The 20 Best UFC Fights Remaining in 2014
We are still less than halfway through the year, but it has been a solid one thus far in the MMA community. Countless knockouts and submissions, Fight of the Year contenders and two new champions in the UFC.
There's still so much of the year left to come, and so many great fights left to come this year. There are at least four more title fights scheduled and countless non-title fights that are sure to produce fireworks and excitement.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the 20 best UFC fights remaining this year.
UFC Fight Night 41: May 31
The main event of this card features Gegard Mousasi squaring off against Mark Munoz. Munoz is 3-2 in his last five, although he's 1-2 in his last three. Most recently he lost to Lyoto Machida by first-round knockout. Mousasi is 1-1 since joining the UFC, also suffering a loss at the hands of Machida. Overall, Mousasi is 6-1-1 in his last eight, including four finishes.
UFC Fight Night 42: June 7
In the main event, former lightweight champion Benson Henderson faces off against the rapidly rising prospect Rustam Khabilov. Khabilov is 3-0 in the UFC with two finishes and a Fight of the Night. Henderson is looking to get back into the title picture with a second straight win.
In the co-main event, The Ultimate Fighter season one winner Diego Sanchez will face off against The Ultimate Fighter season nine winner Ross Pearson. Pearson is 2-0 (1 NC) with two knockouts since returning to the lightweight division. Sanchez has lost three of his last four dating back to 2012.
UFC 174: June 14
On June 14, the flyweight title is on the line between champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger Ali Bagautinov. Bagautinov has won 11 straight, including three straight in the UFC. Johnson has won five straight, including the flyweight tournament semifinal, the flyweight title fight and three title defenses. Johnson has finished his last two fights, earning Submission of the Night and then Knockout of the Night.
The co-main event of UFC 174 features a welterweight matchup between Rory MacDonald and former Strikeforce title challenger Tyron Woodley. MacDonald won his last fight against Demian Maia, and he has also beaten Jake Ellenberger and BJ Penn since 2012. Woodley is 3-1 in the UFC, including two straight wins by (T)KO.
UFC Fight Night 43: June 28
The main event of this card features James Te Huna getting a really solid opponent for his middleweight debut, Nate Marquardt. Marquardt has been knocked out in both his fights since returning to the UFC, both of which took place at welterweight. Te Huna has also suffered two straight losses, coming against high-level light heavyweights. This one should be interesting.
UFC Fight Night 44: June 28
On the same day that Te Huna faces Marquardt in New Zealand, Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens will be squaring off in Texas. Swanson and Stephens will be meeting in a featherweight fight with huge title ramifications. Swanson has won five straight, with four knockouts and three post-fight awards. Stephens has won three straight since dropping to featherweight, including a 40-second knockout over Rony Jason.
UFC 175: July 5
In the main event of this card, the middleweight title is on the line between champion Chris Weidman and challenger Machida. Machida is 2-0 since dropping to middleweight, including a first-round Knockout of the Night over Munoz and a Fight of the Night decision victory over Mousasi. Weidman is undefeated at 11-0, having beaten Anderson Silva twice, Munoz, Maia and more.
The co-main event features a women's bantamweight title fight between longtime champion Ronda Rousey and Cesar Gracie black belt Alexis Davis. Davis is 3-0 in the UFC, having won three straight decision victories since joining the organization from Invicta. Rousey is also 3-0 in the UFC, with two submission victories and one TKO.
The third fight on the card features Chael Sonnen taking on Vitor Belfort. Sonnen was scheduled to face Wanderlei Silva, but on May 28, Silva was forced out of the bout and Belfort stepped up. Sonnen and Silva had been coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, but now Belfort will step in for the fight. Sonnen last fought in November 2013, where he was TKO'd by Rashad Evans in the first round. Belfort has won three straight by knockout, but he backed out of a fight with Weidman in Las Vegas due to TRT regulations. It will be interesting to see what happens come fight night.
Also on the card are fights between Urijah Faber and Alex Caceres, Matt Mitrione and Stefan Struve and Uriah Hall against Thiago Santos.
