How great was that? This past month of August was unbelievable for all the action we were lucky enough to witness in the world of MMA. Let's recap all the amazing fights we got to see.
We started the month with UFC on Versus 2: Jones vs Matyushenko. One of the things that makes MMA so appealing to me is that the very nature of the sport relies on excellence as opposed to teamwork. We should feel lucky that we get to watch such dominance in the form of one Jon Jones. The way he's been able to run through so many talented men is nothing short of incredible. Matyushenko is a veteran of the game who's been around for a long time and Jones just destroyed him. Takedown to side control to crucifix to head trauma via elbows. He didn't become a true star here but he's right on the cusp.
The next weekend brought us UFC 117: Silva vs Sonnen. What is there to say about this event that hasn't already been said? Chael Sonnen managed to make everyone care about a champion who has never been a great draw. Then he convinced everyone that he actually had a chance to win the fight. Then he actually went out and dominated for 4 and a half rounds. But before we could even blink Anderson Silva had locked on a triangle/armbar and Sonnen couldn't help but tap. The most amazing comeback in UFC history.
A bit of a lull in excitement occurred with Bellator 24 and Strikeforce Challengers but they were still good cards that featured some solid action. WEC 50 brought it back with a bang though featuring Joseph Benavidez challenging Dominick Cruz for bantamweight title. Before that fight though Anthony Pettis and Shane Roller tore the house down with a three round war that ended with just 9 seconds remaining when Pettis slapped on a triangle. Then Cruz and Benavidez went back and forth before the judges awarded Cruz the split decision win to retain his title.
Strikeforce: Houston was next to give us another solid event, if not for the usual production woes. We got to see all the holes in Bobby Lashleys game, the power in KJ Noons hands, Jacare Souza and Tim Kennedy go back and forth for 5 rounds and King Mo get upset by Feijao Cavalcante. Every fight had intrigue and every fight delivered in some way or another. 2 new champions were crowned and Noons used his victory to earn a title shot against Nick Diaz. Hell, even Griggs may be getting to fight Brett Rogers next. I don't even think Gus Johnson said anything stupid. Overall, a great showing from Strikeforce.
Bellator 26 and Sengoku Raiden Championship held events in the following days. Another solid if not spectacular event from Bellator, as usual. Sengoku though gave us what may have ended up being Fight of the Year. Jorge Santiago and Kazuo Misaki had an unbelievable rematch that went back and forth over the duration of the fight until Misaki's corner threw in the towel with less than 30 seconds remaining in the fight. The scores may have revealed a win for Misaki so the fact that his corner threw in the towel was questionable at first but he later revealed that it was the right decision. Instead of any sort of controversy involved in a decision we got a clean victory in an unreal fight.
We cap the month off with UFC 118: Edgar vs Penn 2. Or really it should have been UFC 118: Couture vs Toney. That's the fight that got all the marketing and promotional push. It was likely the reason the card did the numbers it did. It was also one of the worst fights in UFC history. Any time a fight is a foregone conclusion, you can bet that it won't be any good and this one wasn't. Fortunately the UFC also had the rematch between Frank Edgar and BJ Penn lined up. Many fans may have been disappointed in this fight because of the end result and also because of the expectations they had going in but this was also a case of us getting the opportunity to witness excellence. Frank Edgar proved that he is a better fighter than BJ Penn and that was worth the price of admission.
What an unbelievable month. The best one that I can remember. The hope is that it will continue on in to September and so far so good. Bellator 27 kicked off this month with a bang. Joe Warren was getting absolutely dog-walked by Joe Soto with Soto going so far as to mock Warren Diaz style and still land heavy shots. The first round could have arguably been scored a 10-8 for Soto. Then in the second a big right hand and a huge knee turned it all around and gave Warren the win and the featherweight title. We'll get Bellator 28,29,30 and 31 this month to go along with UFC Fight Night 22: Marquardt vs Palhares, Dream 16, UFC 119: Mir vs Cro Cop and the loaded up WEC 51: Aldo vs Gamburyan. Here's hoping September gives us all the excitement August did.