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10 Must-See MMA Events Left for the Summer

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2017

10 Must-See MMA Events Left for the Summer

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    Are you still feeling emotionally drained from the Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fight?

    Well, it's time to snap out of it.

    As they say, the show goes on, and there are a multitude of summer fight cards left to be excited about.

    The UFC leads the slate of anticipated fight cards with four championship bouts. Jon Jones and Benson Henderson will be defending their titles this summer, and there will also be the crowning of the first-ever UFC flyweight champion.

    For Strikeforce, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will be in action. In less than a year, Rousey has emerged onto the scene as not only the face of women's MMA, but she is quickly becoming one of the biggest stars in the entire sport.

    On the Bellator front, Pat Curran defends his featherweight title, and the tournament-based promotion welcomes a former UFC contender.

    Stop moping, grab a cold beverage out the fridge and dust off the old recliner. You'll definitely need it.

    Here are 10 must-see MMA events left for the summer.

Rhino Fighting Championships 5 (July 20)

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    With Rhino Fighting Championships 5, respected MMA matchmaker Mike Camp gives fans a spectacular fight card that could include future breakout stars.

    It's easy to become infatuated with big names and fledgling promotions, but there's nothing like seeing fighters begin their careers and compete for a dream.

    Who wants it more?

    The card features promising lightweight Kenny Degenhardt and up-and-coming welterweight Anthony Lemon.

    Light heavyweight powerhouses Daniel Connor and Danny Jones sit on top of the card in a main attraction that should provide enough fireworks to light up the entire city of Spring Hill, Tenn.

Bellator 72 (July 20)

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    Along with the welterweight tournament finals bout between Karl Amoussou and Bryan Baker, Bellator 72 features the anticipated debut of former UFC star Paul "Semtex" Daley.

    There hasn't been much opposition in the way of welterweight champ Ben Askren, and the addition of Daley could lead to one of the biggest championship bouts in the history of the promotion.

UFC 149 (July 21)

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    With UFC champ Dominick Cruz sidelined indefinitely, Urijah Faber and Renan Barao are set to do battle for the interim bantamweight crown at UFC 149.

    This event marks the first time the UFC has ever been to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    The card also features an important middleweight scrap between Hector Lombard and Tim Boetsch.

    As of now, the rumor mill is buzzing about Chris Weidman being the frontrunner for a shot at Anderson Silva, but the winner of Lombard and Boetsch could leapfrog the New York native with an impressive performance at UFC 149.

UFC on Fox 4 (Aug. 4)

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    On paper, UFC on Fox 4 is a much better fight card than UFC 149, and surprisingly, it's free.

    Coming off an epic five-round war with Dan Henderson, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua returns against former heavyweight contender Brandon Vera.

    Once upon a time, Vera had the same amount of hype surrounding him as a young Jon Jones or Rory MacDonald.

    Can he prove himself to still be a viable UFC contender, or will he falter once again in the main-event spotlight?

    Lyoto Machida will also make his long-awaited return after a second-round submission loss to Jones back in December. He'll have an interesting test ahead of him in Ryan Bader, who is coming off a lopsided decision win over Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

UFC 150 (Aug. 11)

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    Benson Henderson looks to defend his lightweight title for the first time against former UFC champ Frankie Edgar.

    Henderson defeated Edgar by unanimous decision at UFC 144 earlier this year, and due to the close nature of the bout, the UFC opted to go ahead with an immediate rematch.

    The UFC lightweight division has been bogged down over the past couple of years with rematches.

    Henderson hopes to clean things up by defeating Edgar once again and solidifying himself as the best lightweight in the world.

Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman (Aug. 18)

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    Ronda Rousey probably shouldn't be worried about fighting Kim Kardashian.

    She already has a huge fight on her hands on Aug. 18, when she defends her Strikeforce title against former champ Sarah Kaufman.

    While Rousey's grappling prowess is unrivaled, Kaufman should provide an interesting test in the standup department. She trains out of Jackson's MMA, and over the years, she has shown tremendous takedown defense.

    Will the Rousey show continue, or is Kaufman destined to end her reign and take up the mantle as the new face of women's MMA?

Bellator 73 (Aug. 24)

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    The slate of first title defenses continue with Pat Curran at Bellator 73.

    After knocking out Joe Warren at Bellator 60, the newly-crowned featherweight champion returns to take on season 4 tournament winner Patricio Freire.

    Marcus Galvao is also expected to compete against Luis Nogueira in the bantamweight tournament finals.

One FC 5: Pride of a Nation (Aug. 31)

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    One FC 5: Pride of a Nation should draw plenty of attention with a card full of recognizable faces.

    Andrei Arlovski, Bibiano Fernandes, Shinya Aoki, Jens Pulver and Phil Baroni will all be in action.

    Eyes will definitely be on Arlovski, who is currently riding a two-fight win streak.

    After suffering four consecutive losses, Arlovski is trying to rebuild his career and hopefully receive another opportunity to compete in the UFC.

UFC 151 (Sept. 1)

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    Jon Jones will have an opportunity to add another legend to his résumé at UFC 151 when he meets former Pride middleweight champ Dan Henderson.

    The underdog story makes for an intriguing matchup. Henderson is a 41-year-old legend taking on a 24-year-old world champion.

    If he stays on course, Jones could go down as the greatest fighter in MMA history.

    With that said, it would be dangerous to sleep on Henderson.

    Regardless of age, he is still considered as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

UFC 152 (Sept. 22)

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    For the first time in UFC history, a flyweight bout will serve as the headliner of a major pay-per-view card.

    Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez will compete to determine the first-ever UFC flyweight champion.

    The stable of talent still needs time to grow, but early impressions of the flyweight division are promising.

    The potential for fight of the year is written all over Johnson vs. Benavidez.

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