Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida, June 22nd:
Hatsu Hioki vs. Ricardo Lamas
Gray Maynard vs. Clay Guida
Hioki showed why he may be the next legitimate contender to the 145-pound title at UFC 144. Lamas is 5-1 in his last six bouts and will be looking to topple the top ranked challenger and put himself in the title hunt.
Maynard returns for the first time since his knockout loss in the epic trilogy with Frankie Edgar. He will be looking for another big win to keep himself in the title picture. And the same can be said for Guida. Even with the championship implications aside, we know Guida will give the fans a fun and exciting fight on the 22nd.
UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin II, June 23rd:
Hacran Dias vs. Yuri Alcantara
This is a fight that is flying under the radar that more should be focusing on. Yes, it is on the ill-fated UFC 147 card but it very well could be fight of the night. Alcantara is on a 13-fight win streak, three under the Zuffa banner and Dias is bringing in eight consecutive of his own. Look for fireworks to be had in Brazil.
UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, July 7th:
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Maia's Welterweight debut is definitely intriguing. And his opponent, Kim, is one of the reasons why. This fight may have a slow build as they feel one another out but any and all of the clinch work will be exciting to watch between the two. And should it hit the ground, even more so.
UFC on FuelTV: Munoz vs. Weidman, July 11th:
Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman
The winner of this fight will be in the mix for the 185-pound gold. Both men bring in great wrestling credentials, but it is where they have elevated their other skills that will determine the winner of the fight. While this may not be the action packed barnburner that some others are, it will still be one you should not miss.
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, July 14th:
Nate Marquardt vs. Tyron Woodley
Marquardt returns from over a year out of the cage, and Woodley finally gets his shot at the Strikeforce belt. This will be a significant test for Woodley and will give everyone a good idea of where he stands in the grand scheme at Welterweight against a seasoned veteran like Marquardt.
Invicta FC 2, July 28th:
Alexis Davis vs. Hitomi Akano
Sara McMann vs. Shayna Baszler
Davis vs. Akano, on paper, is one of the more fun ground wars waiting to happen. Do not miss it.
McMann has been eyed by fans and media alike as the biggest threat to Ronda Rousey's title. However, she has shown some signs of weakness on the ground in previous fights. Baszler will undoubtedly test her when McMann puts her on her back. This fight will be a great way to judge just how far off McMann is when it comes to looking down the line toward the potential fight between the Olympians.
UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera, August 4th:
Joe Lauzon vs. Terry Etim
Mike Swick vs. DaMarques Johnson
Lauzon and Etim both suffered brutal knockouts earlier this year, but that will not prevent them from having an exhilarating fight in August.
The return of Swick is upon us. After a two year battle outside of the cage he is finally ready to return against Johnson. Both men love to throw down inside the cage, and that is what should be expected. It will just be nice seeing Swick enter the cage door once again.