Well with June coming I guess it is officially summer. The UFC is going to be very busy this summer, having kicked it off with UFC 146 than promoting 4 more events in June, 3 in July, and roughly another 5 before the end of September. They will be facing little competition in the summer months, Bellator starts its second Summer Series, and Strikeforce only has a single card booked for July.
JUN 01 2012 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale
Here is the thing: I do not watch The Ultimate Fighter. As reality programing it dosen’t interest me and I don’t get to see really any good prospects. That isn’t to say this seasons finalist Mike Chiesa and Al Iaquinta aren’t good fighters but simply their prospects of hanging around in the top 10 of their division for a good 5 years isn’t good. That said the reason you SHOULD watch this is for Martin Kampmann vs Jake Ellenberger in the main event for 5 rounds. Both top notch welterweights can throw hays and grapple pretty well. With the division on hold until at least November prospects have just been picking each other off as we wait for GSP to return and face Carlos Condit. I am interested to see how Ellenbergers gas tank holds up over round 4 and 5 if it goes that far, he was noticeably tired in round 3 of his fight with Diego Sanchez. Also on the card is a fun featherweight bout between Charles Olivera and former TUF winner Jonathan Brookins.
JUN 08 2012 UFC on FX 3 - McCall vs. Johnson 2
If the introduction of flyweights to the UFC has taught me anything it is this: tournaments are a BAD idea (see Heavyweight Grand Prix, Strikeforce) and that Bellator is a fluke. After a scoring snafu robbed us of a fourth round between Johnson and McCall they return to do it again. Go look up their first fight it is fantastic. Unfortunately they are once again using the 3 rounds +1 Sudden Victory round in case of a draw format which sucks. This is a main event between top 5 fighters give me 5x5 rounds. I expect Ian McCall to get a close decision this time around and face Joe Benavidez for the flyweight title. Also on the card is a fun bantamweight fight between Eddie Wineland and Scott Jorgensen, both fighters find themselves on the outside of the title picture but with Dominick Cruz going down with an ACL tear they could get back into it. Erick Silva was robbed in Brazil, he clearly beat Carlo Prater with strikes but the ref ruled it a DQ due to blows to the back of the head, the wrong call. The UFC doesn't care matching him up with Charlie Brennaman who could finally force Silva to show off some takedown defense. Despite his wrestling pedigree Brennaman moves awkwardly and can get hit rather easily, which is what Silva does best. Mike Pyle Josh Neer should make for a watchable fight between top 25ish welterweights.
JUN 22 2012 BFC - Bellator Fighting Championships 71
If you skip past this (and I wouldn’t blame you) you will notice that UFC on FX 4 is going on the same day. If you are given the choice to watch this or UFC on FX4 live watch UFC on FX4 live! The UFC is 1) the more important card 2) better produced 3) has talent that doesn't make me audibly groan. If you can watch this live and then switch over the UFC on FX 4 go for it, if not DVR this. Bellator starts their Summer Series (3 events over 3 months 1 tournament) with BFC 71 the quarterfinals of their second light heavyweight tournament. The lineal BFC Light Heavyweight champion Travis Wiuff is in action taking on Chris Davis,Richad Hale will take on Beau Tribolt, and Attila Vegh fights Zelg Galesic with one more quarter final TBA. This tournament is not good Bellator should stop tournaments above 185lbs honestly. Also look for the Season 7 bantamweight tournament to finish up during this series but not at BFC 71.
JUN 22 2012 UFC on FX 4 - Maynard vs. Guida
Clay Guida Gray Maynard is the major selling point for this card and sells it well. These are 2 top 10 lightweights possibly going 5 rounds, which could be awesome. Maynard is coming off the losing end of his series with Frankie Edgar and Guida is coming off his loss to Benson Henderson. These two match up quite well with Guida having more speed and athleticism than Maynards heavy handed wrestling. I wouldn’t be surprised if Guida were able to drop Maynard at one point. Hatsu Hioki will go for 3-0 in the Octagon, taking on Ricardo Lamas after turning down a title fight with Jose Aldo. Hioki is the clear #2 featherweight in the world and if he wins should fight Aldo eventually. Also on the main card a trilogy fight, I doubt you knew was a trilogy fight, with Sam Stout vs Spencer Fisher doing it for the third time. That should be a decent slugfest. At welterweight Brian Ebersole TJ Waldburger will tussle which is more good middle of the division match making.
JUN 23 2012 UFC 147 - Silva vs. Franklin II: Franklinweight
UPDATE: UFC.com has updated with the announcement that Rich "Ace" Frankling will be the one stepping in for Vitor Belfort. The bout will be contested at a 190lbs catch weight (aka FRANKLINGWEIGHT!!!). The duo previously fought at a 195lbs catchweight at UFC 99: The Comeback, which saw Franklin come away with the decision victory but it was a close fun fight. Franklin was previously scheduled to fight the former Strikeforce middleweight champion and straight to DVD superstar Cung Le at UFC 148. Even with the addition of Franklin UFC 147 would still be a pass in my book unless you went to BWW, or a bar to see it.
Man it pains me to add TBA to this, the promo they aired for Silva Belfort 2 was fantastic and not some Face the Pain drivel. Unfortunately Vitor Belfort is out having broken his hand. This card was a tough sell to ME since it’s been announced now with out Vitor this is a total pass. Sure I’ll catch the prelims on Facebook or Fuel but the main card is not worth $55. Werdum fighting Mike Russow is good but not that good. Maybe you would be more willing to buy it if you have been watching TUF Brazil online like me but even then it’ll be a tough sell. If they turn this into a UFC 138 style card for FX or Fuel than watch it why not, if they want you to pay go do something else.
5 Fights to Watch
- Ian McCall vs Demetrious Johnson II - JUN 08 2012 UFC on FX 3 - McCall vs. Johnson 2
- Jake Ellenberger vs Martin Kampmann - JUN 01 2012 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale
- Clay Guida vs Gray Maynard - JUN 22 2012 UFC on FX 4 - Maynard vs. Guida
- Erik Silva vs Charlie Brennaman - JUN 08 2012 UFC on FX 3 - McCall vs. Johnson 2
- Hatsu Hioki vs Ricardo Lamas - JUN 22 2012 UFC on FX 4 - Maynard vs. Guida