UFC on Fox 4 got August off to a rollicking start, as Lyoto Machida knocked out Ryan Bader to earn a title shot, and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua put on a striking clinic in a victory over Brandon Vera.
With little over three weeks left to go in the month, here's a look at the top ten MMA fights to watch before the calendar turns to September:
1) Frankie Edgar vs Benson Henderson: Henderson (15-2) puts his UFC lightweight belt on the line as he squares off against Frankie "The Truth" Edgar (14-2-1) at UFC 150 on Aug. 11.
This one is a rematch of their tilt on Feb. 26 at UFC 144, a competitive five-rounder that Henderson squeaked out in a judge's decision. Every fight fan should be interested in the rematch because a title is on the line, and you're always going to get an exciting war when Edgar and Henderson take the cage.
2) Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Kaufman: UFC President Dana White is gaga for Ronda Rousey, and she has a chance to make a few more notable fans when she puts her Strikeforce bantamweight title on the line against Sarah Kaufman on Aug. 18.
Rousey is 5-0 in her pro career, with five victories via armbar, but her standup game has never been tested the way it likely will be when she squares off against Kaufman.
3) Melvin Guillard vs Donald Cerrone: "The Young Assassin" is back. Melvin Guillard (47-11-3) got back in the win column with a methodical beatdown of Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148, and he'll be gunning for another victory on Aug. 11 as he takes on Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, who is also coming off a victory. I love this matchup because Cerrone is a gamer, and Guillard is a fierce standup warrior. This one has fireworks written all over it.
4) Pat Curran vs Patricio Freire: I'm definitely looking forward to the Bellator Fighting Championships 73 card on Aug. 24, as it features Pat Curran (17-4) and Patricio Freire (17-1) in the main event.
What's at stake? Curran is a winner of four straight, while Freire has a three-fight win streak of his own. The UFC may be knocking down the door to sign the winner of this tilt.
5) Tim Sylvia vs Andrei Arlovski:I know what you're thinking. This is a fight I should have no interest in. Sylvia and Arlovski are two fighters who may be well past their prime fighting years, and neither man has appeared in a UFC cage in years.
As much as I want to stop myself from being interested in this tilt, something draws me to it. Sylvia is riding a three-fight win streak, and I'm interested to see what he has left in the tank at age 36. Arlovski is just 33, but he sported a glass chin at times over the past few years. The fight is scheduled for Aug. 31 in the One FC promotion.
6) Miesha Tate vs Julie Kedzie: Tate (12-3) looks to bounce back from her gruesome armbar loss to Ronda Rousey by squaring off against a game opponent in Julie Kedzie (16-10) on the Aug. 18 "Strikeforce: Rousey vs Kaufman" card.
I love the storylines in this one. Will ring rust play a factor for Kedzie, who hasn't fought in over a year? Will Tate be back at 100% strength after losing to Rousey in such gruesome fashion?
Best of the rest:
Eduardo Dantas vs Tyson Nam, Shooto Brazil 33, Aug. 25
Jake Shields vs Ed Herman, UFC 150, Aug. 11
Ronaldo Souza vs Derek Brunson, Strikeforce on Showtime, Aug. 18
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Gustavo Falciroli, One FC, Aug. 31
Which August MMA fights are you excited to see? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong UFC fan and supporter of the sport of MMA. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
www.sherdog.com, Sherdog, fighter stats
- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Ronda Rousey
- Melvin Guillard