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This was originally going to be a part of the updated MMA rankings, also on armchairgm, but with so many great fights in the next month it warranted its own segment. Here are the 10 best match ups, with a couple of honorable mentions, that are on tap for the month of September. Highlighted of course, by UFC 88, many of the world's best fighters get in the cage and or ring. In the stoic words of Big John McCarthy, "Let's get it on."
1. Ronaldo Souza vs. Zelg Galesic; Melvin Manhoef vs. Gegard Mousasi; winner vs. winner at Dream 6 on 9-23-08
3 for the price of 1, you get the Dream middleweight Grand Prix, semi-finals and finals. Four relatively unknown fighters square off in Dream 6. I like the winner of Manhoef and Mousasi to take the whole thing, but should be 3 great fights.
2. Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans at UFC 88 on 9-6-08
Wanted to see the Iceman vs. Shogun, but we’ll take it vs. Sugar Rashad. Big fight for both guys, with title aspirations. Remember Evans still has a grand total of 0 losses in his MMA career.
3. Rich Franklin vs. Matt Hamill at UFC 88 on 9-6-08
Hamill’s only loss was a result of one of the worst decisions I have ever seen. (In fact only Ricco Rodriguez losing to Big Nog at Pride Total Elimination 2003 was worse in my eyes.) He’s a great wrestler is Hamill, but 3 of his 4 wins have come via (T)KO. Franklin moves back up to an already stacked light heavyweight division. This fight should go a long way for the future of both men.
4. Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen at WEC 36 on 9-10-08
The rematch after Sonnen “tapped out.” Filho has been in rehab, we’ll see if this fight even happens. We here at the Sports Brief are not as high on Filho as many other MMA sites, so let’s find out who’s right on the 10 th.
5. Dan Henderon vs. Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88 on 9-6-08
Palhares makes his 2 nd UFC fight following a win over the recently retired Ivan Salaverry, but this will be his toughest competition. Henderson on the other hand is coming off of back-to-back losses. Of course those fights were against Anderson Silva and Quinton Jackson, look for Hollywood to come back strong.
6. Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown at WEC 36 on 9-10-08
One of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. And on free TV! A must watch for all MMA fans every time Faber is inside the cage.
7. Nick Diaz vs. Hayato Sakurai at Dream 6 on 9-23-08
Nick Diaz has been rumored to be in a number of fights including this one against the legend Hayato “Mach” Sakurai for the Dream Welterweight Belt. I hope this one happens, we’ll have to wait and see.
8. Nate Marquardt vs. Martin Kampmann at UFC 88 on 9-6-08
Marquartdt recently suffered a bad loss to Thales Leites, he needs this win to get back on track. He was the heavy favorite over Leites and will be again over Kampmann.
9. Karo Parisyan vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88 on 9-6-08
The 5 th fight from the upcoming UFC 88, Karo vs. Yoshida is a solid welterweight match up. Parisyan is a tough guy to figure out, and could find himself outside the Top 10 for the first time in awhile with a shaky performance.
10. Kazuo Misaki vs. Joe Riggs at Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion on 9-19-08
Misaki is another great middleweight outside of the UFC. He holds career victories over Dan Henderon and Denis Kang. The problem is at 185 and now in Dream or the UFC, who’s he going to fight? He’s coming off a pair of wins in Sengoku, so its hard to truly rank him with the very best. Joe “Diesel” Riggs wants to move back to the UFC and a win over Misaki would certainly make him appealing.
Alistair Overeem vs. Mirko Cro Cop was originally scheduled for that stacked Dream 6 card, but Cro Cop was pulled. They can’t make many great heavyweight match ups outside of Affliction and the UFC, this is one of them. Let’s hope it happens.
Jens Pulver vs. Leonard Garcia at WEC 36 on 9-10-08
Should be an exciting match up on the same card as Filho vs. Sonnen II. Pulver looks great at 145 and gave Faber a hell of a fight. Big measuring stick fight for Garica. Does he belong with the best in the WEC? We’ll see. I hope Pulver runs through Garcia and another guy before getting a shot at Faber once again.
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