Man July was supposed to be a better month for the UFC than June. It wasn't UFC 149's PPV main card was dreadful discounting the main event, which didn't light the world on fire by any means. Zuffa is going to busy the first 3 weeks of August with 2 UFC and a Strikeforce card to promote. Well 2 UFC cards and than put on the semblance of promotion for that Strikeforce card, than again, it does have Ronda Rousey so maybe they try a little harder. Bellator finishes its second Summer Series. These Summer Series are a good idea in but their choice of tournament is far to important to mess up and quiet frankly a light heavyweight tournament was not a good idea. Add on the whole Viacom vs DirectTV brouhaha from a couple weeks ago and you can see Bjorn "Son of Winnebago Man" Rebney is counting down the days until he can jump to SPIKEtv.
AUG 04 2012 UFC on Fox 4 - Shogun vs. Vera on FOX,FUELtv
The UFC and FOX deal turns 1 in November. Part of the deal was 4 cards a year on FOX and with Shogun vs Vera, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will have fulfilled 3 of those 4. It has been rocky to say the least. Starting out strong with a heavyweight title fight between then champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, a HUGE fight...that lasted 64 seconds and that was all they showed. Their sophomore effort saw them put together a triplet of major fights featuring notable names, but like pundits predicted, they were boring. So UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby went with the “fan friendly” approach with UFC on FOX 3 featuring fights like: Nate Diaz vs Jim Miller, Lavar Johnson vs Pat Barry, Alan Belcher vs Palhares, and Johny Hendrix vs Josh Koshcheck. Those fights were kinda awesome, only problem the show averaged 2.4 million viewers, the lowest to date.
It boggles to mind when they return to big FOX with Shogun vs Vera, a replacement to equally confounding Stann vs Lombard. Even more head scratching is the statement from Dana White that the most impressive winner of Shogun Vera and Machida Bader will be the #1 contender to the Jones Henderson winner. This is insane! The top two fights can best be described as the Jon Jones Victims Grand Prix. Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua, Ryan Bader, and Brandon Vera all of them utterly dominated and made to look impotent by Jon Jones. And none of them have even managed to go on an appreciable run worthy of a title shot.
As sad as that sounds, UFC on FOX 4 does have some good fights. Shogun vs Vera shouldn’t be a #1 contender fight, however, it is a good stand up fight that could see Shogun do something impactful and break one of Vera’s bones extra points if it’s his face (seriously Vera has had some bone in his face broken in his last 3 fights). Machida Bader is another good light heavyweight match up from rankings and stratification standpoint. Joe Lauzon vs Jamie Varner is a fun lightweight scrap between two top 15 dudes. In a world where the UFC has had terrible injury issues the fact Mike Swick is still actually fighting on this card is amazing. I don’t expect much from his fight with DeMarques Johnson.
On the undercard Phil Davis returns taking on the debuting Wagner Parado. Parado is a solid talent out of Brazil but lacks the athleticism necessary to defend takedowns from Davis. Recently added to the card, a flyweight fight, between former Tachi Palace Fights fly and bantamweight champion “Useless” Ulysses Gomez and former D1 wrestler John Moraga. The featherweight division has a couple of solid fights in the form of Nam Phan vs Cole Miller and Michihiro Omigawa vs Manny Gamburyan.
This is a solid card that due to name value is stuck between an FX level card and PPV. This is a clear example of the problem Zuffa faces:no clear hierarchy in the UFC product for their cards PPV -> FOX -> FX -> FUELtv. It’s free go watch it.
AUG 11 2012 UFC 150 - Henderson vs. Edgar 2 PPV FX Facebook
It is odd to hear the complaints that former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and the lighter weight classes cannot be draws for the UFC. Two of boxing's biggest stars, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. both fight at around 140lbs. These guys just haven’t been given a chance, exposure on FOX is seriously needed.
UFC 150 is one of the stronger PPV main cards, overall, the UFC has put on recently. This is kind of faint praise since UFC 147 and 149 are still fresh in the memory banks. 150 is headlined by a surefire great fight, the rematch between now champion Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar. These two need to be on FOX not behind a paywall.
This is flanked the a co-main event fight between former teammates Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard at lightweight. On the other side, a middleweight fight between former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields and Ed Herman. Yushin Okami was penciled into take on Toquinho Palhares but injuries happened and now he fights Buddy Roberts. Roberts is a fun fighter but hasn't faced anything close to a fighter like Yushin Okami.
The prelim card is unremarkable.
AUG 18 2012 Strikeforce - Rousey vs. Kaufman Showtime SHOExtreme
Strikeforce has had some positive news actually with the reveal that Daniel Cormier will fight Frank Mir in November. They also put on their perhaps deepest card since going into a state Ken Shamrock would describe as “The Living Death”.
Ronda Rousey love her or hate her is turning into quite the star in the MMA and sports world. The Olympic Judo Bronze medalist will defend her bantamweight title for the first time, taking on former champion Sarah Kaufman. A lot of people like to point out Rousey’s lack of striking and Kaufmans proficiency in the stand up. Only Kaufman also likes to clinch which is an easy way to be thrown or tripped into another armbar finish by the champion. This is a good fight for the division and makes a ton of sense but Ronda Rousey is still superior than her contemporaries in many ways.
Jacare Souza looks to get two wins in a row and likely a rematch with champion Luke Rockhold with a win over Derek Brunson. Brunson is one of the better prospects Strikeforce managed to get and even if he is coming of a disputable loss to Kendall Grove is being thrown in the deep end of the Strikeforce middleweight pool. Welterweight has a new champion, who will need challengers which makes Tarec Saffiedine vs Roger Bowling important. Former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate also returns to action taking on Julie Kedzie.
Aug 24 2012 Bellator 73 MTV2 Spike.com
The great news about Bellator 73? It’s the end of the Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament! There is only 3 fights announced but make it worth watching just for those three. In the top spot Pat Curran will defend his featherweight title for the first time against Patricio Freire. The Freire brothers never seem to be in boring fights and even with Currans laid back approach the aggression from Freire should pull Curran out of his shell. The Season 7 Bantamweight tournament winner will be decided with Marcos Galvao vs Luis Alberto Nogueira. Galvao appears to have finally put it together after battling it out in Shooto and WEC in the early part of his career. Than of course there is the Summer Series Light Heavyweight final between Travis Wiuff and Attila Veigh. Expect Wiuff to dominate with wrestling and powerful boxing enroute to a victory. With that he can finally rematch current champion Christian M'Pumbu and this time take the belt home with him if he wins.
5 Fights To Watch in August
- Benson Henderson vs Frankie Edgar II UFC 150 AUG 11 PPV
- Pat Curran vs Patricio Freire Bellator 73 AUG 24 MTV2 SPIKEtv
- Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Kaufman Strikeforce - Rousey vs Kaufman AUG 18 Showtime
- “Useless” Ulysses Gomez vs John Moraga UFC on FOX 4 Fueltv Undercard AUG 4
- The Jon Jones Victims Gran Prix: Shogun vs Vera and Machida vs Bader UFC on FOX 4 FOX AUG 5
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