With the UFC giving the fans three events to watch this August, all eyes are set upon three matches that could shake the MMA world with a single win by an unlikely opponent.
Will there be a rise of the underdogs? Or will the UFC stamp out its list of "Who's Got It" and "Who's Going Back to the Drawing Board?"
Come this August....we'll see.
August 1st kicks off the month of UFC action with UFC on VS 2. Headlining the event is the light heavyweight bout between Jon "Bones" Jones and Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko.
Jones boasts a 10-1 record (4-1 UFC) with his only loss coming via disqualification to Matt Hamill, a fight in which he completely disabled the TUF Veteran wrestler before being DQ'd for throwing a series of illegal elbows.
Matyushenko 24-4 (5-2 UFC) has a substantially higher mark of fight experience, but at 38 years old, it would appear the UFC is serving this veteran fighter on a platter to the up and coming Jones, who is 16 years younger than "The Janitor", and has become the UFC's poster child for the VS broadcasts.
Many fans and reporters are picking Jones to easily win this fight, but the question remains....what if he doesn't? What implications would it have for the LHW Division if Matyushenko could deliver an upset over the man making short work of likes of Brandon Vera, Matt Hamill, and Stephan Bonnar?
Would The Janitor's stock rise? Would Jones' fall?
No matter what the implications are, the upset factor in this fight makes it a great way to start the month and a definite "don't miss" bout.
At UFC 118, Randy Couture will look to answer a question that has been lingering around the MMA world since the beginning: “Who wins….The Boxer or the Wrestler?”
Couture puts his reputation and possibly his career on the line as he steps into the Octagon to face MMA newcomer James Toney. If you’re thinking “Couture versus a new guy?”, don’t forget to do your homework.
James Toney may be new to the UFC, but to fighting...well,that’s another story all together. Toney boasts a professional boxing record of 72-6-3 respectively and has held gold around his waist at numerous levels of his career.
The real implication in this fight is whether or not Toney can stay on his feet. Couture has stated that this will be a classic wrestler versus boxer match, so one can only expect that Randy will try to take the fight to the ground.
Toney has been more than upfront in his view of his chance of winning the fight, even going so far as to say that if taken down, he might knock Couture out from the bottom!
There’s been such debate over the Boxing/MMA crossover that this fight could hold balance to the rest of MMA’s future. If Toney is able to score a win over a UFC legend, would it not lead more boxers to come over and challenge the status of current UFC stars? There is a lot to be said about men who are used to wearing gloves much heavier than four ounces, and a tight stand up game has been shown to be real handy in an Octagon where punches can really “start to fly” when fighters get excited.
Toney pulling out this upset would set a clear message to both the MMA Community and Boxing Community: ”Fighting is fighting...may the best man win.”
UFC 117 boasts a type of grudge match which has never been seen before in the organization’s history: Fighter vs. President.
There has been no love lost between Dana White and his outspoken opinions of Roy Nelson. From his rants on the TUF reality show to his comments following Nelson’s win over Struve, White has shown the world that the words “Roy Nelson” leave a bitter taste in his mouth.
And what does Roy do about this? He keeps on winning.
After winning a highly anticipated (and quickly deflated) TUF Heavyweights, Nelson went on to KO Stefan Struve in under a minute in his follow-up UFC fight. Winning a fight like this might put you in the top 20 of an organization, but who does White give to Nelson?
Junior dos Santos has been a UFC wrecking machine since his debut knock out over Fabricio Werdum, (the man who now boasts the only legitimate win over Russian sensation Feodor Emelianenko) and has gone on to defeat the following list of UFC Heavyweight contenders: Stefan Struve (TKO), Mirko Cro Cop (Submission), Gilbert Yvel (TKO), and Gabriel Gonzaga (KO).
So how does Roy Nelson get a shot at the man many believe is the No. 1 contender?
Dana White is sending a clear message with this fight: Roy Nelson will either have to put up or shut up. Clearly this fight appears on paper to be a tune up fight for Dos Santos as he waits for the winner of Lesnar vs Velasquez, but what if Nelson can pull off this upset?
Would a win over Dos Santos be enough to put Roy in the No. 1 contender spot? Could a guy who looks like your “beer drinking lawn mower pushin’ hillbilly neighbor who won a reality show” really get a shot at the gold?
If you’re Roy Nelson, you’re hoping that’s exactly what your future looks like.
If you think that you have to look the part to be a legend in this sport, Roy Nelson may make you change your mind this August.
With one punch, one kick, or one submission, the future of the UFC could change this August.
These are just three of the fights in a star packed month of UFC action, so get out there, get ready to see some ACTION, and by all means....cheer for the underdogs.....