As a fight fan, I love hearing new fight announcements. There really is nothing I love more as a fight fan than hearing the news of what’s next in the UFC. The thing I hate the most is when these fights fall through. Which happens quite often, but that’s the nature of the sport. But, that being said, the UFC has two big cards coming up with UFC 199 June 4th and UFC 200 on July 9th.

In addition to these two cards, the promotion is really ready to go for 2016 in general with 201,202, and 203 all having fight rumblings. But besides the next two card’s, I am PUMPED for what is set to take place AFTER UFC 200, just as much as UFC 200 itself. Below are the five fights I have yet to highlight that as a fight fan and MMA writer, I can’t wait to cover.

Lawler vs Woodley July 30th UFC 201

Robbie Lawler is not only the UFC Welterweight Champion, but he has a nickname more fitting than any fighter on the roster…Ruthless. He does not stop no matter what the score might be on all three judges scorecards. In his 2nd fight with Rory MacDonald, the fight was an all out war. As the fight wore on it looked like nothing could stop Rory as Lawler threw everything but the kitchen sink. But, one last straight right hand ended up being enough and with a split lip Lawler walked out of the octagon a defending champion. The post-fight hospital photo was something straight out of Rocky II. So what happens when you put a ruthless man vs a natural born killer…Fireworks. A fight that did not disappoint in anyway, and lived up to the hype.LawlerWoodley_BoutAnn_1200x1200

With Condit showing he still should be considered a Top 3 Welterweight and Lawler showing the Eye of the Tiger in the 5th and final round to win a razor thin
split decision. Regardless, Robbie Lawler has been a great champion for the UFC. Fighting toe-to-toe, bell-to-bell, a contrast to the dominate transitional fighting style of the weight classes champion before him, Georges St.Pierre. Let’s put this in perspective. Georges St.Pierre (who I consider the best UFC fighter of all-time) had trouble with Johnny Hendricks. Fast forward to Hendricks vs Lawler for the vacant welterweight title, that fight could have gone either way. In the rematch, Lawler put an emphatic stamp on it and claimed the title that most thought was his to begin with (I did).

Now, entering his 2nd fight in 2016, Lawler faces a dangerous opponent for a variety of reason’s in Tyron Woodley. Woodley is physically powerful with his hand’s and physically powerful with his wrestling. Although Lawler was able to get up or avoid takedowns from Hendricks in both fight’s, Woodley is a different animal. I won’t give my prediction just yet for this, or for any other this is a preview piece. One thing I do know for sure, this Welterweight Title Fight will be a BARNBURNER.

Holm vs Shevchenko UFC ON FOX July 30th


The return of Holly Holm, the former women’s bantamweight champion, and the girl that shocked the world (but not me). Takes on a game Valentina Shevchenko. Much like Holm, the russian is an amazing striker and one of the more decorated in the Women’s division. Most people hate on Holly Holm for taking the Tate fight, but not me.

Holly wasn’t willing to wait for Ronda Rousey to come out of her near nervous breakdown, if that was the case she might have to wait 20 years until her next fight. As the champion, Holly had every right to choose when and who she fought. She wanted to stay active and test herself as a competitor. It turned out she was right in testing herself, by the sheer fact that losing to Miesha Tate just on her inability to defend two takedown’s (one in the 2nd that almost finished the fight and one in the 5th that did finish the fight) Holly has some work to do and this is the perfect fight to rebound from. But, she can’t underestimate Shevchenko who could really knock anybody out. This is a big fight.


Anthony Rumble Johnson vs Glover Texiera


Yes, this fight is happening. In fact, right before Holm vs Shevchenko. Just goes to show you the Women’s Division is for real. Getting a main event slot over two of the biggest names in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. One of these guy’s will get KTFO, and if these guy’s fought 10 times, it could go 5 knockout’s to Rumble 5 knockouts to Glover. Two powerful freak heads are going to ROLL.

Cain Velasquez vs Travis Browne

(UFC 200 July 9th T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada)


Browne has the size and length which could help him, but this fight really depends on which Cain Velasquez show’s up. I hope he shows up looking like the guy that dominated Junior Dos Santos in the 2nd and 3rd fight, rather than the one that lost his title to Fabricio Werdum. Who knows why Velasquez looked that bad. Altitude or injury, who really knows, but we can only judge what we see and Cain did not look good.

But has Travis Browne? NO. Browne is coming off one of the most stagnant heavyweight fights in UFC history vs Matt Mitrione. Browne poked Mitrione probably with every finger on his left and right hand by the end of the fight. How he “won” that fight, I don’t understand and never will. Although this is a fight between two guys that for a good stretch of time were extremely dangerous and no longer look to be the same. I am hoping that I’m wrong, and that this fight will end up being great. I think it will.

Last but not least…

Stipe Miocic vs Allistair Overeem

(UFC 203)


And now the NEW UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD… STIPE MIOCIC. Those were the same words that Bruce Buffer screamed in the aftermath of UFC 198. A stunning knockout by a guy that couldn’t be more deserving to win the belt. He climbed the ladder the right way and had fought back-to-back-to-back the best of the best with his only blemish being vs Junior Dos Santos. A close fight that went to Dos Santos. Other than that, Miocic has shown greatness. Raw power, athleticism, and quickness for a man his size. Miocic is hopefully the UFC Heavyweight Champion the company has praying for, for quite some time.

But, Allistair Overeem has something to say about that. The Reem is coming off his 4th straight win vs Andrei Arlovski and he is as deserving of a title shot as anybody. He poses threats to Stipe based on experience, but then again that could be a weakness with the wear and tear on his body, and the fact that when Overeem loses, he usually loses by knockout. We are talking about a man that is facing the new heavyweight champ, that took out the last heavyweight champ in ONE PUNCH. Miocic vs Overeem is as good a matchup as any one. A matchup I think we could see two or three times.

The Summer Of 2016 for the UFC will be huge, with alot to wonder. Will Conor fight Nate Diaz? When will Ronda come out of her nervous breakdown? And a question that is definitely on my mind, when will the UFC come to BUFFALO??? One thing I know for sure, I won’t miss it!


| Ryan Thomas covers MMA for | ThomasAnalysisBoxingCombat SportsEntertainmentMMANews and UpdatesRecent PostsAllistair Overeem,Andrei Arlovski,Anthony Rumble Johnson,Cain Velasquez,Fabricio Werdum,Georges St.Pierre,Glover Texiera,Holly Holm,Johnny Hendricks,Junior dos Santos,Matt Mitrione,miesha tate,MMA,Robbie Lawler,Rory MacDonald,Stipe Miocic,Travis Browne,Tyron Woodley,UFC,UFC 199,UFC 200,Valentina ShevchenkoAs a fight fan, I love hearing new fight announcements. There really is nothing I love more as a fight fan than hearing the news of what's next in the UFC. The thing I hate the most is when these fights fall through. Which happens quite often, but that's...