UFC Fight Night Brunson vs Shahbazyan
Date and place: August 1, Las Vegas, USA
Timur Valiev - Jamall Emmers
Timur Valiev will make his UFC debut at the first UFC show in August. At home, the athlete fought in the Fight Nights Global and Gorilla Fighting Championship, but also has experience in battles abroad. He was more than successful in WSOF, and in the PFL he even made the playoffs of the featherweight tournament. True, the injury prevented him from taking part in the quarterfinal duel with Alexandre Almeida and provoked a departure from the competition.
Nevertheless, Valiev has an impressive record of 16 wins and only two losses. Moreover, the first of them he suffered in his first fight according to the rules of MMA, and the second was rather controversial - in February 2016, he lost by a split decision to Chris Gutierrez. However, in October he took a convincing revenge from him. Since then, he went into the cage five more times and each time took over.
Timur is strong both in striking technique and in wrestling. He is the world champion in pankration, the triumphant of the Dagestan championship in kudo, and he is honing his skills in the company of such famous athletes as Frankie Edgar and Zabit Magomedsharipov. In this regard, yesterday's debutant Emmers does not seem to be an impassable opponent for Valiev. Especially considering that he approaches this fight, having a passive defeat from Gigi Chikadze. It is noteworthy that initially the American was supposed to fight with Movsar Yevloyev, but he had an accident and was forced to withdraw from the show in March.
UFC Fight Night Lewis vs Oleinik
Date and venue: August 8, Las Vegas, USA
Alexey Oleinik - Derrick Lewis, Omari Akhmedov - Chris Weidman, Yana Kunitskaya - Ketlin Viera
A week later, domestic fans will have three fights with the participation of Russian athletes. In this case, the most anticipated of them will be the battle between Alexei Oleinik and Derrick Lewis, which will lead the UFC Vegas 6 tournament. At the moment, the Russian is ranked 10th in the heavyweight ranking, and the American is fourth. Success would not only become the 60th for Udav in his career, but also help him return to the top ten of the strongest representatives of the division.
True, it will be very difficult for him to gain the upper hand in the upcoming battle. Yes, victories over Maurice Green and Fabricio Werdum helped him partially rehabilitate for past failures. But even they hardly give reason to consider him a favorite in the battle with Lewis. He is noticeably superior to him in the stance and is a danger throughout the distance. Thus, Aleksey's hopes are connected exclusively with the stalls. In this regard, the fact that the American defends himself rather badly from the passes to his legs (53%) may help him.
It is worth noting that Lewis had previously lost by submission. In 2018, Daniel Cormier only took two rounds to strangle his opponent and defend the championship title. In general, on the ground, Derrick has never been famous for his ability to defend himself or his ability to stand up, so a successful takedown may well become the key to Oleinik's success.
No less intriguing is the battle between Akhmedov and Weidman. For the Russian fighter, the meeting with the former UFC middleweight champion promises to be one of the most serious tests in his career, and the triumph can include him among potential contenders for the belt. In this case, Omari will win four battles in a row - only Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa and Edmen Shahbazyan have more.
According to the bookmakers, both athletes have almost equal chances of success. But in fact, Akhmedov can be considered a favorite. This is due to the fact that there is practically no trace of the former formidable Weidmann. His victories over Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort are a thing of the past, and he has lost five times in his last six duels. Moreover, he lost exclusively ahead of schedule, which certainly did not have a positive effect on his psychology. The picture was finally spoiled by numerous injuries.
Yes, the recent fights with Weidman clearly indicate that he has not had a strong jaw for a long time, but Akhmedov has never been famous for a heavy blow. In the fight, their chances are approximately equal, so it is quite difficult to predict the outcome of the fight unambiguously. Nevertheless, the confrontation between a combat sambo specialist and a member of the All-American NCAA wrestling team promises to be extremely intriguing.
In the preliminary card, Yana Kunitskaya will try to rehabilitate herself for an offensive defeat by Aspen Ladd. At the same time, it will be quite difficult to do this, because Kathleen Viera will become her opponent. Until recently, the Brazilian was ranked second in the bantamweight ranking and was considered a future opponent of Amanda Nunez, but the loss to Irene Aldane threw Viera to 7th position.
Undoubtedly, it will be very difficult for Kunitskaya. Viera is very strong in wrestling, which is confirmed by the black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Nevertheless, in the stand, everything is not so rosy, which was perfectly shown by her meeting with Aldana. Kathleen does not always feel the distance and often “falls through” in exchanges, which Jan can use.
