Ready for almost a month without a UFC event? Me neither, but that’s the current reality, with the only card in August in the rearview mirror. Blame it on Mayweather-McGregor – the UFC isn’t going to cannibalize any of it’s cards when the “Fight” of the Century is just weeks away.
For real octagon action, we’ll have to wait until UFC Fight Night 115 on September 2. This sucks for MMA fans, but it also gives us a minute to catch up on some fight bookings that you might have overlooked. And lawdy, there are some damn good ones you need to be thinking about.
You’ll be able to bet on any of these scraps with the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu. Today, we’re just stroking the buzz. Think I missed anything? Let me know in the comments section.
UFC 215, September 9
Women’s Bantamweight Championship
Amanda Nunes -115 vs. Valentina Shevchenko -115
Francis Ngannou -325 vs. Junior dos Santos +250
Here’s What’s Good
Neither of these fights are the pay-per-view main event – a flyweight title tilt between Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg. But if we’re being honest, most fans aren’t too stoked about watching “Mighty Mouse” systematically dismantle yet another contender. Plus, the whole refusing-to-fight-Dillashaw thing left a bad taste in some mouths.
The rematch between Nunes and Shevchenko puts the division’s heaviest hitter against it’s most resilient fighter. The Brazilian champ used Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey like training dummies and retired them both. She won’t be able to do that against Valentina, whose a former Muay Thai champ.
If you could mold the perfect heavyweight from scratch, the result would probably look a lot like France Ngannou. The man is huge, chiseled and ridiculously explosive. He could probably beat 80% of the division with his physical talents alone. As the most hyped prospect in the division, it’s time to see if he’s for real against a former champ in Junior dos Santos. Because both big men love to strike, the potential for violence is off the charts here.
UFC Fight Night 116, September 16
Luke Rockhold -365 vs. David Branch +275
Thiago Alves vs. Mike Perry
Here’s What’s Good
It’s about damn time Luke Rockhold gets back in the cage. It’s cool that he’s got a modeling contract and all, but he’s just one fight removed from being the champ. He lost more than a year of his fighting prime perfecting Blue Steel and beefing with Dana White. The worst part about it is that he’s actually pretty entertaining to watch – he’s got an unorthodox kickboxing style with a deadly submission game. If he beats former WSOF champ David Branch, he’s right back in the title mix.
There’s something seriously appealing about a fighter that looks and acts like a fighter. It’s why the Diaz bros are cult heroes. “Platinum” Mike Perry definitely fits that mold – he’s got a scary-ass mean mug and filthy one-punch KO power. He looks like an extra from any South Boston gangster movie and kinda talks like it too. Now he’s meeting a skilled Muay Thai stylist in Thiago Alves. There will be blood.
UFC Fight Night 117, September 23
Claudia Gadelha vs. Jessica Andrade
Here’s What’s Good
There’s so much more to this than the fact that they’re both top four fighters. Physically, they have no equal at 115 pounds – they’re young and the best athletes in the division. What makes them so appealing is how they use their physical gifts: these girls are goddamn savages.
If for whatever reason you want to know what it feels like to wrestle a honey badger, try grappling with Claudia Gadelha – a multiple-time world BJJ champ. Also, if you ever want to spar with a bulldozer, lace up the gloves and have a go at Jessica Andrade.
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