Five Must Watch Fights This August

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August is upon us and after a busy July in both the MMA and Boxing world, we now have to look ahead to an equally exciting schedule in combat sports. From the UFC to boxing, we give you the top five fights to keep an eye out for throughout August.

Top five fights to watch in August

1 – Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul

Although this one blurs the lines between actual boxing and influencer boxing, you can guarantee it’ll grab headlines. The former UFC mainstay, legend of the sport and multiple-time PPV headliner, Nate Diaz will make his professional boxing debut against Jake Paul, a man who, despite being a YouTuber and former Disney star had far more boxing experience than the Stockton native.

The two men are at vastly different points in their careers and on paper, the life-long martial artist, Diaz should walk through Paul with no problem. With that being said, we thought that Tyron Woodley, Anderson Silva and Ben Askren would do that and all of these men failed in their attempt. The only man to actually beat Jake Paul is professional boxer, Tommy Fury. Fury outpointed The Problem Child across eight rounds despite being dropped late on.

This fight will answer many questions we have and we know that a Nate Diaz fight week is never to be missed.

2 –  Geoff Neal vs. Ian Machado Garry at UFC 292

Taking place on the main card of UFC 292, live from Boston, Massachusetts is an intriguing and exciting welterweight fight that will have fans on the edge of their seats. The always-game, veteran, Geoff Neal will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss last time out against the undefeated, former CageWarriors welterweight champion and hot prospect, Ian Machado Garry.

Neal has been a perennial contender at 170lbs, taking on a who’s who of the division throughout his five year UFC career. His wins include a knockout of Mike Perry, Vicente Luque and Niko Price, as well as decision victories over Belal Muhammad and Santiago Ponzinibbio. He’s got heavy hands, is difficult to finish and will always bring his A-game. Last time out, although he lost, he put on a good show against Shavkat Rakhmonov.

Garry has burst onto the scene and wants to bring Ireland back to the forefront of the UFC following Conor McGregor’s successes. At 5-0 in the UFC, Garry maybe hasn’t had the viral moments that McGregor had on his rise, however, he’s still picking up the victories. In his last outing, Garry dominated Daniel Rodriguez on his way to a first-round knockout.

It’s a huge step-up in competition for Garry but if he can get the better of Neal, it won’t be long until he’s in a title eliminator.

3 – Cody Garbrandt vs. Mario Bautista at UFC 292

UFC 292 is stacked with bantamweight fights and besides the main event, another fight on the main card have fans asking a lot of questions. Former 135lbs champion, Cody Garbrandt returns after just the second win in six years having outpointed Trevin Giles last time out. This came off the back of three cancelled fights and No Love was certainly happy to finally be able to step in there. 

Garbrandt is taking on the in-form, Mario Bautista. The exciting MMA Lab product is enjoying a four-fight winning run, including three straight submission finishes. He’s certainly on the edge of a ranking and a win over Garbrandt would extend his streak to five, so he’ll be going all out to get a win in this one.

A loss here for Garbrandt would almost call time on his career. He still has aspirations, however, at 32 years old, he’s desperately in need of back-to-back wins, meaning that he’ll also be going all out for victory, making this one a guaranteed banger.

2 – Talia Santos vs. Erin Blanchfield at UFC on ESPN 52

Cold Blooded, Erin Blanchfield returns to action in the most important fight of her career. After the biggest win of her career last time out in a main event slot against Jessica Andrade, Blanchfield is certainly on the cusp of a title shot. With the belt being competed for next month, everyone wants to be the next challenger and with a win at UFC on ESPN 52, it’ll be hard to deny her a shot.

It won’t be easy, however, as she takes on Talia Santos. The Brazillian has a good argument that she beat the former champion, Valentina Shevchenko when they fought last June, however, she didn’t get the nod on the night. Santos is returning after over a year out of action and after the two women were scheduled for a main event slot in February, both will be raring to go in Singapore.

This is seen as the unofficial #1 contenders fight, so it’s certainly not one to be missed.

1 – Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley at UFC 292

Headlining UFC 292 is a bantamweight title fight between the reigning, dominant champion, Aljamin Sterling and the up-and-coming fan favourite, Sean O’Malley. Sterling is enjoying a nine fight winning run, has shown that he can do it against the best of the best, whether it’s on the feet or on the ground and knows how to handle a big fight week. Although wrestling is his bread and butter and is where he’s dominated each and every opponent, he’s more than capable on the feet.

O’Malley’s style is to keep it on the feet, throw flashy strikes and look to utilise his reach and height to land on his opponents. Of course, this is the biggest fight of his career, however, last time out, he showed vast improvements to outpoint the former champion, Petr Yan across three rounds.

O’Malley has never been scheduled for five rounds, so we don’t know what his cardio is like and whether he is ‘five-round ready’. If Sterling can hack the lower leg of Sugar, it’ll compromise his movement and make it an easier fight. With that being said, O’Malley may be the real deal and make the step up when he needs to.

This is the fight to watch in August and MMASucka is the place to be for fight week!

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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