With just a single UFC event on the schedule for the month ahead, we’re deviating from the norm this month in The 10 and looking back on the best fights to hit the Octagon in the month of August.
While the bouts that stand out in July and December always come to mind a little easier because the UFC has historically delivered major events during International Fight Week and at the close of the year, one look at the list that follows will show you that there have been some awesome fights in August over the years.
This is The 10: The Best August Offerings of All-Time.
(Note: as always, these are in chronological order, not ranked)
UFC 87: GSP beats Jon Fitch (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
UFC 87 is a pretty big event for the history buffs, as it featured the debut of Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar’s first UFC victory, but it’s the welterweight championship main event that stands out the most.
Fighting for the first time since unifying the belts and avenging his loss to Matt Serra, many wondered how Georges St-Pierre would perform back in the role of undisputed champion and if Jon Fitch, who had won 16 straight overall heading into their showdown, would be able to outwrestle and outwork the French-Canadian titleholder.
Over the course of 25 minutes, St-Pierre turned in one of his most dominant efforts, winning via scores of 50-43, 50-44 and 50-44, showing for the first time that there was a sizable gap separating the champion from his closest challenger.
UFC 101: Anderson Silva channels Neo (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
A decade after The Matrix became a surprise box office smash, Neo arrived in the Octagon in the form of Anderson Silva.
Fighting at light heavyweight for the second time in the UFC, the middleweight champion twisted his body out of the way of every punch Forrest Griffin threw, countering with accuracy, speed and power. Silva was simply operating on another level and the former light heavyweight titleholder Griffin had no chance.
Slip. Bang! Bend. Bang! Twist. Bang!
A sharp jab finally put Griffin down for good and brought one of the most mind-blowing performances in UFC history to a merciful end.
UFC 102: Nogueira and Couture go toe-to-toe (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
A couple weeks after Silva defeated Griffin (and BJ Penn submitted Kenny Florian), these two heavyweight luminaries stepped into the Octagon inside the Rose Garden and put on a show.
Both were coming off losses – Minotauro Nogueira to Frank Mir, Randy Couture to Brock Lesnar – and the transference of power at the top of the division had already commenced, but for 15 minutes in Portland, “Big Nog” and “The Natural” reminded everyone why they were two of the most beloved and respected competitors of their time.
There were stretches where the veterans slugged it out in the center of the cage and other moments where their tactical, technical skills on the ground were on full display. And every second of the fight was awesome.
UFC 117: Anderson Silva submits Chael Sonnen (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
For several months, Chael Sonnen talked about how he was going to be the man to halt Silva’s reign atop the middleweight division. Most people chalked it up to what we now would say is “Chael being Chael” – big talk from one of the most gifted orators in the history of combat sports.
Then the fight started and Sonnen dominated Silva on the mat in Round 1. And in Round 2. And in Round 3.
And he might actually do this. Silva needs a finish. This is real.
And in Round 4.
Chael’s going to run through Anderson Silva, just like he said he would. This is unbelievable.
Two minutes away from authoring one of the most impressive upsets of all-time, Sonnen had a brain cramp. Inside Silva’s guard, he let “The Spider” control his right wrist and before he could react, Silva threw up a triangle choke and Sonnen was stuck.
Sonnen tapped, Silva retained and the first chapter in one of the best rivalries in UFC history was in the books.
UFC 118: Frankie Edgar erased any doubt (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
In April of 2010, Frankie Edgar scored a close, hotly debated unanimous decision win over BJ Penn at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi to win the UFC lightweight title. Given Penn’s lengthy reign and elite standing, he was granted an immediate rematch.
Four months later in Boston, Edgar left no room for debate.
Edgar built upon the blueprint that worked four months earlier, working his stick-and-move routine while mixing in timely takedowns and leaving Penn frazzled on the feet. He was quick and fluid, dancing around the Hawaiian legend, sticking clean jabs and sharp crosses in his face the whole night en route to sweeping all five rounds on all three scorecards to eliminate all doubt about who was the top lightweight in UFC.
