Let's look at the best of the cards scheduled for August 2021 in Boxing and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), the most notable fights on them, and who the favorites are.
August 7th: (BOXING) Fabio Wardley vs. Nick Webb
August 7th: UFC 265: (MMA) Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane
CANCELLED: August 7th: UFC 265: (MMA) Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena
August 14th: (BOXING) Teófimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos, Jr.
August 21st: (BOXING) Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence, Jr.
August 21st: UFC Fight Night: (MMA) Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum
August 28th: (BOXING) David Benavidez vs. José Uzcátegui
August 7th: Fabio Wardley vs. Nick Webb
"Graduating" from Dillian Whyte's stable, the young British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley (11W-0L-0D) is scheduled to fight another great British prospect, Nick Webb (17W-2L-0D).
Fabio is obviously undefeated and comes in as the favorite, but Nick Webb has that 1-punch KO power that, if he’s having a good night, can upset anyone, and he seems to have rediscovered his love for the sport lately, taking his craft more seriously inside and outside of the gym.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on DAZN on Saturday, August 7 at 03:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m PT.
August 14th: Teófimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos, Jr.
The much-anticipated match-up between Teófimo Lopez, Jr. (16W-0L-0D) and George Kambosos, Jr. (19W-0L-0D) had been postponed when it was reported that Teófimo had contracted COVID-19. The fight was rescheduled, and it's currently set for August 14th.
In 2020, Teófimo shocked the boxing world, defeating the pound-for-pound #1 boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko. George is one of the few boxers who had the chance to spar Manny Pacquiao, and, according to the Aussie fighter, he sparred with him for "hundreds of rounds".
George seems absolutely convinced he is going to defeat Teófimo and is going to become the new lightweight world champion.
Teófimo, on the other hand, looks like he may have allowed George to get a little bit under his skin, especially during press conferences and on social media posts (George slammed him publicly for being unprofessional and contracting COVID-19 just before the fight). There was also a sequence of sparring footage that was released during this time, that showed Teófimo as a teen being knocked out in sparring matches against multiple opponents. And to top it all off, Teófimo has had asthma for most of his life, so a full recovery from COVID-19, as fast as he needs it to be, may not be an option.
George is still likely to come in as the underdog, but make no mistake, he is coming to win and I wouldn't be surprised if the stars align that night.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on Triller Fight Club on Saturday, August 14 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
August 21st: Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence, Jr.
This is a very exciting fight for the world of professional boxing. Manny Pacquiao, the boxing legend, at the age of 42, has a record of 62 wins and 7 losses. He has fought some of the best boxers of all time, like Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Timothy Bradley and Floyd 'Money' Mayweather, and goes after the welterweight titles. Now he’s about to fight the young, hungry, and undefeated champion Errol Spence, Jr. (27W-0L-0D).
It is a pretty rare event to see a fighter in their forties compete with the current best in the world. Sure, Floyd Mayweather makes a high-profile show every once in a while, but he never goes against a current world boxing champion.
Errol recently suffered a horrific car accident during October 2019. Miraculously, he did not break any bones, and he managed to recover and get back into the fighting game with a win over Danny Garcia (36W-3L-0D) last December (2020).
But is Errol truly the same or better than before, or is Manny too old to hang in there with the young lion? We will have to watch and see.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on FOX Sports PPV on Saturday, August 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
August 28th: David Benavidez vs. José Uzcátegui
This is a second outing for young Benavidez (24W-0L-0D) this year, and probably his biggest test to date. José Uzcátegui (31W-4L-0D) is a very skilled fighter, a veteran in the game, and has faced some tough, tough competition in his career.
They say, "styles make fights," and this match-up should be very interesting. Both fighters like to stand in the center of the ring and trade shots. Even though José has shown a bit of vulnerability with his chin in a few fights before, he hasn't been knocked out. He may taste canvas, but always gets back up. In his fight against Caleb Plant, Plant knocked him down multiple times, yet Uzcátegui kept coming forward and even managed to steal the last few rounds, getting Caleb hurt on a few occasions.
