Written by: Darnell Myrick
The fall is shaping up to be a great season for fights.
The season will start with UFC Fight Night on September 17 in New Orleans. The UFC Fight Night card is headlined by former welterweight championship contender, Jake Shields facing surging welterweight prospect, Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger. Shields will be looking to rebound after his loss at UFC 129 to Welterweight Champion, George St. Pierre. Before that loss, he won 15 consecutive fights. Victories include Dan Henderson, Paul Daley, Martin Kampmann, Yushin Okami, and Carlos Condit. Ellenberger has won 4 consecutive after losing to Carlos Condit in his UFC debut. He is looking to make a statement by defeating Shields in September. Also, Alan Belcher will be making his return to the Octagon as he will face Jason McDonald. Finally, Ultimate Fighter winner, Court McGee will face Dong Yi Yang.
A week later, UFC 135 takes place in Denver, Colorado. This card will see the first title defense of the fall as Jon “Bones” Jones will defend the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against former Light Heavyweight Champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Rampage is looking forward to this fight and he vows that he will win the Light Heavyweight Championship as he stated on Twitter “I just signed the bout agreement today 4 the fight on 9/24/11 I WANT MY BELT BACK!!” Jones will likely be facing his strongest opponent to date in his MMA career. This will also be his first championship defense. The co-main event for this card will be former UFC Welterweight Champion, Matt Hughes taking on Ultimate Fighter winner, Diego “The Dream” Sanchez. Hughes is looking to bounce back after his 21-second KO loss to BJ Penn at UFC 123. Sanchez has been reborn since switching to Greg Jackson’s camp as he has won 2 straight fights.
UFC 136 will likely be the most talent heavy card of the fall. UFC 136 will take place in Houston, Texas on October 8. This card will feature 2 championship fights. The UFC Lightweight Championship will be defended as Frankie “The Answer” Edgar will defend against Gray “The Bully” Maynard. This will be the 3rd meeting between the two fighters, second for the lightweight championship. In their first meeting in 2007, Maynard out-muscled and out-wrestled to a decision victory. In their second meeting on New Year’s Day of 2011, the two fighters fought to a controversial, but entertaining draw. They were initially set to fight Memorial Day weekend, but both fighters had to pull out due to injury. Also, the UFC Featherweight Championship will be defended as Jose Aldo will face Kenny Florian. Other fights on this card will be Chael Sonnen making his long-awaited return to the octagon as he will face middleweight contender, Brian Stann. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Demian Maia, will face Jorge Santiago. Melvin Guillard will get his wish to fight at UFC 136 against Joe Lauzon.
UFC 137 will take place 3 weeks later and the main event will be UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre taking on former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion, Nick Diaz. Diaz was on his way to pursuing a boxing career before this fight was proposed to him. He also had to vacate his Strikeforce Championship in order for this fight to be made. Diaz will likely be the most aggressive fighter to be put in front of GSP. He has won 10 fights in a row. Notable victories include KJ Noons, Paul Daley, Frank Shamrock, and Cyborg Santos. GSP on the other hand has won 9 fights in a row with victories over Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Jon Jitch, Matt Serra, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, and Dan Hardy. Also, BJ Penn will be facing Carlos Condit in a fight that will likely decide the next welterweight contender. Cheick Kongo will face off against Matt Mitrione in a heavyweight slugfest. Mirko Cro Cop will also face Roy Nelson. Finally, Hatsu Hioki will make his UFC debut against George Roop.
Finally at UFC 138 in November, Cain Velasquez is expected to make his first Heavyweight Championship defense against Junior Dos Santos. Cain Velasquez has not fought since last October when he defeated Brock Lesnar for the Heavyweight Championship. He has been out since last October due to a rotator cuff injury. Dos Santos has been undefeated since debuting in the UFC by defeating Fabricio Werdum, Gilbert Yvel, Roy Nelson, and most notably, Shane Carwin.
The fall should be a fantastic season for fights and a great season to be a fight fan.