5 MMA Fights to Look Forward to in September
I know you're still feeling some sort of emotion over the cancellation of UFC 151, which was supposed to take place tomorrow night in Las Vegas. There's an empty hole in our hearts where UFC 151 used to be, and we're not quite sure how to fill it.
In a strange twist of fate, we'll get it filled with another Jon Jones fight. It's not the one we wanted, but it's the one we're getting, and so we must grin and come up with faux-legitimate reasons why Vitor Belfort is an exciting title challenger for the man who might just be, at age 25, the greatest light heavyweight of all time and the biggest villain in the sport.
But today, we're going to ignore that fight. Instead, I'm going to turn the spotlight on a few other bouts that are suddenly flying under the radar due to all of the controversy surrounding UFC 151 and the sudden addition late Thursday night of a featherweight superfight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 153 in October.
With that in mind, let's jump right into the list.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson, UFC 152
It might not be the main event any more—a sad turn of events, indeed—but the flyweight title bout between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson is the fight I'm anticipating most as summer begins to turn into fall.
These two men have lethal games. Benavidez packs far more power in his punches than just about any other man in the weight class, and he's looked—save the two losses against Dominick Cruz—almost utterly dominant throughout his career.
Johnson has proven that he can't be counted out in a fight, and his wrestling may present an interesting test for Benavidez.
Either way this goes, the man who wins will be a deserving flyweight champion.
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann, UFC 152
Shockingly enough, this fight is flying under the radar as the date in Toronto nears.
It's too bad, because it's an intriguing bout with a lot of potential for shaking up the middleweight division. A strong win by either man would make them the odds-on favorite to face Anderson Silva for the middleweight title. Assuming, of course, that Silva will deem them worthy enough of his time.
Stann has heavy power in both hands. Bisping has quick strikes and excellent technique, and for the first time in his career, he will go into a fight with a significant advantage over his opponent in the wrestling department.
Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah, UFC on Fuel TV
Would you like to see someone get knocked out? Because that's likely what you're going to see here.
Hardy saved his UFC career with a knockout win in his last bout, and the bout with Sadollah represents another perfect stylistic chance for him to score another KO. Both men are very good technical boxers, but Hardy has a significant power and speed advantage.
This one is likely to end badly for Amir Sadollah, and that's good for Dan Hardy.
Tom Watson vs. Brad Tavares
It's finally time to see the debut of Tom "Kong" Watson, British hero and former BAMMA middleweight champion.
He'll face a stern test in his UFC debut. Tavares is no top-of-the-line fighter by any stretch of the imagination, but he has the kind of skills to make Watson's debut less than memorable for the guy known for dancing to the cage in a gorilla mask.
John Hathaway vs. John Maguire, UFC on Fuel
This is an intriguing bout between two excellent British welterweight fighters.
John Hathaway was considered the next great English prospect upon his UFC debut, but a loss to Mike Pyle at UFC 120 derailed the hype train. He got back on the horse, however, and rattled off wins over Kris McCray and Pascal Krauss.
John Maguire is 2-0 in his UFC campaign, having beaten Justin Edwards and DaMarques Johnson.
Both fighters have a propensity for putting on exciting fights. This is one to watch, folks.