UFC 116 is Over, Now What? 10 Fights To Get You Through the Summer
Last Saturday, the UFC unleashed one of the most fan friendly fight cards in the history of the company,.The main card featured five fights, with four of them ending before the final bell.
All were exciting in their own right. George Sotiropoulos ended Kurt Pellegirno's four fight win streak with a unanimous decision win. Stephan Bonnar ended his three fight losing streak with a slugfest KO win over Krzyzsztof Soszynski.
Both Chris Lytle and Chris Leben submitted their opponents. (Matt Brown and Yoshihiro Akiyama, respectively) Even Brock Lesnar got a submission win over Shane Carwin.
But as good as this card was, how can you be sure that any others this summer will deliver the same intensity? Well, judging by how stacked each one is, you can probably make that choice for yourself.
But to help you out, here are the ten best fights remaining this summer.
10. Nate Matquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares
Although Rousimar Palhares may seem like a can for Nate Marquardt to smash on his way back up the UFC middleweight ladder, Palhares is actually a legitimate fighter for Marquardt to square off against.
Although Palhares's grappling is not on the level of Jacaré Souza's or Demian Maia's, he is an exceptional submission artist and can make anyone tapout if he is given the opportunity,
Nate Marquardt will be hungry to get back on the winning wagon, and this fight with Palhares should be a good one at UFC 118.
9. Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Vladimir Matyushenko is the grizzled veteran. Jon Jones is the young fighter who has devastated all in his path. Who will win?
Most would say Jon Jones, but Vladimir Matyushenko brings an insane toughness with him whenever he fights, and it would come as a surprise to no one if he completely derails Jon Jones.
This fight will take place on August 1st. It is the main event in what will be the UFC's second venture onto Versus.
8. Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida
At UFC 117, Ricardo Almeida, who is fresh off of a submission win over Matt Brown, will be facing off against Matt Hughes, who in turn is fresh off of a win against Renzo Gracie.
Although this fight will not be for any large reward, such as a title shot, it will keep Ricardo Almeida relevant in the division with a win, and it will keep Matt Hughes farther from retirement if he wins.
It should be an interesting stylistic matchup as well. Who wins, the BJJ Black belt or the insane wrestler? The only way to figure this out is to watch the fight, which will be live on pay-per-view August 7th. Or you can just watch Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch.
7. Junior dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson
This fight between the two heavyweight prospects will take place on August 7th at UFC 117. This fight has grown in importance over the last few days, especially considering that Dana White has guaranteed the winner a title shot.
6. Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard
Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard are unquestionably the best lightweights in the UFC outside of Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn. The two are going to square off at UFC 118 for a shot at the lightweight champ.
Kenny Florian is known for finishing fights. (3 fights have gone the distance in his 18 fight career.) Gray Maynard, on the other hand, is notorious for lay n' pray, and consequently, he has only finished one fight in his MMA career.
Who will prevail? To find the answer to this question, watch UFC 118 on August 28th.
5. Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch 2
At UFC 117, two of the games best welterweights will collide, when Thiago Alves returns from a year long layoff to rematch consensus #2 guy Jon Fitch at UFC 117. The winner of this fight will likely face Martin Kampmann for a shot at George St-Pierre's welterweight title belt-- provided he beats Josh Koscheck first.
4. Randy Couture vs. James Toney
At UFC 118, Randy Couture will hopefully be set to welcome former professional boxer and heavyweight champ James "Lights Out" Toney to the Octagon. Randy Couture is making a run at the light-heavyweight title, and a win over James Toney would all but seal a title shot for him.
However, if James Toney engineers the greatest upset in MMA history (It really would be; Randy is at somewhere in the -800s right now), then he would prove boxing's legitimacy in today's fighting market.
3. Joseph Benavidez vs. Dominick Cruz 2
Headlining World Extreme Cagefighting's (WEC) 50th event is a bantamweight title fight between Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez. This will be a rematch of their fight at WEC 42, where Dominick Cruz took home a unanimous decision win, and handed Benavidez his fist career loss.
It will be tough for Benavidez, but you can bet money (and you should) that this fight will be a good one.
2. BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar 2
On April 10, 2010, Frankie Edgar beat BJ Penn in a somewhat controversial unanimous decision for BJ Penn's belt. Due to its somewhat controversial nature, BJ Penn was granted an immediate rematch. That rematch is expected to go down at UFC 118.
Who will win? Many say BJ Penn was off in his last fight, and I would have to agree. But Frankie Edgar is as good as they get at lightweight, and we should never count him out in any fight.
1. Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva
If not for the rematch between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, this fight would easily be one of the most anticipated fights ever. Although Anderson Silva may hold an astronomical advantage in Vegas, there is something about Chael Sonnen's calmness and ability to hype a fight that may make you give him a chance.
If that doesn't do it, then take into account Silva's past weakness against high quality wrestlers and you have yourself a fight. This fight will be the main event at UFC 117.