Okay, so UFC 116 was amazing. Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum was solid with a shocking main event finish. MMA's momentum is going to keep on rolling right into the next weekend, right? Well...not exactly. We're looking at August 1 before there's another major American MMA event. So what is on the horizon for the sport over the next few months? Where is MMA after two crazy weekends of action?
Japanese MMA makes another run at a fun, but ultimately meaningless card on July 10. Shinya Aoki attempts to recover from getting completely handled by Gilbert Melendez in a way that really took the wind out of his "top five fighter" sails. Aoki will battle Tatsuya Kawajiri, a very respectable lightweight in his own right. Acording to the USA TODAY / SB Nation MMA Rankings this is a battle of the #7 and #8 lightweights in the world.
Also on the card is a battle between #23 ranked lightweight Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante and tough Japanese fighter Katsunori Kikuno. Cavalcante had a brief run at the top end of the lightweight division but has not picked up a win in competition since 2007, compiling a 0-2 record with 1 no contest.
Rounding out the other fights of meaning on the card: Gegard Mousasi looks to rebound from the loss of his Strikeforce light heavyweight championship to "King" Mo Lawal in a fight with former UFC fighter Jake O'Brien. There is also a rumored bout between Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.
Zuffa Preparing For Huge August
August 1 signifies the return of the UFC to Versus with a card that features Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko in the main event. Matyushenko has won two straight fights since joining the UFC, most recently a split decision over Eliot Marshall. Obviously this is a bout with the intention of continuing Jones' growth as the best prospect in the 205 pound division. Jones is a better fighter in every area of the game and has destroyed basically everyone he has ever fought. Also on the UFC on Versus card is a very important middleweight bout between Yushin Okami and Mark Munoz.
UFC 117 goes down on August 7 and features the always hard to predict Anderson Silva taking on Chael Sonnen. Sonnen is a wrestler, pure and simple. He has no plan in this fight other than trying to get enough takedowns and control enough of the fight to win a judges decision. If Anderson Silva is in the mood to fight he probably runs through Sonnen, but it's hard to predict any performance with Silva given his trips to the Octagon against Demian Maia and Thales Leites. Also on the card is a must anticipated rematch between world #2 welterweight Jon Fitch and #3 Thiago Alves. Fitch won their first clash by TKO back in 2006. The final major bout on the card is the heavyweight clash between Junior dos Santos and Roy Nelson which will determine a future heavyweight title contender.
UFC 118 is on August 28 and is main evented by the rematch between B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight championship. Edgar won a very controversial decision in their first meeting (SBNation.com scored the bout for Penn) and that controversy led to an immediate rematch. Boxing and MMA clash in a big way when Randy Couture faces James Toney. It's a bit of a joke to pretend Toney has a chance given his advanced age and boxing style that will not translate well against a wrestler like Couture.
While July is a slow month there is a ton of action in August that should make it a dream month for any MMA fan.