July Fireworks: A Look Back at the UFC’s Summer Spectacles

July Fireworks: A Look Back at the UFC’s Summer Spectacles

This weekend the UFC will put on its eighth straight show attached to July 4th Weekend in the form of UFC 162, a card highlighted by middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s attempt to remain unbeaten in the Octagon when he faces undefeated contender Chris Weidman. The star-studded lineup also features a number of other noteworthy fights including Cub Swanson-Dennis Siver, Mark Munoz-Tim Boetsch, Tim Kennedy-Roger Gracie, and Frankie Edgar-Charles Oliveira.

While Saturday night’s event has been dissected like a fat frog by an overzealous seventh grade biology student, this article will take a look back a handful of past pairings worth taking another peek at that also came alongside beer, BBQ, and Black Cats.

UFC 61: Bitter Rivals (July 8, 2006)

Yves Edwards vs. Joe Stevenson: One of the bloodiest bouts in UFC history

Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock II: Ended in a fashion many felt was premature, leading to a third fight between the two being offered up on free television

UFC 73: Stacked (July 7, 2007)

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring: Nearly a huge upset until some questionable strategy from Herring gave “Minotauro” an opportunity to mount one of his many comebacks

Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca: Notable for the wrong reasons, this title-fight resulted in both men testing positive for PEDs

Anderson Silva vs. Nate Marquardt: Before Weidman had turned pro, Silva was already defending his title on July 4th Weekend and doing a damn good job of it too

UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin (July 5, 2008)

Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin: A weak overall card was highlighted by a fun fight featuring Griffin barely doing enough to beat “Rampage” and become light heavyweight champ

UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir II  (July 11, 2009)

Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping: The heat from their rivalry as coaches on TUF ended up exploding in Bisping’s face, literally, by way of a knockout shot still shown on countless highlight reels today

Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir II: Another bout involving personal beef, Lesnar decimated Mir and went overboard with his celebration by yelling at his downed opponent before flipping off the crowd and insulting a UFC sponsor in his victory speech

UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin (July 3, 2010)

Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama: Hands down one of the best fights of the year, Leben and Akiyama went to war with “The Crippler” wowing the crowd by bout’s end

Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin: Lesnar was on the brink of defeat in the opening round but toughed it out and scored a beautiful submission in the second stanza, solidifying his status as a legit fighter rather than a flash in the pan

UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber II (July 2, 2011)

Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader: Ortiz, a Hall of Famer, was 0-4-1 in five fights leading up to the tilt and seemed to be on the brink of release, but he pulled off an upset in amazing fashion by dropping Bader and latching on to his neck to secure a Guillotine Choke

Chris Leben vs. Wanderlei Silva: Everyone knew this match-up would feature a knockout win for one of the two but few predicted it would come in less than 30 seconds

Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber: Not a blood bath by any means, but Cruz-Faber II was a solid scrap laced with technique and athleticism throughout

UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II (July 7, 2012)

Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz: The duel was decent but the third showdown between Ortiz/Griffin was memorable in that it was the final fight of both competitor’s careers and featured Griffin running out of the Octagon before returning to take the microphone from Joe Rogan to interview the retiring Ortiz

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II: After a shoulder-bump at the weigh-ins from Silva and years of bad blood, the atmosphere was electric come showtime and the action lived up to expectations, as Sonnen took Silva down and controlled him for the first round only to get stopped with strikes in the second after failing to repeat the feat

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