I think Benavidez will get to Uzcátegui first in the early rounds, but José will have his moments and the fight will likely go the distance, but will have to watch and see!
HOW TO WATCH: Live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, August 28 at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
August 7th: UFC 265: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane
Derrick 'The Black Beast' Lewis (25W-7L-0D) vs. Ciryl Gane (9W-0L-0D) is probably the most anticipated fight of the month and in headlines as UFC #265.
Lewis is a veteran in the sport and is one of the biggest punchers on the planet. He initially started training in boxing when he was 17 years old. Preparing for his first amateur fight, his boxing gym closed down unexpectedly. On a full college scholarship for football, Lewis violated a probation (a result of an "aggravated assault" charge he received 2 weeks after graduating high school) and went to jail for 3.5 years. He later continued to box under the tutelage of George Foreman, but after his first MMA victory, he chose to pursue a career in MMA instead. Derrick lost his first title fight against one of the best fighters in the history of the UFC, Daniel Cormier (Cormier won by rear naked choke). Since that fight, Derrick has improved a lot about his ground game, but he is still relatively early in his Jiu-Jitsu progression, currently holding a blue belt.
Ciryl Gane is a French undefeated MMA fighter, who recently came into the spotlight after being a sparring partner to the current heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou. He has a much shorter fighting record than Lewis, but the type of opposition he has faced and defeated in his short career is no less than impressive (the last three opponents he defeated were Junior Dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov).
This fight gets even more interesting when you take into an account how dangerous Gane is standing up. Before MMA, he had a career and went undefeated in Muay Thai. And even though there isn’t any information online about his grappling education, he already has 3 of his 9 MMA victories by submission.
I can't wait for this fight! Hopefully both fighters will enter and exit the cage healthy. We are definitely in for a spectacle.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN/ESPN+ on Saturday, August 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
CANCELLED: August 7th: UFC 265: Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena
UPDATE (7/30): This fight has been cancelled as Amanda Nunes tested positive for COVID-19. As of now, a date has not been set for the rescheduled match.
Amanda Nunes (21W-4L-0D) has been the most dominant female fighter in the UFC. Not only that, she holds the record for Longest combined title reigns for both men and women. In the UFC she has only lost once over 7 years ago. On her record are incredible wins against the best female fighters in the UFC - Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Valentina Shevchenko to name a few. She is a black belt in BJJ and a brown belt in Judo.
At UFC #265 Amanda is facing Julianna ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ Pena (11W-4L-0D). Pena is 2 years younger, she is a purple belt in BJJ and leverages a lot of kickboxing techniques in her game. Obviously Julianna doesn’t bear anywhere near the same credentials as Nunes, but an interesting fact that makes a good impression coming into this fight is that she hasn’t fought 2 times in a year since 2015 and is about to be out for a 2nd time this year, after a win over Sara McMann in January. Hopefully this means she is fully motivated and is coming for the Women’s Bantamweight UFC Belt.
Amanda Nunes is a heavy favorite to win this fight, but all long reigns do come to an end and sometimes a hungry underdog is all that it takes.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN/ESPN+ on Saturday, August 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
August 21st: UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Jared Cannonier (13W-5L-0D) started his MMA career as a heavyweight, then went down to light heavyweight, and now fights even smaller at the middleweight division. Suiting his last name, he is a BIG puncher for the weight.
Kelvin Gastelum (17W-7L-0D) has been on a bit of a downward spiral in the last few years, which arguably started with his defeat in a very competitive fight against the current middleweight champ, Israel Adesanya. Kelvin is a Southpaw, which is usually an advantage when fighting an Orthodox-stance fighter (like Cannonier), he is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and he is a relentless brawler on the feet.
An interesting fact is that both fighters are coming off losses against the same opponent, Robert Whittaker.
I believe Jared has the advantage coming into the fight, but Kelvin may be ready to finally turn the tide in the other direction. A proper finish to the MMA fighting calendar for the month of August 2021, for sure, and a fight not to miss!
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN/ESPN+ on Saturday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT.
Note: All information is accurate as of July 30, 2021.
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