With the UFC going head-to-head with Bellator this Saturday, there are a number of key fights happening for both promotions next month. Here’s a look at some of the best fights you won’t want to miss.
Jose Aldo vs. Pedro Munhoz – UFC 264: August 7
— MiddleEasy (@MiddleEasy) May 21, 2021
Former featherweight champion Aldo (29-7) looks to build off his impressive win over Chito Vera in December by taking on fellow Brazilian Munhoz (19-5) on the main card. Aldo has lost three of his last four fights, but all of those losses have come against current title holders or title challengers in the process. Munhoz meanwhile is coming off an impressive win over Jimmie Rivera at UFC Fight Night in February, which snapped his two-fight losing streak. Aside from the fact this will likely be a fan-friendly striking battle, the implications of this matchup are pivotal, as the pair look to inch closer to a 135-pound title shot.
Vincente Luque vs. Michael Chiesa – UFC 264: August 7
#5 Vincente Luque vs #6 Michael Chiesa booked for #UFC265 in August.
The winner of this fight will no doubt be fighting for a title shot in their next fight. pic.twitter.com/P1BHLEqzXM
— Branded MMA (@BrandedMMA) June 16, 2021
Luque looks to push his winning streak to four-straight when he squares off against Chiesa, who has yet to lose since moving up to 170-pounds in 2018. Luque (17-4) is coming off an impressive first-round submission win over former champion Tyron Woodley, which was his third stoppage victory in a row. Chiesa (17-4) picked up an impressive decision victory over Neil Magny back at UFC Fight Night in January, and has won his last four fights. With Kamaru Usman likely defending his welterweight title against Colby Covington at UFC 268 later this year, the winner of this fight won’t be far behind.
Gegard Mousasi vs. John Salter – Bellator 264: August 13
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 25, 2021
Mousasi makes the first defense of his middleweight title since winning back the belt last October, as he battles John Salter in the main event of Bellator 264. Mousasi (47-7-2) defeated welterweight champion Douglas Lima for the vacant title at Bellator 250 and has now won nine of his last 10-fights. Salter (18-4) might be one of the most underrated middleweights on the planet and carries a three-fight win streak into this title fight – including a win over Mousasi’s teammate Costello van Steenis.
Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum – UFC Fight Night: August 21
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 5, 2021
A pair of fighters coming off losses to Robert Whittaker duke it out in the UFC Vegas 34 main event, as Jared Cannonier faces Kelvin Gastelum. Cannonier (13-5) has gone 3-1 since dropping down to the middleweight division in 2018 and has won all of his fights by stoppage. Gastelum (17-7) steps in for Paulo Costa, and is in desperate need of a victory having lost four of his last five fights. With middleweight champion Israel Adesanya likely fighting Robert Whittaker next, the winner of this fight won’t be that far behind for a potential title shot.
Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze – UFC Fight Night: August 28
Fun one here … Edson Barboza (@EdsonBarbozaJR) vs. Giga Chikadze (@giga_chikadze) will headline UFC Fight Night on Aug. 28, per sources. Glad to see these two get some main event shine. Well deserved. Not to mention, a banger of a fight. https://t.co/a2x8kgziUF
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 6, 2021
A fantastic veteran versus prospect matchup headlines UFC Vegas 35, as Barboza faces Chikadze. Barboza (22-9) is coming off an impressive TKO victory over Shane Burgos at UFC 262, which gave him back-to-back wins for the first time since March 2017. The 35-year-old has gone 2-1 since dropping down to the featherweight division last year. Chikadze (13-2) is coming off the biggest win of his career after dispatching Cub Swanson in over a minute at UFC Fight Night in May. The 32-year-old is currently riding an eight fight win streak.