Looking back at the month of September in MMA
A lot goes on in one month, especially in the world of MMA. With October here, look back at the major happenings from September.
Sept. 1 — The Event That Wasn’t
The month of September began on a sour note. UFC 151 had been cancelled in the final days of August, and when Labor Day Weekend rolled around, the promotion and its fans were without an event.
Instead of spending Saturday night watching UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones take on top contender Dan Henderson, you had to find another way to celebrate the holiday. Sure, there is always plenty going on during Labor Day Weekend, but that didn’t exactly take away the sting of an event cancelation, especially for those with plane tickets booked to spend the long weekend in “Sin City.”
Sept. 6 — Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir set for OKC, Rockhold gets opponent
While the UFC scrambled to move fighters from the canceled UFC 151 to upcoming cards, one of their heavyweight staples was making a move of his own; Frank Mir agreed to move to Strikeforce to face Daniel Cormier on November 3 in Oklahoma City.
The response was overall positive, as Mir is a recognizable face and name in the sport and would prove the toughest test to date for Cormier. The match up would also be a strong sendoff for the Strikeforce heavyweight champion as it would be the final heavyweight match up in Strikeforce history.
The card was further bolstered by a middleweight title fight between Luke Rockhold and Lorenz Larkin.
Sept. 11 — “Rampage,” Aldo withdraw from UFC 153
Two weeks removed from the devastating cancelation of UFC 151, which is appropriately a recurring theme throughout September, another card was ravaged with injuries to its superstars.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson informed Dana White that he was injured and would not be able to compete at UFC 153 against Glover Teixeira. Shortly after, White was also informed that featherweight champion Jose Aldo was injured and out of his main event title fight against former lightweight champion Jose Aldo.
With just a month to go before the Oct. 13 event, the UFC executives had their hands full. And White acknowledged that he had some work to do in order to save the card.
Sept. 13 — Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar headlines UFC 153
From devastated to saved in the matter of days, UFC 153 was back on track with a replacement main event featuring UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and light heavyweight fan favorite Stephan Bonnar.
The match up was intriguing from the start, but many questioned it. Las Vegas odds explain why, as Bonnar is entering this fight as a “Matt Serra level underdog.”
Still, Silva is always a draw and would be fighting in his home country. No, the fight isn’t the ideal match up by any means, but there is no denying that the UFC worked some magic in taking a gutted card and creating something marketable and interesting.
Sept. 19 — Mir forced to withdraw from Strikeforce’s November Event
Just when it seemed the Strikeforce heavyweight division had a strong match up before fading away, Frank Mir was forced out of his bout against champion Daniel Cormier.
Strikeforce officials revealed shortly after that Cormier would remain on the card. But Zuffa has had a difficult time finding a replacement for the heavyweight king of Strikeforce.
According to Dana White, the bout was offered to Matt Mitrione, who turned it down. Now, Cormier is asking for a match up against Pat Barry. Regardless of how the matchmaking plays out, it seems the replacement fight will be a far cry from the original contest.
Sept. 22 — The UFC returns with UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort
After a lengthy drought (thanks to the cancelation of UFC 151), the UFC was back on Sept. 22 with UFC 152, featuring a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and top contender Vitor Belfort.
Jones worked through an early scare, escaping an armbar attempt from Belfort in the first round. He went on to earn a submission victory over the Brazilian in the fourth round.
Also on the card, Demetrious Johnson earned the title of first-ever flyweight champion after defeating Joseph Benavidez via decision. Michael Bisping earned a decision win of his own, defeating Brian Stann on the evening’s main card.
Check out the Five Things We Learned from the event.
Sept. 24 — “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy” canceled
If one canceled event for Zuffa is bad, how bad would two canceled events be?
They found the answer to that question when “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy” was canceled just one month after UFC 151 was called off.
This cancelation was also caused due to an injury to a main event fighter. Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez hurt his shoulder in training and was forced off the card just one week prior to Fight Night.
When Showtime learned of the news, they pulled the card from their broadcast plans, leaving Scott Coker little choice other than canceling the card altogether.
It’s been another rough month for Strikeforce.
Sept. 29 — Stefan Struve def. Stipe Miocic at “UFC on FUEL TV 5”
No, it wasn’t a major event, but “UFC on FUEL TV 5” finished off a tough month for the UFC in style.
Heavyweight headliners Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic delivered to the Nottingham, England crowd, brawling for just under two rounds. Miocic started off strong, but Struve crushed his undefeated record with a second round technical knockout win.
Also on the card, Dan Hardy roughed up Amir Sadollah en route to a unanimous decision win, while the rest of the main card delivered in a big way, as well.
Hopefully the action from last weekend’s event is a good sign for the month of October.
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