Five For Fighting: September’s Best Upcoming Fights


After only two of the quintet picked out for August’s “Five For Fighting” actually happened, it’s time to look ahead to September with more hope. When Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier fell foul of the dreaded injury bug, picking out the top fight this month wasn’t an easy task with all of the top three on the list being genuine contenders. Great month of fights ahead. Let’s get right into it.

5 – Ronaldo Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi – UFC Fight Night 50, September 5th

When a rematch goes down it’s usually smart to go back and look at the first fight for a sense of what’s ahead. Not this time. Gegard Mousasi won the first fight between these two but the fact it ended with an upkick out of nowhere and that both men are totally different fighters it’s practically pointless. Mousasi is a Dutch kickboxer with and excellent takedown defence which will need to be on point against Souza. Jacare, on the other hand, is a world jiu-jitsu champion who has added a devastating striking offense to his arsenal. This fight could well produce the next middleweight number one contender and will be decided by how well Jacare will come back from injury and how well Mousasi can defend his attacks.

4 – Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson – UFC 178, September 27th

Personally, I am always excited to see Stephen Thompson fight. Wonderboy came into the UFC as a decorated kickboxing champion but was quickly brought back down to earth by Matt Brown. Since then he has greatly improved his grappling and, most importantly, his takedown defence. On the feet, nobody can live with Wonderboy. Cote will do everything he can to drag this fight to the floor and take Thompson out of his game. The former middleweight challenger is another big step up for Thompson but if he can get the win big things lay ahead.

3 – Eddie Alvarez vs. Donald Cerrone – UFC 178, September 27th

Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has finally fulfilled his dream of fighting in the UFC after new BMMA supremo Scott Coker allowed his release from the long argued over iron clad contract. The dream may not last long though as he is being thrown right into the fire against the in-form Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Alvarez is the quintessential modern mixed martial artist with quality in all areas. His wrestling and pressure are probably the assets best suited to the Cerrone fight. Alvarez will be looking to get inside against the rangy Cerrone who likes to stand on the outside and use his long limbs to batter the legs and body. If Alvarez does get it to the floor Cerrone is ultra aggressive off of his back and won’t make it easy. It’s hard to tell how well Eddie Alvarez will do in the UFC but this fight should help us figure it out.

2 – Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier – UFC 178, September 27th

This is undoubtedly the most heated and highly anticipated fight of the month. Again, a title shot may be in the pipeline for the winner. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know all about Conor McGregor. Lots has been said and speculated on but this is the fight which proves who’s right or wrong. If McGregor wins there is no more denying he is a legitimate top fighter in the world. Poirier is no pushover though. The Louisiana native is a tough wrestler with a solid striking game. McGregor will need to keep this fight standing to win. On the feet the Dubliner is by far the more talented and will attack Poirier’s suspect defence with his varied, hard striking. This fight can only be exciting. Unmissable.

1 – Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson – UFC Fight Night 52, September 20th

This is a dream right for many MMA fans. Two huge dudes with iron chins throwing bombs for as long as it lasts. Roy Nelson is a long time veteran who came to the UFC late on in his career. The American has morphed his game from a grinding jiu-jitsu specialist to a power striker. Hunt similarly came late to the Octagon after a career in Pride which made him a fan favourite. The Super Samoan is a former world kick boxing champion who has improved his takedown defence drastically since entering the UFC. I don’t see this one hitting the floor though. More than likely both men will stand in the pocket and exchange bombs until someone can’t take anymore. Nelson throwing overhand rights, Hunt hurling leaping left hooks.  I cannot wait for this fight. Don’t blink.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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