The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale: July 6
The main event of this one features the third fight between former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and the man he took the title from, Penn.
Penn has been retired since December 2012, when he lost a decision to MacDonald. However, a chance to finally beat Edgar in a third fight was enough to bring Penn out of retirement. Edgar last fought in July 2013, when he beat Charles Oliveira by unanimous decision. Prior to that he lost his lightweight title, then lost a rematch for that title, then lost a fight for the featherweight title.
UFC Fight Night 45: July 16
In the main event, two lightweights will look to jump back into the title picture when Donald Cerrone squares off against Jim Miller.
Miller last fought in April, when he earned a technical submission victory over Yancy Medeiros. Prior to that, he submitted Fabricio Camoes in December. Cerrone has won three straight and has been very impressive in the process. He earned a Submission of the Night over Evan Dunham, a Knockout of the Night over Adriano Martins and a Performance of the Night over Edson Barboza.
UFC Fight Night 46: July 19
The main event is going to be a good fight, but most of the viewers are going to be watching for just one guy. Conor McGregor is set to fight Cole Miller in the main event. Miller is on a two-fight win streak and has won three of his last four.
If he's looking to make a mark, a win over McGregor would be huge. McGregor has won both of his UFC fights so far, earning Knockout of the Night in his first fight and winning a decision over Max Holloway in his second.
UFC on Fox 12: July 26
The main event of this card was just recently announced, and it's going to be a great fight. Robbie Lawler is set to square off with Matt Brown for a shot at the welterweight title. Lawler has been on a tear since coming back to the UFC, having won four out of five fights, only losing a close fight to Johny Hendricks for the welterweight title. He has also won by (T)KO in three out of four fights. Brown has won seven straight, including five straight by (T)KO.
The worst part of this fight is that one of these two has to lose.
UFC 176: August 2
The main event of this card features a rematch a long time coming.
Jose Aldo will look to defend his featherweight title for a seventh time, while looking to beat Chad Mendes for a second. Mendes has been on a tear since his loss to Aldo in January 2012, as Mendes has won five in a row, including four straight knockouts.
Mendes is going to be ready for Aldo, and this fight should be far better than their first.
UFC Fight Night 48: August 23
This fight will be fun.
The main event features Michael Bisping taking on Cung Le. Bisping last fought in April, when he dropped a decision to Tim Kennedy. Prior to that, he won a decision over Alan Belcher. Le, on the other hand, has been out of action since a knockout victory over Rich Franklin in November of 2012. Le had been coaching on The Ultimate Fighter: China, for a time.
UFC 177: August 30
This event may be confirmed, but the fight is anything but.
The main event of this one is scheduled to be a rematch for the light heavyweight title between champion Jon Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson. Their first fight was a back-and-forth war that many thought Gustafsson won, although Jones came out on top. Both have won one fight since, Jones against Glover Teixeira and Gustafsson over Jimi Manuwa.
UFC Fight Night 51: September 20
In the main event of this card in Japan, fans may get the fight they've been looking forward to for a long time. Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson will likely headline this card and put on a war. Hunt has been out of action since December 2013 when he fought to a draw with Antonio Silva. Before that he was knocked out by Junior dos Santos. Nelson last fought Rodrigo Nogueira, who he knocked out viciously in the first round.
Alistair Overeem is also hoping to fight on this card.
UFC 180: November 15
The heavyweight title has been inactive for a while now, but not for too much longer. In November, Cain Velasquez will take on Fabricio Werdum following their time coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.
The series will debut in August and will culminate with the coaches' fight. Velasquez last fought in October 2013, where he finished Dos Santos by TKO in the fifth round. Werdum last fought in April, where he demolished Travis Browne for the full 25 minutes. Overall, Werdum has won four straight.
UFC 182: December 27
A second titleholder has been coaching The Ultimate Fighter, as Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez have been coaching the 20th season.
Pettis has been out of action since August 2013, when he submitted Henderson in the first round to defend his title. Pettis has won four straight, including three finishes. Melendez last fought in October 2013 where he won a unanimous decision over Sanchez.