UFC 252 Miocic vs Cormier 3
Date and place: August 15, Las Vegas, USA
Magomed Ankalaev - Ion Kutselaba
Unsurprisingly, the return match between the Russian and Moldovan athletes was the third most important at the biggest UFC show in August. In February, the confrontation between Ankalaev and Kutselaba became one of the most discussed in the world of MMA, which was facilitated by referee Kevin MacDonald. The judge considered that Ion was in a standing knockout and stopped the fight at the 38th second. And this despite the fact that the athlete continued not only to defend himself, but also to regularly respond to the opponent's attacks.
The referee's verdict caused discontent among both fighters and fans, as a result of which the UFC leadership had to approve a revenge. Initially, it was supposed to take place on the undercard of the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, but he was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The victory in the first fight hardly seriously raised Ankalaev's quotes, but it should be recalled that even before her he was considered the favorite in the duel with Kutselaba. Anthropometric data and outstanding striking technique speak for him. Magomed works perfectly not only with his hands, but also with his legs, which he demonstrated both in the fight with Ion and with Dalcha Lungiambula. At the Fight Night tournament in Moscow, the Russian effectively knocked out the Congolese with a front kick, which reminded of Anderson Silva's legendary punch in the jaw of Vitor Belfort.
UFC Fight Night Munhoz vs Edgar
Date and place: August 22, Las Vegas, USA
Shamil Gamzatov - Owins Saint-Prue
Another triumphant of the Moscow tournament will face a serious test. In November, Shamil Gamzatov successfully debuted in the largest MMA promotion in the world and turned out to be stronger than the strong Klidson Abreu. The meeting with Ovins Saint-Prue will be a real test of his strength and will show whether he deserves to be among the 15 strongest light heavyweights on the planet.
From 2014 to 2017, Saint-Preu was one of the strongest representatives of his division. Confirmation of this is the fight with John Jones for the interim UFC title, as well as victories over ex-champion Mauricio Rua, Corey Anderson and Nikita Krylov. True, in recent years, Ovins has increasingly yielded, which even made him try his hand at the heavy category. True, the experiment was unsuccessful, which forced him to descend lower again.
In the upcoming fight, Gamzatov must beware of stalls performed by Saint-Prue. He won four of the last five victories by submission, and three times by Von Flu's trademark choke. True, this time it will not be easy for him to pull off such a trick. Shamil is not in vain the world champion in grappling, as well as a three-time triumph of the jiu-jitsu competition in Abu Dhabi. As for the stance, Ovins is no longer so good in this aspect and risks not keeping up with a younger and sharper opponent. The 37-year-old American is seven years older than the Russian, which cannot but play a role.
UFC Fight Night Magomedsharipov vs Rodriguez
Date and place: August 29, Las Vegas, USA
Zabit Magomedsharipov - Yair Rodriguez
Saparbeg Safarov - Julian Marquez
The main event of the last UFC tournament in August could be a duel between two featherweight stars. At the moment, the promotion has not officially confirmed the fact of a fight between Magomedsharipov and Rodriguez, but the Russian himself has already reported this on Instagram. Zabit posted a photo showing both athletes, as well as the date of the fight.
For Magomedsharipov, the battle with Rodriguez is of paramount importance. In case of a bright victory, he may well become the first contender for the title, which belongs to Alexander Volkanovski. The Australian himself admitted that if Zabit effectively gets the better of Yair, the fans will demand that he be given a chance to fight for the belt. Surely the Russian himself understands this, who needs to show his maximum in Las Vegas.
It is worth noting that the battle will take place in a five-round format, which will be an ideal test of strength for Magomedsharipov. Previously, he spent a maximum of 15 minutes in a cage, but regularly experienced problems with endurance. Perhaps it was because of this that he did not get the right to meet the champion earlier. Rodriguez, on the other hand, knows firsthand what "championship rounds" are and may well have an advantage in the ending. He is hardy and remains dangerous until the last seconds. He demonstrated this perfectly in a fight with Cheng Song Jung, who was knocked out a second before the end of the final segment.
Also in this tournament Saparbeg Safarov will try to correct his unenviable position. In the last four fights, he lost three times, and another defeat could turn into a dismissal. This time in the opposite corner will be Julian Marquez, who will have his first fight in two years. In July 2018, he lost to Alessio Di Chirico by split decision, but the really bad news came after the show. The athlete was diagnosed with a rupture of the latissimus dorsi muscle, as a result of which he had to undergo two operations and undergo a long rehabilitation procedure.
Marquez prefers to fight in a standing position, which can be of help for Safarov. In confrontations with Tyson Pedro and Rodolfo Viera, he looked pretty good on his feet, but on the ground he practically could not compete with them. As a result, two surrenders in a row. However, you shouldn't underestimate Julian. He is a pronounced puncher and may well be marked by another early success.