Power Ranking the Next 5 UFC Fight Cards
With the cancellation of UFC 151, fans have been dealing with a roller coaster of emotions. Many continue to resent Jon Jones for refusing the bout with Chael Sonnen. Some are excited about the upcoming UFC 152 card which will now offer two title fights. Others are fearful that Dan Henderson may spend the last competitive year of his illustrious career sitting on the sidelines.
Regardless of how you are feeling, there are a lot of UFC events coming our way in the next two months. Three titles are on the line, and intriguing bouts will take place in nearly every weight class.
Which events are we most excited about? Let's take a look at the next five UFC fight cards, ranked by pure awesomeness.
5. UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs Miocic
Courtesy of MMAcarnivale.com
Date: Saturday, September 29
Location: Nottingham, England
Main Event: Stefan Struve vs Stipe Miocic
Notable Fights: Dan Hardy vs Amir Sadollah, Brad Pickett vs Yves Jabouin, Paul Sass vs Matt Wiman
UFC on FUEL TV 5 is not a bad card for free television, but it certainly lacks star power and intriguing matchups.
The main event pits undefeated Stipe Miocic against 11-fight UFC veteran Stefan Struve. Both men are looking to solidify their place in the crowded heavyweight division, and this fight will be a good test for each fighter.
Also on the card are a plethora of British fighters, such as Dan Hardy, Brad Pickett, Paul Sass and John Hathaway, among others.
Hardy meets fellow striker Amir Sadollah in what promises to be a crowd favorite. Both men prefer the standup game, although Sadollah has shown a sneaky presence in grappling confrontations.
Pickett hopes to stop the momentum of Canadian fighter Yves Jabouin, who is currently enjoying a three-fight winning streak.
The last fight of note sees undefeated Paul Sass looking for his fourth UFC victory when he takes on Matt Wiman in a lightweight bout. Wiman has won four of his past five contests, with the sole loss coming in a very close battle against Dennis Siver.
4. UFC on Fuel TV: Le vs Franklin
Courtesy of mmaweekly.com
Date: Saturday, November 10
Location: Macau, China
Main Event: Cung Le vs Rich Franklin
Notable Fights: Thiago Silva vs Stanislov Nedkov, Dong Hyun Kim vs Paulo Thiago, Takanori Gomi vs Mac Danzig
The first UFC event to take place in China will finally happen in November. Undoubtedly receiving more star power than it's FUEL TV predecessor, former champions Rich Franklin and Cung Le will do battle in the evening's main event.
Franklin prefers to strike, but may look to work this fight against his highly decorated opponent—who holds honors in both sanshou and taekwondo—to the ground.
Also on the card is a striker-friendly affair between Thiago Silva and undefeated powerhouse Stanislov Nedkov. Nedkov made his UFC debut at UFC 134 when he knocked out Luiz Cane in the very first round.
One-time contender Dong Hyun Kim is hoping to bounce back in a welterweight battle against tough-as-nails Paulo Thiago. Both men are coming off of first round defeats, so it will be interesting to see what kind of fire they arrive with.
The final fight worth noting is a lightweight battle between former PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi and Ultimate Fighter winner Mac Danzig.
3. UFC on FX: Browne vs Bigfoot
Courtesy of BJPenn.com
Date: Friday, October 5
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Main Event: Travis Browne vs Bigfoot Silva
Notable Fights: Jake Ellenberger vs Jay Hieron, John Dodson vs Jussier da Silva, Jeremy Stephens vs Yves Edwards, Michael Johnson vs Danny Castillo, Dennis Hallman vs Thiago Tavares, Bart Palaszewski vs Diego Nunes
Between the FX card and the undercard airing on FUEL TV, fight fans are in for a treat on October 5.
A home for some relocated UFC 151 bouts, UFC on FX 5 is headlined by undefeated heavyweight Travis Browne taking on Strikeforce standout Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. The fight is sure to avoid the scorecards, as both men have no problem finishing fights within three rounds, let alone five.
The co-main event was once a PPV co-main event, as No. 5 welterweight Jake Ellenberger takes on Jay Hieron in a rematch from their 2006 encounter.
An overlooked bout on the card is a potential title eliminator in the Flyweight division between world-ranked fighters John Dodson and Jussier da Silva, who are ranked sixth and fourth, respectively.
In addition to this trio of FX fights, you can see some of the other exciting bouts which will occur earlier in the evening listed above.
2. UFC 152: Jones vs Belfort
Date: Saturday, September 22
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Main Event: Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort, UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Notable Fights: Joseph Benavidez vs Demetrious Johnson (UFC Flyweight Championship), Michael Bisping vs Brian Stann, Matt Hamill vs Vladimir Matyushenko, Cub Swanson vs Charles Oliveira, Evan Dunham vs TJ Grant, Igor Pokrajac vs Vinny Magalhaes, Jimy Hettes vs Marcus Brimage, Kyle Noke vs Charlie Brenneman
It's funny that I once complained about this card and the lack of depth that it had only a few weeks ago. Now boasting a pair of title fights, along with exciting bouts from light heavyweight down to featherweight, UFC 152 is one of the most exciting events of the Fall.
Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort will go to war in the main event, although Belfort is a huge underdog in the title encounter.
In the finals of a Flyweight title tournament, Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez will make history when their battle crowns an inaugural champion.
Also on the card is a bout between ranked middleweights Michael Bisping (No. 3) and Brian Stann (No. 7). Who will move one step closer to a title shot?
Ultimate Fighter stars Vinny Magalhaes and Matt Hamill are both making their Octagon returns on this card. Magalhaes has gone 7-1 since his departure from the UFC, while Hamill is fighting for the first time since he came out of retirement.
I'd like to point out that this card takes place on my birthday, and I am very pleased to see some of my favorite fighters on the card, including Charles Oliveira and Evan Dunham.
1. UFC 153: Aldo vs Edgar
Courtesy of espn.com
Date: Saturday, October 13
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Main Event: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar, UFC Featherweight championship
Notable Fights: Quinton Jackson vs Glover Teixeira, Erik Silva vs Jon Fitch, Demian Maia vs Rick Story
While UFC 153 doesn't have the same depth as UFC 152, the superfight between Jose Aldo and former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is a superfight that fans have been clamoring for since the UFC absorbed the WEC's featherweight division.
Frankie Edgar has the heart of a lion, and it allowed him to win and defend the UFC lightweight championship in spite of his being outsized by each of his UFC opponents. Now that he is fighting in a weight class more suited for his frame, will he be the man to dethrone Jose Aldo from his perch above the other 145-pound fighters?
In the co-main event, Rampage Jackson will engage in the final fight of his UFC career. Not only does he have a dangerous opponent, but also Jackson meets one of the most highly regarded prospects that the sport has seen in a long time in Glover Teixeira.
The main card also includes a pair of exciting welterweight fights. Up-and-coming sensation Erik Silva gets a major step up in competition against former contender Jon Fitch. Additionally, Rick Story will try to shut down the momentum of Demian Maia following his ultra-successful welterweight debut back in July.
Do you disagree with the ranking of these events? What fight are you most excited about? Who do you think will win the fights discussed in this article? Let me know in the comments.