Saturday night sees the last of a six week spell of major MMA events running every single weekend. As you’ll see below the rest of July doesn’t keep to quite such a hectic schedule, but it still has big events from all the major players in the sport.
Saturday 2nd July: UFC 132: Cruz Vs Faber
July’s action gets underway tomorrow night with the bantamweight division taking center-stage at UFC 132 as Dominick Cruz makes his first appearance in the promotion looking to avenge an old loss while defending his title against his rival Urijah Faber.
Other notable bouts on the card include a battle of the brawlers as Wanderlei Silva returns to take on Chris Leben, while we could also witness Tito Ortiz last ever fight in the UFC when he goes up against Ryan Bader.
Friday 15th July: Shark Fights 17
After a free weekend the major MMA action gets back on track on Friday 15th with Shark Fights 17 which is headlined by a rematch between Matt Horwich and Jake Rosholt.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez also features in the co-main event slot aiming to keep his 11 fight winning streak going against 24-7 Tony Lopez.
Saturday 16th July: DREAM 17
The weekend also features a welcome visit to Japan for DREAM 17 which will feature the culimination of it’s homegrown bantamweight grand-prix as Masakazu Imanari takes on Hideo Tokoro.
There’s several other bouts that catch the eye on this fight card however, including DREAM 205lb champion Gegard Mousasi Vs Hiroshi Izumi and a bantamweight title fight between Hiroyuki Takaya and Kazuyuki Miyata.
Throw in the likes of Marius Zaromskis vs. Hayato Sakurai and Todd Duffee vs. Nick Gaston and you’ve got an event that proves that DREAM is still alive and kicking despite their financial woes.
Friday 22nd July: Strikeforce Challengers 17
The Strikeforce Challengers series moves into it’s new home at the Pearl In The Palms Casino in Las Vegas for the first time on Friday 22nd with a third encounter between Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling headlining the show.
Also worth looking out for is former woman’s 135lb champion Sarah Kaufman going up against former No.1 contender Liz Carmouche, while Ovince St.Preux and Lavar Johnson also feature elsewhere on the Showtime televised card.
Saturday 23rd July: Bellator 47
The second of Bellator’s ‘Summer Series’ of events on MTV2 airs on 23rd July with the crown jewel of the evening being an eagerly awaited featherweight title rematch between Joe Warren and Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire.
The show will also feature the semi-finals of the current featherweight tournament along with several participants in their welterweight tourney.
Saturday 30th July: Strikeforce: Fedor Vs Henderson
July ends strongly on Saturday 30th with another major Strikeforce card with a blockbuster heavyweight fight between two MMA legends Fedor Emelianenko and current light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson topping the bill.
If that wasn’t enough there’s a slew of other quality match-ups on tap including a woman’s 135lb title fight between Marloes Coenen and Meisha Tate, a must-see middleweight encounter between Robbie Lawler and Tim Kennedy, plus Paul Daley vs Tyron Woodley.
Major MMA events in July 2011 at a glance:
- July 2nd: UFC 132: Cruz Vs Faber
- July 15th: Shark Fights 17: Horwich Vs Rosholt 2
- July 16th: DREAM 17
- July 22nd:Strikeforce Challengers 17
- July 23rd: Bellator 47
- July 30th: Strikeforce: Fedor Vs Henderson