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Top Five UFC Fights To Look Forward To In July

The UFC’s massive return to England headlines July’s offering of Octagon action, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he highlights the five most-anticipated fights of the month, including two title tilts.


The UFC’s massive return to England headlines July’s offering of Octagon action, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he highlights the five most-anticipated fights of the month, including two title tilts.

Rose Namajunas v Tracy Cortez

Sunday, 14 July SA time

The month’s UFC action starts at the Ball Arena in Dallas, where former two-time strawweight queen Namajunas headlines the card against rising star Cortez, who steps up for the injured Maycee Barber on short notice.

One of the biggest names and most popular fighters in women’s mixed martial arts history, Namajunas is a bona fide future Hall of Famer. At 31, she still has plenty of time to add to her legacy and plans to do so by winning a title in a second weight class. “Thug” is 1-1 since moving to flyweight, bouncing back from a loss to Manon Fiorot with a win over Amanda Ribas in March.

Cortez remains undefeated since joining the UFC in 2019. She picked up her fifth win inside the Octagon when she turned back Jasmine Jasudavicius last September and answers the call for what will be her maiden UFC main event. 

Leon Edwards v Belal Muhammad

Sunday, 18 July SA time

Local favourite Edwards headlines the month’s pay-per-view card as he defends the welterweight title against the unwavering Muhammad at Co-op Live in Manchester, England.

Both men are on epic win streaks. Edwards has been unstoppable since 2016, capturing the title with an all-time great knockout win over Kamaru Usman and defending it twice as part of a 13-fight unbeaten run to solidify himself as the best welterweight in the world.

Muhammad, meanwhile, is on a 10-fight unbeaten streak dating back to 2019. The pair met in an ill-fated clash in March 2021 when an accidental eye poke in the second round rendered Muhammad unable to continue, resulting in the fight being declared a no-contest.

Now, they’ll finally run it back with the 170-pound title on the line.

Tom Aspinall v Curtis Blaydes

Sunday, 28 July SA time

The welterweight title won’t be the only belt hanging in the balance at UFC 304 as England’s own Aspinall will make the first defence of his interim heavyweight championship.

The British behemoth won the belt by knocking out Sergei Pavlovich last November and with the UFC dead set on having Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic face off for the ‘real’ title later this year, Aspinall won’t sit idly by and will instead make a much-anticipated homecoming with a point to prove.

Like the main event, the co-headliner is a rematch of a fight that ended unsatisfactorily. The first meeting between Aspinall and Blaydes took place in July 2022 when the former suffered a knee injury seconds into the contest, which handed the latter a TKO win. It kept Aspinall out for a year and remains his only loss inside the Octagon. 

As for Blaydes, he’s long been close to a title shot. Winner of three of his last four fights, the American most recently stopped Jailton Almeida in March and finally gets a crack at championship gold.

Bobby Green v Paddy Pimblett

Sunday, 28 July SA time

Pimblett, one of England’s other favourite fighting sons, will seek to stay undefeated inside the Octagon when he takes on vicious veteran Green.

“The Baddy” is a young and popular fighter who transcends mixed martial arts due to his charisma, exciting style and social media presence. He’s an absolute superstar in his home country and after scoring the biggest win of his career over former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson in December, he looks to take out another UFC stalwart.

Green has won three of his last four fights and is ranked 15th in the 155-pound division. He pummelled fellow veteran Jim Miller at UFC 300 in April and aims to teach “Spoiled brat” Pimblett a lesson. 

Arnold Allen v Giga Chikadze

Sunday, 28 July SA time

Allen is another Brit who’ll perform in front of his home crowd at UFC 304. After marching to an impressive 10-0 record, “Almighty” finds himself in a tough spot having lost his last two fights on the trot.

Former featherweight champion and current BMF titleholder Max Holloway handed him his first defeat where after he came up short against another top contender in Movsar Evloev in January. Both losses were by decision. Still ranked sixth, he looks to get back on track on home soil.

A dangerous striker with lethal kicks in particular, Chikadze is ranked ninth and eager to ramp up his activity as he’s only fought once since a January 2022 loss to Calvin Kattar. That appearance saw “Ninja” earn a decision win against veteran Alex Caceres last August.

This should be a fun fight on the feet between two top-10 featherweights.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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