June was a tough month for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Injuries, man they seem to be happening a lot. It seemed like every other day I would open up my favorite MMA news sites and be blasted with headlines reading “Fighter X out of Fight Y at Event X”. Now normally UFC matchmaker’s Joe Silva and Sean Shelby are good at finding replacements that may not be as good as the original thing but could be interesting style matchups. That skill has been (Adam and Jamie's) tested and now the UFC website doesn't even have promo images for 4 of their next 6 events. Even with main events co-main events and every other fight being shuffled around July has some really fun fights from the UFC,Strikeforce and Bellator.
JUL 07 2012 UFC 148 - Silva vs. Sonnen 2 PPV,FX,Facebook
Now this is still about two weeks away and this card has been the definition of card subject to change. Originally scheduled to have just Faber Cruz at UFC 148 as the headliner, the UFC changed things up once 147 started going downhill, Silva Sonnen 2 was moved to Vegas. Than UFC 149 started going downhill so Faber Barao, now for the interim Bantamweight Title was put over there. 148 lost the luster of a 2 title card but it still has plenty of good fights. Tito Ortiz will likely fight for the last time against Forrest Griffin, umm fans of him might like that. Demian Maia makes the drop to 170 lbs and takes on the Stun Gun Dong Hyun Kim. Chad Mendes is going to squash Cody McKenzie. The undercard really shines with: Ivan Menjivar vs Mike Easton, Gleison Tibau vs Khabib Nurmagomedov, Melvin Guillard vs Fabrício Camões, and Constantinos Philippou vs Riki Fukuda all on FX. If for some reason you don’t want to see ANDERSON SILVA VS CHAEL SONNEN II (which you really should) watch the FX preliminary card at least
JUL 11 2012 UFC on Fuel TV 4 - Munoz vs. Weidman FuelTV,Facebook
The UFC is in a rough spot when it comes to Fuel TV. On one hand they are there to build the Fuel brand for Fox and in return have a home for all the content they could imagine. On the other hand when the promotion is already starved for draws how can you give away the AAA goods for broadcast on a channel I’m sure 90% of you do not have.
With UFC on Fuel 4 they are giving away a AAA level fight that might not really be headliner worthy. Mark Munoz vs Chris Weidman is a middleweight fight I can’t wait to see but I’m nerdy as heck about this and knew who Weidman was before he even got into the UFC. Does that make me a MMA Hipster?. Weidman was ranked #2 by BloodyElbow in their 2010 Scouting report. Weidman debuted on late notice stepping into a fight with Alessio Sakara and dominated. Weidman ran through another pair of opponents before taking on Demian Maia on late notice at UFC on FOX 2, where he won a unanimous decision picking up his biggest win. A win for either guy puts them in the next or number two spot for a shot at the Silva Sonnen 2 winner.
Stylistically Munoz and Weidman match up well with their wrestling credentials. Weidman has the better offensive wrestling and grappling that should give him the edge in the fight with Munoz. Also on the card Joey Beltran returns to the UFC lighter fighting at 205 and facing James Te Huna. It’s a Joey Beltran fight expect fists to be thrown. Also TUF runner up T.J. Dillashaw takes on Vaughan Lee. If you can’t acquire this card love go check out those fights, they should be good.
JUL 14 2012 Strikeforce - Rockhold vs. Kennedy Showtime,ShoExtreme
No, I am not going to passive aggressively complain about how Strikeforce is a zombie promotion and should be absorbed into the Zuffa hive mind. Why? Well Rockhold vs Kennedy as a card is full of really fun fights. Luke Rockhold when he is healthy can do some fun things and this time will fight competition, in Tim Kennedy, that is befitting a middleweight title fight. Is Kennedy a top 5 world beater? Nope solid 10-15 range and has a bit of craftiness to him. The promotion will also crown another welterweight champion with Nate Marquardt vs. Tyron Woodley. Woodley might be what people claim Jon Fitch is, but Nate has been a top 10 guy forever and should be a good fight for Woodley. Lorenz Larkin has dropped down to middleweight after being blown out of the water by King Mo and will take on Robbie Lawler. Lawler is an extremely flawed middleweight, you know how a guy like Lawler will lose now can Larkin capitalize on that?
The preliminary card is where I am really high on. Thank goodness now that Showtime is showing the undercard fights on ShoExtreme. If they weren’t showing these I would be rather upset. Jorge Masvidal vs. Justin Wilcox, Pat Healy vs. Mizuto Hirota, Jordan Mein vs. Tyler Stinson, and Jason High vs. Nate Moore really push this card from a solid Showtime main card to just a really good card in general. Pat Healy is the forgotten lightweight in Strikeforce, all around good and beaten everyone but Josh Thompson in the promotion. He should be fighting Gilbert Melendez after he beats Hirota. Jorge Masvidal last fought El Nino and was shut out, it was too much too soon clearly, against Wilcox he will have a good return fight that is more where he should be. The Kansas City Bandit Jason High finally returns to the cage after winning gold at the 2012 IBJJF World Championships at the beginning of June. Jordan Mein has been an undercover prospect out of Canada for a while now. Yes he lost to Woodley but his offensive output makes him a must see in Strikeforce.
JUL 20 2012 BFC - Bellator Fighting Championships 72 MTV2/Spike.com
Remember last month when I said avoid Bellator 71 like the plague? If you tried to watch Bellator 71 you would of gotten some rerun of whatever else MTV2 shows. They didn’t even air the card live! You could've still have watched it on Spike.com.
For Bellator 72 the good news is there will only be 4 light heavyweights on the card. The bad news they are still light heavyweights who fight in Bellator. That tournament is what it is. BFC 72 does have a pair of fights worth seeing in Marius Zaromskis vs Waachiim Spiritwolf III and Karl Amoussou vs Bryan Baker Welterweight Tournament Final. Zaromskis Spiritwolf is a fight that should just be awesome they just keep getting hurt be it from cuts or eye pokes before either fighter is able to clearly show they are superior. So now we have another odd trilogy fight, hopefully third time's the charm. The welterweight final between Amoussou and Baker could also be a fun dynamic fight. Do either fighter stand much of a chance against Ben Askren? Nope, but this fight should be good.
JUL 21 2012 UFC 149 - Faber vs. Barao PPV,FX,Fuel,Facebook
Faber and Barao weren’t supposed to be fighting July 21st. They were supposed to fight earlier in the month at UFC 148 but with Jose Aldo out of his title fight with Erik Koch the UFC needed to fill the large hole left by Aldo. Faber vs Barao is also for the interim Bantamweight title with Dominick Cruz out with a torn ACL. As a headliner this is a good fight worthy of headlining a card and should be a lot of fun. Originally Michael Bisping Tim Boetsch was supposed to be at UFC 148 than people got hurt, than they were at UFC 149, than Michael Bisping tore his knee up and was out. So they plucked Hector Lombard from his headlining debut against Brian Stann at UFC on FOX 4 and put him in with Boetsch. Confusing? It is. Still Lombard Boetsch should be a fun fight given their propensity to throw down and their backgrounds in Judo. After that Chris Clements vs Siyar Bahadurzada is the only fight that stands out since it is another chance to see Siyar knock someone out in dramatic fashion.
5 fights to watch
- Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen II UFC 148
- Mark Munoz vs Chris Weidman UFC on Fuel TV 4 *cough*stream it*cough*
- Urijah Faber vs Renan Barao UFC 149
- Luke Rockhold vs Tim Kennedy Strikeforce: Rockhold vs Kennedy
- Ivan Menjivar vs Mike Easton UFC 148