take on former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin. The fight is very interesting and Forrest has a great chance of winning, but that not what I am looking forward to most that evening. It?s the crowds reaction prior to the fight. Anderson hasn?t exactly been thrilling the fans lately so the UFC is bringing in their golden boy, Griffin. Forrest has never been in a boring fight and is the perfect opponent to bring Anderson back to form. Another standout attraction that night should be Kurt Pellegrino against Josh Neer, as well as the first fight of TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah. The very next day on Sunday the 9th is WEC 42. The WEC, which airs on the Versus Channel is the home of some of the best lightweight fighters in the world. On this evening they showcase their absolute best. Miguel ?Angel? Torres is in a class all his own and is a real treat to watch. Check it out as he defends his bantamweight title against undefeated Brian Bowles.
The weekend after on the 15th is Strikeforce on Showtime. This may be the most stacked card of the month with four titles on the line. Like UFC 100, this too is a historic event. It?s the first mixed MMA card headlined by a female fight. Gina ?Conviction? Carano takes on Christiane ?Cyborg? Santos for the first ever Strikeforce woman?s title. It is also the first time women will compete in five, 5-minute rounds. The three remaining title matches, all the fighters? have a history with each other. Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem looks to avenge a loss suffered years back to Fabricio Werdum. It is also the first title defense for the champ. The long awaited rematch for the Strikeforce Lightweight Title with Josh ?The Punk? Thompson and Gilbert ?El Nino? Melendez. Thompson is the champ, Melendez is the interim champ. ?The Punk? won in their first encounter by unanimous decision. Also for the Strikeforce Welterweight Title, Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs go at it once again. The last time these two met the fight continued long after the judges rendered their decision. After both fighters were sent to the hospital for examination they continued the brawl there. Now, it?s for a title belt. I can?t wait.
The month of mayhem is capped off by UFC 102 on the last Saturday of August. This event is a great way to finish off the month with plenty of intriguing fights. Two match ups stand out above the rest. Former King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt takes on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert Demian Maia for a shot at the Middleweight Title. Also Randy Couture faces off against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. A fight that has been years in the making. Yes, it would have been a better fight four or five years ago, but I?ll take what I can get. Actually with a month like this, I?m not sure how much more I can take. Now I just have to break it to my girlfriend that she won?t be seeing me until September.
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About Phil Devine Phil is a producer and co-host of "Sirius Fight Club" which airs on Sirius 127 / XM 105 @ 5-7pm ET Live Tuesdays & Fridays.