The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced several blockbuster fights in the summer months that most fans doubt will even happen considering the recent injury problems. The summer of action begins in July when Anderson Silva defends the UFC middleweight title against Chael Sonnen and concludes when Jon Jones defends the UFC light heavyweight title against Dan Henderson.
What do the odds makers think will happen in the biggest fights of the summer?
Anderson Silva -265 vs. Chael Sonnen +225
At UFC 148, these two men will square off in one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history. When they first fought, Sonnen dominated Silva for most of their five round fight, but was caught in a Triangle Armbar. Silva has since won two straight fights against Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, while Sonnen has defeated Brian Stann and Michael Bisping.
Renan Barao -170 vs. Urijah Faber +150
UFC 149 will be the home to the interim title fight between Barao and Faber in the bantamweight division. Current champion Dominick Cruz tore his ACL which opened the door for Barao to take his 28-fight winning streak and turn it into a title opportunity against for the former WEC champion.
Lyoto Machida -320 vs. Ryan Bader +260
Bader has been on a roll since dropping two straight to Jones and Tito Ortiz, knocking out Jason Brilz and dominating Quinton Jackson for 15 minutes. His fight with Machida at UFC on Fox 4 will be a chance for the UFC to see if he is the real deal in the light heavyweight division, or if he will become another winner of The Ultimate Fighter to falter.
Benson Henderson -160 vs. Frank Edgar +140
Hopefully this match won't be too close where the UFC wants another immediate rematch, but with the odds makers keeping this UFC 149 fight close, one never knows. The lightweight division is one of the most stacked in the UFC and is one that needs to see new challengers compete for the title.
Jon Jones -650 vs. Dan Henderson +475
Jones is on his way to being one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, but Henderson hopes to end that conversation when they meet at UFC 151. Jones is the heavy favorite coming in, but Henderson may have enough experience and knowledge to stop Jones.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.