May 4, 2017

Combat Sports Are Heating Up As the Summer Approaches

By Raphael Garcia

Summertime is almost upon us, and while many sports fans lament the end of the NBA and NHL seasons as mainstream sports slow down until the fall, this is when the combat sport ramps up the action. UFC 211 and Bellator 179 are taking place in the coming weeks, and in the weeks and months ahead, there are a multitude of events scheduled. There’s more than enough action to keep fans of the various martial arts excited.

Boxing’s most anticipated matchup in the coming months is scheduled for Saturday night, as Canelo Alvarez steps into the ring to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the WBO light middleweight title. Many consider Alvarez to be the biggest star in the sport not named Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. While he hasn’t been able to translate those expectations into pay-per-view buys, Canelo’s fights do not disappoint on excitement.

In Chavez, Alvarez is facing an experienced opponent who knows what it’s like to have championship gold placed around his waist. As soon as Chavez staged a successful comeback against Dominik Britsch in December of last year, he called out both Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in an attempt to set up one of the biggest fights remaining on the boxing scene today. Cinco de Mayo weekend always features a showcase boxing match, and this year the Alvarez vs. Chavez Jr. fight should not disappoint.

For those who enjoy the grappling arts more than those with fisticuffs, IBJJF is putting on the next edition of the World Championships in a few short weeks. Set for May 31st through June 4th, this event brings together some of the best athletes in the sport as they try to win world titles. While competitions are held across all belt levels, it’s the black belts that get the most attention. This year, Leandro Lo looks to cement himself as one of the best competitors to ever step on the mat, but he’s going to have to fight his way through a bracket that’s as deep as ever.

June is also the month that the best wrestlers in the United States come together to compete against one another for the opportunity to represent the United States at the World Championships later this year. Wrestling may be seen as a winter sport, but the summer months do not disappoint for some of the biggest matches for fans and athletes alike.

The realm of combat sports is much larger than mixed martial arts. The warmest months of the year consist of some of the best matches in boxing, wrestling, and grappling. Those who enjoy the bouts in the cage should take the time to immerse themselves in some of the best showcases for sports that comprise the full breadth of MMA.

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