UFC: Don't Sleep on These Upcoming Fights
Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin kicked off a great summer of MMA at the hugely entertaining UFC 116 event in Las Vegas.
With the war of words between Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva set to be decided in a potentially explosive Middleweight Title fight at UFC 117 and the BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar rematch at UFC 118 the summer of fun is set to continue.
Add to that the debut of James Toney against Randy Couture and the highly interesting No. 1 contender fight between Gray Maynard and Kenny Florian and its keeps getting better.
UFC 119 looks set to see a rematch between Frank Mir and Big Nog and a LHW contender fight of Lil Nog vs Ryan Bader which are both great fights on paper.
UFC 120 will see the UFC return to the UK and looks likely to be headlined by the return of Dan Hardy against Carlos Condit and an interesting fight of Michael Bisping vs Akiyama.
So it's fair to say that the future looks good for fight fans.
However these are the fights most people already know about and are already getting excited about.
With that in mind here are a few fights that may have gone under the radar so far but that you certainly shouldn't sleep on!
UFC 117: Charlie Brenneman vs Johny Hendricks
How Johny Hendricks is still on the under card is beyond me, but that is another story.
At UFC 117 the undefeated 8-0 Hendricks will face a tough prospect in Charlie Brenneman. At 3-0 in the UFC this is a big fight for the NCAA Division-I wrestler as another win would firmly place him amongst the contenders at Welterweight.
Brenneman will be making his second appearance in the UFC and is also on a roll as he is currently riding a six-fight win streak.
Brenneman is a wrestler but it nowhere near the level of Hendricks.
Look for Hendricks to make a statement in this one to the UFC brass, no more prelims please!!
UFC 118: Nik Lentz vs Andre Winner
Ross Pearson aside, Andre Winner was easily the biggest find to come out of Season Nine of the Ultimate Fighter.
The UK-based fighter has gone 2-0 since losing the TUF finale and won both his fights in convincing fashion.
At UFC 118 Andre Winner will be looking for his third victory against a surging Nik Lentz.
Lentz currently holds an MMA record of 18-3-1 and is on a 11-fight unbeaten streak with his last three fights being in the UFC.
Both fighters were victorious on the UFN Card back in March and will be looking to continue there climb up the 155 lbs ladder.
This should be a great fight folks!
UFC 119: Sean Sherk vs Evan Dunham
This potential match-up at UFC 119 is one of those rare fights where one fighter is fighting for a title shot and the other is not. For Evan Dunham this is his No. 1 contender fight.
After gaining a dominating victory in the biggest fight of his career at UFC 115 against team mate Tyson Griffin, Dunham is now 11-0 in his career and surely only a win over Sherk away from a title shot.
Sherk has not fought since UFC 98 where he lost to current Champion Frankie Edgar. For Sherk this is simply a fight for relevancy in an ever deepening division.
Once this fight is confirmed it will move to the very top of my most anticipated fights coming up.
UFC 119: Melvin Guillard vs Jeremy Stephens
For the longest time Melvin Guillard has been viewed as a waste of huge talent. However that seems to have changed with his recent switch in training camps to Team Jackson.
At 5-1 in his last six fights and 2-0 since joining Greg Jackson it seems that Guillard may finally have turned the corner and looks set to deliver on that potential.
Jeremey Stephens will with out doubt test Guillard's new found skills. Coming off a big win over Sam Stout at UFC 113, Stephens will himself be looking to climb the ladder to contender status.
This one is an instant "Fight of the Night" contender in my book.
UFC 119: Joey Beltran vs Matt Mitrione
Matt Mitrione vs Joey Beltran is only rumored at present but it looks like a likely fight according to reports.
Both winners at UFC 113 these to rising Heavyweights have shown great promise in their UFC fights.
The TUF alum, Mitrione looks to have shaken the "joker" tag from the show and showed a real sign that he has a mind for the fight game in the way he dismantled Kimbo with leg kicks. There is no questioning that Duke Rufus is refining his striking and undoubted KO power.
Beltran was meant to be the sacrificial lamb for Rolles Gracie's debut at UFC 109. He promptly won by TKO and then would defeat Tim Hague at UFC 113. People seem to keep questioning him but Beltran has shown ability thus far in his UFC tenure.
This fight could be a slugfest and would really elevate the winner in the Heavyweight Division.
UFC 120: John Hathaway vs Dong Hyun Kim
This potential fight is great on so many levels.
Both Hathaway and Kim are rising Welterweights with growing resumes.
Hathaway won last time out at UFC 114 in a career defining win over Diego Sanchez. Now 4-0 in the UFC another win over the tough Kim and Hathaway becomes a serious contender in the Welterweight Division.
Kim is undefeated in 15 fights winning his first four UFC fights with one no contest. Kim has proved how tough he is and the Judoko will really test where Hathaway and himself sit in the 170 lbs mix.
This is just great match making by Joe Silva!
UFC 120: Cyrille Diabate vs Alexander Gustafsson
For casual fans the name Cyrille Diabate was likely a new one when he debuted at UFC 114 by TKO'ing the highly regarded Luiz Cane.
However Daibate is an MMA veteran fighting all over the world, UFC 114 may have just been his coming out party on the biggest stage of them all as he moved to a six-fight win streak.
Gustafsson was an undefeated prospect when he entered the UFC, but he was unfortunate to face the phenom Phil Davis. However he did enough to show that he cannot be taken lightly.
This should be a great fight and another chance for the experienced Diabate to show his skills to the world.