UFC: The 10 Best Fights Flying Under the Radar This Summer
With Facebook and Spike TV beginning to broadcast more of the preliminary fights, it's worth taking a look at the 10 best preliminary fights flying under the radar this summer.
From UFC 131-133, there will be a good amount of intriguing match ups featuring fights liker Evan Dunham, Jason Miller, George Sotiropoulos, Dustin Poirier, Joey Beltran and Melvin Guillard.
If the trend continues from UFC 129, which will be all five preliminary fights being broadcast on Facebook, these 10 fights are all worth checking out.
No. 10 Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira: UFC Live
There aren't too many fighters with a 5-0-1 record inside the UFC, but this is something lightweight up-and-comer Nik Lentz has built quietly fighting on undercards.
It's no secret fans dislike "The Carny" because of his wrestling-based style that he utilized to defeat the likes of Andre Winner, Tyson Griffin and Rob Emerson. Five of his six UFC bouts have gone the distance. He finished his last opponent, Waylon Lowe, by guillotine choke in a fight he was on his way to losing.
Charles Oliveira was one of the top prospects in the sport when he defeated Efrain Escudero in impressive fashion last year. The hype was stopped when he met Jim Miller, who submitted him in the first round of their UFC 124 bout.
It's a guarantee that if Lentz wins this fight, his next fight will be on a main card. Mine as well take the time to watch this fight and see whether you like him or not. He is one of those fighters.
No. 9 Andre Winner vs. Anthony Njokuani: UFC 132
Nigerian-born fighter Anthony Njokuani quickly returns to the ring at UFC 132 to face dangerous striker Andre Winner. Both are coming off of losses in previous UFC bouts.
Like Njokuani's previous bout versus elite striker Edson Barboza, this will be an all-out war where each fighter is one strike away from being knocked out.
Look for the lethal kicks of Njokuani versus the speed of Winner's punches and don't blink. This is a guaranteed "Knockout of the Night."
No. 8 Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman: UFC 131
NCAA Division I wrestler Chris Weidman exploded onto the MMA scene with his recent victory over Alessio Sakara at UFC Live last month.
He won a three-round decision over Sakara and used his wrestling and vicious ground-and-pound to bloody the Italian fighter.
His opponent will be Jesse Bongfeldt, who is 0-0-1 inside the UFC. The UFC staff took a step back with Weidman because of his relatively short time in the sport. He has only been fighting since 2009 and has a 5-0 record.
If Weidman continues to win, look for him to become a future challenger to the middleweight elite.
No. 7 Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards: UFC 131
This is a fun fight, and one that every MMA fan should be looking forward too. It will most likely be the featured bout on the Spike TV portion of UFC 131.
It puts two veteran fighters who both love to stand and trade against each other in a lightweight bout.
Yves Edwards is one of the most experience fighters out there. With nearly 60 professional bouts to his credit, Edwards has fought in some of the biggest and best organizations in the world, including the UFC, Strikeforce, EliteXC and Pride.
Sam Stout has had a up-and-down career inside the UFC, but one thing holds true; he always puts on entertaining fights. With a 5-4 record inside the Octagon, Stout has a wealth of experience to match Edwards blow-for-blow.
No. 6 Tyson Griffin vs. Manvel Gamburyan: UFC Live
Who stays and who goes? That is the storyline for this fight in the featherweight division.
The UFC lightweight division is way too stacked to keep fighters with losing streaks on the roster so Tyson Griffin made the choice to drop to 145 and hope for the success that has not been there for his three previous bouts.
He will be taking on Manny Gamburyan, who is making a UFC return since losing to Jose Aldo for the WEC featherweight title in September.
This should be a fan-friendly fight, but it may turn out to be a dud if both fighters are content with just trying to get a victory. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
No. 5 Dustin Poirier vs. Rani Yahya: UFC 131
Featherweight contender Dustin Poirier wasn't a contender until he defeated the second best fighter in the division, Josh Grispi at UFC 125.
It was one of the biggest upsets of the year as Grispi was scheduled to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight title on the same card. When Aldo pulled out, Poirier stepped in and won a dominant unanimous decision.
His opponent is Rani Yahya, a second degree black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Of Yahya's 16 victories, 14 have come by submission. His most impressive performance was a first round submission over Eddie Wineland in the WEC. He also holds a win over Aldo's next opponent, Mark Hominick.
Future title contenders battle it out in this one. You don't want to miss it.
No. 4 Jason Miller vs. Aaron Simpson: UFC 132
UFC 132 doesn't have a preliminary card set, but it's either this bout or Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben going on the undercard, and there's a good chance it will be this one.
That doesn't mean it isn't important. It is very important, especially for Jason "Mayhem" Miller, who hasn't fought in the UFC since 2005 when he faced Georges St. Pierre.
Miller made a successful career of fighting in other organizations while outside of the biggest promotion, but he finally makes his return to take on tough wrestler Aaron Simpson.
The 36-year-old from Colorado currently rebounded from a two-fight losing streak, and needs another victory if he wants to keep fighting in the short amount of time he has left in the sport.
This will a wrestler vs. jiu-jitsu matchup that should be an exciting grappling war.
No. 3 Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller: UFC 132
UFC lightweight contender Melvin Guillard is coming off of the biggest win in his career against Evan Dunham. He knocked out the up-and-comer in the very first round after landing a series of power shots and a devastating knee.
He will be fighting Shane Roller, who is also coming off an impressive comeback victory over Thiago Tavares. It was declared the "Knockout of the Night" at UFC Live in March.
Two of Roller's three defeats have come against Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson; two of the very best from the WEC. He almost had Henderson knocked out in the opening minute but suffered a quick TKO shortly after.
This is a very intriguing fight and one that will determine the next best contender in the lightweight division.
No. 2 Dave Herman vs. Joey Beltran: UFC 131
This is my favorite preliminary fight coming up on the undercard of UFC 131: Brock Lesnar vs. Junior Dos Santos.
These are two of the toughest and most exciting heavyweights out there, and they have the records to back it up.
Of their combined 32 victories, only two of them have gone the distance! Herman has finished 19 of his 20 opponents including 14 knockouts; some of which came in very destructive fashion.
Beltran showed how big his heart is when he took on Pat Barry and Matt Mitrione. He came up short in both, and is undoubtedly determined to make the third one count. A loss may send him packing, which is unfortunate because Herman may be the next best thing in the HW division.
Top heavyweights better watch out because Herman is on a mission.
No. 1 George Sotiropoulos vs. Evan Dunham: UFC 132
These two former lightweight contenders are determined to make a strong statement coming off of recent losses.
Evan Dunham is currently on a two-fight losing streak while Sotiropoulos is coming off a loss to Dennis Siver.
This is the hardest fight to call on this list, and it's almost impossible to predict how this one will play out. It could go one of many ways, and my guess is it will be a close and competitive bout with no real winner.
Still, it's worth watching because MMA is unpredictable and these types of fights always have surprises.