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UFC Announces Two New Main-Events

August is heating up for the UFC as the fight promotion has announced two new headlining summer fights. UFC 164 and the first UFC on FS1 now have main-events and fans will be able to see one of the more intriguing 2013 fights for free.

[adinserter block=”1″]Chael Sonnen announced his next fight on the UFC Tonight program and while the fight wasn’t a surprise, the location may have been a bit of a stunner. Most MMA fans and media expected earlier in the week that Sonnen vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua would take place in less than two weeks. Instead it will take place live on FS1 on August 17.

“Shogun and I are going to be the main event on FOX Sports 1 on August 17. We were going to fight in Winnipeg, and they pulled it.”

It is kind of interesting how this fight came about. Rua was scheduled to fight Lil’ Nog at UFC 161 while most expected Sonnen to be fighting Wanderlei Silva next. Nog got hurt and Sonnen immediately volunteered for the spot. For whatever reason and the holdup according to rumors was getting Sonnen into the country on such short notice, the fight didn’t happen. I presume that the UFC liked the initial buzz of the fight so much that they decided to shift gears and sign it.

“I like Shogun. I admire him a lot. I wanted to fight Wanderlei. He’s the worst fighter in the UFC. I couldn’t get him. I figured I’d get the guy who destroyed Wanderlei in the practice room for all these years.”

I like this fight a lot. You get one of if not the best talkers in MMA promoting the first UFC on FS1 event. You also have a light heavyweight fight between two star fighters that won’t have any real impact in the division in losing or winning. You always have a storyline anytime Chael is fighting a Brazilian which comes with a bigger Brazilian audience than usual. The UFC gets its star fight without compromising any big future plans. At the same time you are signing a fight that wouldn’t sell as a main-event on pay per view yet could do some real business as a free attraction.

I love Chael going into this fight with a full training camp. As I have said before, give me the guy who just went toe-to-toe with the two best fighters in MMA over the guy who struggled against Brandon Vera. A lot of the predictions in the MMA social media world are for a Shogun route. I don’t see it. It’s a shame I don’t get to Vegas until October or I’d be all over Chael on this one.

Benson Henderson will be returning to pay per view after a lengthy layoff with a UFC lightweight title defense against TJ Grant at UFC 164. The championship fight will be supported by heavyweights Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett underneath. I am a big Henderson fan and I’m sure this fight will be good, but a pay per view main-event? I don’t know about that. They better have a stacked card here.

[adinserter block=”2″]I really think that the UFC missed the boat on a Gilbert Melendez vs. Henderson rematch. I know you don’t want to promote too many rematches but you are talking about a fight that millions of people watched on free television. Why not capitalize on the fight that casual fans are already invested in?

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