The UFC is a sport that has its ebbs and flows. While some fans enjoy the weekly fight nights and the lower-tier bouts, for many fans, the excitement comes from the packed stadiums and watching the big names square off. For fans that love the biggest fights and the most incredible showcases, July is set to be a month that should not be missed out on.
July will feature two, I repeat, two separate major UFC events that will take place three weeks apart. With a packed slate of programming featuring several of the biggest fighters in the sport, fans and bettors alike will not want to miss out. Before you start wagering on these events on sportsbooks like PowerPlay betting, you’ll probably want the low-down on who’s fighting and who looks likely to emerge victorious. We’re here to help with a look at six of the main fights being held during UFC 290 and UFC 291 that have July poised to become maybe the best UFC month ever.
Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez is the main event for UFC 290. It features a unification bout for the featherweight championship between the two current holders. This is an exciting fight because it marks Volkanovski’s return to the division that he has spent the past several years dominating. Volkanovski is an all-time great and will be the heavy favorite, but Rodriguez’s champion status was earned as well. It should be a tight battle, but all projections have Volkanovski triumphing. Can Rodriguez shock the world, or will Volk’s striking and all-around game be too much to handle?
Moreno vs. Pantoja
UFC 290 won’t have just one title fight. Instead, the flyweight division will also have a championship bout as Brandon Moreno squares off with Alexandre Pantoja. This should be an epic battle between two incredibly skilled fighters. Moreno is the champion, but Pantoja has the history to show that he can claim his first belt. He has bested Moreno twice in the past, once in the Ultimate Fighter tournament and once in an official bout in 2018. However, much time has passed since then, and Moreno is cemented as one of the best in the game. He will likely be the favorite.
Whittaker vs. du Plessis
While there is no belt on the line for this fight, Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis has major title implications. It is a title eliminator bout, meaning whoever wins this middleweight fight will go on to fight Israel Adesanya for the title. Whittaker is the seasoned winner who has held the belt before, and he will be the substantial favorite. He hasn’t lost to anyone aside from Adesanya since 2014. However, du Plessis is a rising talent, and he has yet to lose a UFC tilt. He has a chance, but most favor Whittaker to continue his dominance.
Poirier vs. Gaethje
Looking ahead to UFC 291, we are in for a hugely exciting showdown. The main event is lightweight legends Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje in what is likely a title eliminator. These two have fought in the past in an iconic 2018 bout, and they are both considered some of the most entertaining fighters in the sport. This should be an absolute battle between two elite strikers that are not afraid to stand in the middle and exchange. Both fighters are 34 and want to add to their legacies with undisputed championship wins, and this is a crucial step to get there.
Blachowicz vs. Pereira
This fight has massively intriguing potential. Jan Blachowicz is a top contender in the light heavyweight division who previously held the belt and defeated Adesanya when he came up a weight class to challenge him. Alex Pereira is the superstar Brazilian who earned the middleweight belt from Adesanya before being knocked out in his last bout. Now, Pereira is trying to do what his old rival couldn’t: step up a class and beat Blachowicz. This is a challenge, but Pereira has the talent and build to pull it off. Pereira is a slight underdog, but don’t be surprised if his devastating kicks win the day.
Costa vs. Aliskerov
For our last UFC 291 bout, we have an exciting showdown between fan favorite Paulo Costa and yet another rising Dagestani star, Ikram Aliskerov, in the middleweight division. Costa is a knockout artist with devastating power, while Aliskerov grinds opponents to a pulp. It will be interesting to see the experience of Costa, who has fought for the belt and is seeking a return to the sport’s heights, against an up-and-comer with just one official UFC fight to his name. Costa should be the favorite due to his experience, but Aliskerov is incredibly dangerous.