With news of the Anderson Silva-Nick Diaz super-fight for January made official on Tuesday, the UFC appears to have laid all their cards out on the table.
And not many jokers are present.
Starting in August, UFC president Dana White, matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, along with the rest of the team, seem to have an opportunity to achieve greatness.
Silva joked recently about stepping away after the card that was UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller because of all the incredible action from inside the Octagon.
But, that night could just be the start of something incredible – if all holds true to form.
August features non-title main events between Ryan Bader-Ovince St. Preux, Michael Bisping-Cung Le and Benson Henderson-Rafael dos Anjos. The month concludes with a double-title fight pay-per-view, as T.J. Dillashaw defends his bantamweight gold against Renan Barao and Demetrious Johnson faces Chris Cariaso for his flyweight championship.
In September we get Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi as a five-round middleweight affair, along with Antonio Silva vs. Andrei Arlovski in Brazil. Jon Jones returns to the Octagon, putting his light heavyweight scrap up for grabs against Daniel Cormier in a match not-to-be-missed.
Two “Fight Night” cards in October are without main events, but one rumored headliner is Rory MacDonald vs. Tarec Saffiedine in a key welterweight affair. That month also brings us a rematch pitting featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes from Brazil. The last time those two collided, Aldo knocked Mendes out with a second left, sprinting out of the cage and into his adoring fans.
For November, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will finally return to action, taking on undisputed No. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum, while December sees Chris Weidman meet Vitor Belfort – if all the tests given to Belfort are passed – for the middleweight gold.
Anthony Pettis, the lightweight champion, is scheduled to face Gilbert Melendez either that month or to begin January, while Ronda Rousey has stated she wants to fight once more – around the same time.
UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks is expected to return either in December or January, as well, defending his title against Robbie Lawler.
That brings us back to Silva-Diaz which could serve as a perfect springboard into 2015 by putting two of the most well-known fighters inside the Octagon together – without the services of championship gold present.
We’ve still got plenty of time left in the year to see more from the likes of Donald Cerrone, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, Luke Rockhold, Junior dos Santos, Urijah Faber and the crowning of a champion in the female strawweight division – along with the rest of the bantamweight ladies.
Needless to say, as one former announcer famously said, “business is about to pick up.”
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