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8/3/16: Five Best MMA Fights on August 2016 Schedule
The MMA schedule in the month of August isn’t nearly as packed as it was in July, but there are a ton of fantastic fights still to come, so today we break down my five best fights on paper over the next several weeks.
5. Benson Henderson vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (Bellator 160): After Henderson failed in his bid to capture Bellator’s Welterweight Championship, he’s back home at lightweight this month when he takes on former Bellator Featherweight Champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Though there’s a significant size disparity in the matchup, it’s an extremely intriguing fight that will bring a title fight with Michael Chandler to the winner. It’s one of the highest level fights Bellator could put together, and it’s going to be a great fight on Spike.
4. Anthony Pettis vs. Charles Oliveira (UFC on Fox 21): Henderson’s old foe Anthony Pettis is also making a change, dropping to featherweight for the first time after a surprising three-fight losing streak in the lightweight division. The former champion is jumping right into things at 145 lbs. with a dangerous and talented opponent in Charles Oliveira, and with desperation driving him this could bring him back to form. Regardless of the outcome, it’s an excellent fight for the fans in Vancouver.
3. Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira (UFC 202): This fight was supposed to happen last month at UFC on Fox 20, but now the likely No. 1 contender fight in the light heavyweight division hits Las Vegas on pay-per-view. Jon Jones’ in limbo status awaiting adjudication on his failed drug tests makes things a little bit murky for the winner of this fight, but both Johnson and Teixeira would be deserving of a shot at Daniel Cormier with a win here. This is two violent, heavy handed strikers trying to knock the head off of one another, of course it’s one of the best fights of the month!
2. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II (UFC 202): I was down on the fight being re-booked for UFC 200 when there were more sensible options for McGregor, but the first fight was damn good and the rematch still holds a ton of intrigue. McGregor believes he’s getting this win back, Diaz believes what happened in March is what’s going to happen again. One of them will be proven right in Las Vegas, and it’s likely to be a highly entertaining fight.
1. Carlos Condit vs. Demian Maia (UFC on Fox 21): Carlos Condit is one of the most consistently entertaining fighters to have competed in the UFC. Demian Maia’s one of the best grapplers and submission specialists in the sport’s history. It’s the visceral violence of Condit’s striking game against the effortless dominance of Maia’s grappling game, and with five rounds to work with in Vancouver it’s just the best matchup on the docket this month.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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