(Mousasi vs. Souza 1, Dream 6 Middleweight Grand Prix Finals, 2008)
Fresh off an absolute tooling of Mark Munoz in their headlining bout at Fight Night 41, it has been announced that Gegard Mousasi will once again face fellow top contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. The matchup will serve as the co-main event of UFC 176: Aldo vs. Mendes II on August 2nd, which should come as a sigh of relief to Los Angeles-based MMA fans who had purchased tickets to the event only to find that Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler had previously held that distinction.
Souza, on the other hand, recently picked up his third straight UFC win (and sixth in a row overall) over Francis Carmont at Fight Night 36. We highly doubt he’ll be lacking motivation heading into his rematch with Mousasi, who ended his night with an upkick KO when they previously met in the Dream middleweight finals back in 2008. Ah, Dream, how we have forgotten you so.
But Mousasi vs. Souza II isn’t the only big fight to be booked today, not by a long shot…
According to BloodyElbow, Fight Night 42 victors Ben Henderson and Rafael Dos Anjos have also agreed to meet in the main event of Fight Night Tulsa, which will be transpiring on August 23rd, a.k.a the same day as Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le in Macau. Way to optimize viewership, UFC!
As I mentioned, both Henderson and Dos Anjos picked up stoppage wins at Fight Night 42, the former by 4th round submission over Rustam Khabilov and the latter by second round TKO of the now-fired Jason High. The fight will serve as both Dos Anjos’ first main event and first five round contest, which is quite an accomplishment for a guy best known as the victim of Jeremy Stephens’ uppercut from Hell for a large part of his UFC career.
Another pivotal lightweight matchup announced earlier today is that of Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa. Things have been up-and-down for Lauzon both professionally and personally as of late; the TUF 5 alum bounced back from the first two fight skid of his career to trounce Mac Danzig at UFC on FOX 9 and recently saw his newborn son diagnosed with cancer only to kick its ass at just two months of age. Take *that* cancer, ya dick!
I guess I should mention that Chiesa has scored back-to-back wins over Colton Smith and Francisco Trinaldo at Fight for the Troops 3 and UFC 173, respectively. So there’s that.
Finally, a light heavyweight contest between Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux as the main event of a Fight Night event in Bangor, Maine on August 16th. The announcement was made by Bader himself on Twitter just moments ago. Similar to the Henderson/Dos Anjos booking, both Bader and OSP picked up decisive victories at UFC 174 last weekend over Rafael Cavalcante and Ryan Jimmo, respectively, and all but agreed to fight one another when some media mark tried to play matchmaker in the evening’s post-fight press conference. Hooray for that guy!
My prediction: OethhP by Submithhion. (I’m sorry, that was a low blow.)