September 1, 2018

Fights To Watch Out For In September

By Adam Martin

August has come and gone, and while there were a few quality fights this month, it's nothing like what MMA fans have in store for next month. Indeed, there are a number of really good fights booked to take place in September 2018 that should gets fans excited and media ready to report on. Below, I've listed my top five favorite fights to watch for this month, one from each of the major cards this month in the UFC and Bellator.

Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till, UFC 228

Arguably the crown jewel bout of the month is the main event of UFC 228, featuring the UFC Welterweight Champion Woodley putting his belt on the line against the rising star in Till. Woodley hasn't fought since a decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 214 in July 2017, while Till is coming off of a controversial decision win over Stephen Thompson. It's hard to say how this fight is going to play out in the cage given these are two of the best welterweights in the world, but it's essentially a wrestler vs. striker fight, and that's always interesting to watch. What's even more interesting is what happens on weigh-in day, and the question of whether Till can even make weight for the fight. However, if he can make weight and the fight goes on as planned, fans could be in store for an amazing welterweight title fight.

UFC 228
Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till (UFC Welterweight Championship)


Mark Hunt vs. Aleksei Oleinik, UFC Fight Night 136

Heavyweights Hunt and Oleinik will tangle at UFC Fight Night 136 in a clash of styles, as Hunt is a pure striker and Oleinik is a pure grappler. Hunt showed last year against Derrick Lewis that he can knock out anyone, but also showed his poor takedown defense against Curtis Blaydes his last time out. Oliynyk, meanwhile, just picked up his second Ezekiel Choke win in the UFC in his last fight. Either Hunt gets the KO or Oliynyk gets the submission, but an exciting stoppage is very likely either way.



Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos, UFC Fight Night 137


Former middleweight contender Santos will make his light heavyweight debut when he takes on Manuwa in the main event of UFC Fight Night 137 in Brazil. Santos had a lot of success at 185 lbs in the UFC, but with such a deep middleweight division, he was pretty far from the title, so he decided to stop cutting weight and move up to 205. He has home-field advantage for this fight, and that should come in handy against a heavy-handed beast like Manuwa, as he'll need every edge he can get in this fight. Considering the huge power and flawed chins of both men, you should expect a KO finish here.



Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. John Salter, Bellator 205

A fight that's flying under the radar takes place at Bellator 205, when Lovato Jr. takes on Salter in a potential #1 contender fight in the Bellator middleweight division. Lovato Jr. is a perfect 8-0 as a pro, and his last win showed how elite his BJJ is when he tapped out Gerald Harris in a minute. Salter has won seven straight fights himself, including five straight in Bellator, and the winner of this bout is likely in line to fight the winner of the next bout listed.



Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald, Bellator 206

Maybe the most intriguing matchup the entire month takes place at Bellator 206, when Bellator's middleweight champ Mousasi meets Bellator's welterweight champ MacDonald in a bona fide superfight. Mousasi is on a seven-fight win streak and defeated Rafael Carvalho via TKO to take the title in his last bout. MacDonald, meanwhile, won the welterweight title from Douglas Lima in his last fight, and overall, he has looked great in Bellator. This should be a really interesting matchup considering how technical both fighters are, and it could end up being the best fight of the entire month.



As the summer transitions into fall, there will definitely be other bouts worth keeping an eye on, as the sport's best and brightest will do what they can to make an impression on fans and promoters before the year wraps up. But with the MMA calendar filled to the brim, these are by far the high points -- the bouts that you need to make time for, and the ones that certainly deserve your undivided attention.





UFC 228: Woodley vs. Till takes place September 8, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.


Click HERE for more UFC 228 Post-Fight Analysis





UFC Fight Night 136: Hunt vs. Oleinik takes place September 15, 2018 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia.


Click HERE for more UFC Fight Night 136 Post-Fight Analysis





Bellator 205: Curran vs. McKee takes place September 21, 2018 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.


Click HERE for more Bellator 205 Post-Fight Analysis





UFC Fight Night 137: Santos vs. Anders (formerly UFC Fight Night 137: Manuwa vs. Santos, UFC Fight Night 137: Teixeira vs. Manuwa) takes place September 22, 2018 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Click HERE for more UFC Fight Night 137 Post-Fight Analysis





Bellator 206: Mousasi vs. MacDonald takes place September 29, 2018 at SAP Center in San Jose, California.


Click HERE for more Bellator 206 Post-Fight Analysis


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