The heat of summer will bring with it an incredible amount of MMA action.
August is looking like a packed month – and that’s with the UFC cancelling a pay-per-view scheduled for this weekend.
Once we hit this coming Saturday, we’re looking at cards every weekend through the month, culminating with UFC 177.
So, here’s a quick look at the action you can expect to see – pending no injuries, fight cancellations or other issues that seem to always come up in this crazy world we love called MMA:
It’s not quite the name-filled lineup we’ve come to expect from the WSOF, but this NBC Sports Network card could surprise. Luis Palomino and Lewis Gonzalez are competing for a future title shot, while Ronny Markes, Elvis Mutapcic and Brandon Hempleman are fighters most have heard about.
When it comes to fights lacking star-quality, there seems to typically be exceptional finishes. This one could do that. And if nothing else, the legendary Alexis Vila will be in action. Vila one bronze at the 1996 Summer Olympics in freestyle wrestling.
The UFC heads to Maine with a pretty solid Fight Night event on FOX Sports 1. The main event could determine the career path for Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux. Both light heavyweights are feeling confident, and the winner could move into a bigger bout next.
Gray Maynard will return after several months off, taking on Fabricio Camoes, while Sara McMann fights for the first time since falling to Ronda Rousey for the UFC title. Ross Pearson-Abel Trujillo are two guys who like do to nothing more than stand and bang.
Titan FC will crown a champion in the welterweight division when former UFC fighter Matthew Riddle takes on ex-Bellator competitor Ben Saunders in the main event on CBS Sports Network.
Riddle has always found success inside the Octagon or cage, it’s just been those pesky drug tests after that have caused him problems.
The rest of the card will see Mike Ricci take on George Sotiropoulos in a battle of ex-UFC fighters, along with a featherweight title eliminator between Kurt Holobaugh and Lloyd Woodard.
The first of two UFC cards on this day will air entirely on UFC Fight Pass, with Michael Bisping and Cung Le doing battle in the main event. If nothing else, the last time Le fought he was impressive, knocking out Rich Franklin.
Plus, when you factor in Bisping, it seems like something wild and crazy always happens.
Tyron Woodley will also try to get back on track from a loss to Rory MacDonald, taking on Dong Hyun Kim. And, in case you forgot all about it – as I did – the finals in the delayed Ultimate Fighter: China featherweight tournament will take place.
Benson Henderson has grown into a mainstay on non-PPV events. He’ll try to keep moving forward towards a chance to reclaim his lightweight title against Rafael dos Anjos on FOX Sports 1.
The rest of the FS1 main card features a solid lineup, including Francis Carmont-Thales Leites, Demian Maia-Mike Pyle and Brandon Thatch-Jordan Mein. The event will boast 10-televised fights between FS1 and FS2.
Airing only on internet pay-per-view, ONE FC 19 will see Ben Askren step inside the cage for a second time. This one gives him the chance to become welterweight champion, as the former Bellator titleholder and ex-Olympian squares off with Nobutatsu Suzuki.
If getting up bright and early to see Askren wasn’t enough, the event also features Shinya Aoki against Kamal Shalorus for the lightweight title and championship matches in the featherweight and middleweight divisions. Oh, and Roger Huerta will also be fighting from the Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates.
To get you prepared for the weekend, Legacy FC presents a lineup featuring Jonathan Brookins. The ex-UFC fighter has returned from a sabbatical and will meet Austin Lyons.
The main card airs on AXS TV and if nothing else, gives you MMA on a Friday night.
We’ll conclude the month with a double-UFC title event, as T.J. Dillashaw defends his bantamweight gold against Renan Barao and Demetrious Johnson puts his flyweight title on the line vs. Chris Cariaso.
Shayna Baszler, a member of the “Four Horsewomen,” Danny Castillo-Tony Ferguson and the UFC debut of Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo also highlight this card from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
Overall, not a bad month to be a fan of mixed martial arts.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jason Silva