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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:

World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez (August 9)

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.

UFC Fight Night 47: Bader vs. St. Preux (August 16)

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 29: Riddle vs. Saunders (August 22)

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.

UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le (August 23)

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.

UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos (August 23)

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.

ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions (August 29)

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.

Legacy FC 34 (August 29)

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.

UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao II (August 30)

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.

Cesar Gracie Believes Diaz Can Test Silva’s Chin

Cesar Gracie sees a finish coming this January when Nick Diaz returns to the Octagon to face Anderson Silva.

The scheduled five-round middleweight main event for UFC 183 will also see Silva fight for the first time since a gruesome broken leg suffered this past December against Chris Weidman.

“I believe it’s going to be a stand-up fight the entire time,” said Gracie, in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Nick is better on the ground, his jiu-jitsu is better, but I believe it’s going to be a stand-up fight and it won’t last five rounds.

“I think it will be over before five rounds; someone will get knocked out.”

Gracie, who works with Diaz in California, isn’t betting on his fighter getting dropped. Silva has lost two straight to Weidman, suffering his first defeats inside the Octagon.

“Nick is hard to knock out, he was knocked out only once in the beginning of his career,” Gracie said. “Anderson is bigger than Nick, but he’s turning 40 now and his chin is not the same anymore.

“If Nick can get in there and punch him, I think he wins this fight. Nick will turn 31 in August, he’s just a kid. Anderson is fast and dangerous. I don’t know who’s going to win, but I know it’s going to be a good fight.”

Diaz hasn’t fought since 2009 above welterweight when he defeated both Frank Shamrock and Scott Smith at 180 pounds. He retired after a loss to Georges St-Pierre for the UFC title, and will be stepping back into the Octagon for the first time in over two years when he meets Silva.

“He was training, but he really retired,” Gracie said. “He wanted more money and everything, and he didn’t train like he used to. He was more relaxed, doing things he liked.”

The last time a fight involving Diaz was stopped early on his behalf came in 2007 due to a cut vs. K.J. Noons. His only true knockout loss came via TKO in 2002 in his fifth career fight to Jeremy Jackson.

Jackson retired in 2007 and holds two wins in three fights over Diaz. He submitted him at UFC 44 and lost to him in their first meeting in 2002.

scott coker

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal doesn’t speak very highly of his time working with Bjorn Rebney.

Lawal, a former Strikeforce champion, lashed out against Rebney following his loss earlier this year to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. While things settled down during the post-fight press conference, Lawal jumped at the chance to fire off comments against the former Bellator president during an interview with MMA Fighting.

Rebney was replaced by Scott Coker, who Lawal worked with at Strikeforce.

“I personally think he’s an (expletive),” Lawal said. “If I had a chance to see him, I’d put them hands on him. He’s deceptive, fake.

“He flew me out to that meeting. It was just a bunch of bull he was spitting me. He’s a liar. He can’t make eye contact with me. He’s a liar. When it came down to it, he’s out of touch with MMA as a whole.”

Rebney helped build a base for Bellator through the use of tournaments, crowning champions and contenders. That, though, sometimes left the promotion without the ability to reward immediate rematches. Ben Askren, Hector Lombard and others left Bellator as champions in their respective weight classes, while a lengthy legal battle was engaged with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.

“No one respected him,” Lawal said. “They thought he was a good businessman, but when it came down to it, he was out of tune, out of touch with the MMA media, crowd, audience, everything.

“Everybody in Bellator and Viacom, they’re cool as hell. I’ll bleed for them. But Bjorn is shady. No one got a good vibe from him.”

ufc 183

For Nick Diaz, the weight-disadvantage he’ll like have against Anderson Silva in January will not be an issue.

Diaz, who will return from a self-imposed retirement to kick-start the new year, talked about his weight and return during a conference call with reporters recently. The bout is set to serve as the main event for UFC 183 in Las Vegas.

“I’m getting a little older, but I always thought I could fight at a catchweight at 160, or fight at 170, 185, maybe even 155,” Diaz said (thanks to MMAjunkie.com for the quotes). “I’m pretty heavy and I naturally don’t really have a hard time gaining weight. I put on a lot of miles and a lot of work just to get down under 185 pounds. It can be pretty rough making 170.”

Diaz (26-9) is a former Strikeforce champion and one-time contender to the UFC welterweight title. He lost each of his last two, falling via decision to Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit, and now walks around at 200 pounds, making the middleweight cut to 185 an easier one.

“I think that’s one of my strengths,” he said. “I could probably fight, at a time, at any weight. I’m not bigger than I used to be now. I’m pretty heavy and I naturally don’t really have a hard time gaining weight.”

The last time Diaz stepped inside the Octagon was March 2013, while Silva fought in December of last year. “The Spider” has dropped his last two fights, as well, falling to Chris Weidman both times.

UFC president Dana White commented that a win over Silva could propel Diaz into a title shot, but the fighter didn’t want to make any promises.

“Day-by-day, fight-by-fight,” he said (thanks to UFC.com for the quotes). “I was looking for the biggest fight I could get myself into. That’s what I’ve done since I was 18 years old and I got into the UFC. I don’t enjoy fighting. Definitely not.”

gilbert melendez

Gilbert Melendez is listening to Anthony Pettis.

It appears as if Pettis, the UFC lightweight champion, told Melendez the two should work on “selling” their upcoming planned title fight. While nothing has been set by the promotion, “El Nino” said December 6 in his latest Instagram post for a date.

The two will be coaches on the soon-to-air Ultimate Fighter season featuring an all-female strawweight cast. If they fight in December, it will be part of the Chris Weidman-Vitor Belfort UFC 181 card from Las Vegas.

Melendez is a former Strikeforce champion who lost via decision to Benson Henderson for the UFC title.

Pettis kept up his end of the trash-talking through social media, replying to Melendez that “u won’t make it out the 1st round!!! Your not even the number 1 contender Henderson is.”

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