The last two months have been packed with UFC action as the promotion put on seven events. As the calendar flips from July to August and the days of summer have begun the countdown into fall you can’t help but reflect on the UFC fights that took place over the last two months.
Many top fighters found themselves on the wrong end of a fight over the last two months that have put them at a sort of MMA crossroads. Where they go from here and the direction they and the UFC choose will determine whether or not they can climb back up that ladder or not.
Below you’ll find three fights involving six fighters that stepped into the Octagon over the past two months. Four of them are coming off defeats that were either for a title or had title fight implications. The other two are coming off wins and are looking to make another run at the title. These matchups are main card type bouts that would propel the winner right back into contention but on the flip side would be devastating for the loser.
185 lbs.: Chael Sonnen vs. Rich Franklin
Chael Sonnen lost for the second time to Anderson Silva at UFC 148 and now finds himself in middleweight purgatory. A place that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin’s is familiar with after he lost twice to Silva. Franklin moved up in weight to escape and talk has been that Sonnen might do the same, but now Franklin is moving back down and wants another run at the 185 pound title. Sonnen has talked about Franklin dodging him by moving up in weight and with them both at middleweight it’s time to match them up. A win by Franklin puts him on the fast track towards the top, while Sonnen would get a fight he wants and one that could rejuvenate him with a win.
185 lbs.: Hector Lombard vs. Mark Munoz
Even before Hector Lombard made his UFC debut at UFC 149 he was calling out Mark Munoz who had recently been knocked out by Chris Weidman. Lombard took on Tim Boetsch in the UFC 149 co-main event and looked timid and not his usual full speed ahead self. Boestsch earned the split decision to snap the long winning streak of Lombard and re-introducing questions of just how good the former Bellator middleweight champion is. These two fighters are still near the top of the division and Lombard strangely wants the fight, so why not make it and see what happens.
145 lbs.: Chad Mendes vs. Hatsu Hioki
In a perfect example of why you never turn down a title fight, Hatsu Hioki lost the tune up bout he requested against Ricardo Lamas instead of facing Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title. Chad Mendes bounced back from his title fight defeat against Aldo by making short work of Cody Mckenzie at UFC 148. Both are still in the top five of many featherweight rankings so why not match these two up and see which one stays there.
As the cards begin to fill up between now and the end of the year, the addition of one of these three fights on any UFC main card would look good.