UFC Live Hardy vs. Lytle: “Lights Out” Goes Out on a Win (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
Chris Lytle was never a contender, but he was one of the most consistently entertaining fighters to ever grace the Octagon.
Tougher than a $2 steak and bent on giving the fans their money’s worth whenever his name was on the fight card, Lytle racked up eight post-fight bonuses in 14 fights after appearing on Season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter and developed a cult following.
Before his headlining bout with Dan Hardy in Milwaukee, the Indianapolis native announced his retirement, turning in a letter stating his intentions to Dana White at weigh-ins. He let Hardy know too, and the pair agreed to put on a show the following evening and that’s exactly what they did.
The welterweights traded leather into the final minute of the third round, both finding success at different points and both thoroughly enjoying themselves. With just under a minute remaining, Hardy ducked in for a takedown, leaving his neck exposed and Lytle capitalized, locking in a deep guillotine and drawing a tap from “The Outlaw.”
As he had throughout his career, Lytle left it all in the cage that evening and wrapped things up in style. He also took home two more bonuses as well.
UFC on FOX Shogun vs. Vera: Joe Lauzon and Jamie Varner combine for a classic (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
The lightweight veterans met in the middle of the fourth UFC on FOX event and delivered one of the very best fights of 2012.
This was one of those fights full of swings and shifts – Varner starting fast, Lauzon claiming control only to get dropped. Ebb and flow. Attack and defend. Back and forth. Your turn. My turn.
Midway through the final frame, both men running on fumes, but not letting off the gas one bit, Varner hit a perfectly timed takedown, only to have Lauzon hit a sweep and lock up a triangle choke in the ensuing scramble. It doesn’t get as much love as Lauzon’s next fight – a bloody, epic clash with Jim Miller – but this was an excellent fight between two outstanding, veteran lightweights.
UFC Fight Night Shogun vs. Sonnen: Travis Browne Rallies (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
Positioned as the penultimate bout on the inaugural UFC fight card on Fox Sports 1, this heavyweight clash carried explosive potential and certainly delivered.
Alistair Overeem started fast, pressing Travis Browne into the fence and working the midsection with knees. A minute and change in, Overeem buried a knee into Browne’s stomach that sent the Hawaiian to the canvas, putting the Dutch superstar in pursuit of the finish. Browne covered up well, but ate a couple more knees as he tried to get to his feet and fend off the onslaught.
When Overeem paused to catch his breath after unleashing non-stop offense for nearly a minute, Browne responded, slinging big punches, trying to get some separation along the fence. But Overeem was unrelenting, continuing to press forward, showing little concern for the plethora of kicks up the middle Browne had been offering.
With just under a minute left in the round, Browne connected, putting toes to jaw with a front kick that sent Overeem falling to the mat and sent the crowd at TD Garden into hysterics.
UFC 190: Rousey rolls through Correia (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
After beating Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172, Bethe Correia extended four fingers in the air, the gesture made famous by the legendary pro wrestling faction The Four Horsemen that had since been co-opted by women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and her training partners/roommates/fellow wrestling fans Duke, Shayna Baszler and Marina Shafir.
As the decision was announced, Correia dropped a finger, leaving only three standing. She repeated the gesture four months later after defeating Baszler, throwing up her four and taking down two before calling out the leader of the group.
It was a great strategy, in theory, for the gritty Brazilian, as it caught everyone’s attention, including that of Rousey, who agreed to defend her title against Correia at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That’s where the plan hit a snag.
Rousey rolled into Rio and rolled through Correia, sending her somersaulting backwards into the cage out of a clinch attempt where she proceeded to blast the challenger with a series of big shots before ultimately felling her with a clean right hand behind the ear.
UFC 202: The Rematch (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
On March 5, 2016, Nate Diaz surprised everyone but himself by choking out Conor McGregor in the second of the UFC 196 main event.
After taking the bout on short notice and getting bombed on with big power shots in the first, Diaz rallied, stinging the Irish standout on the feet, prompting McGregor to shoot for a desperation takedown, opening the door for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Diaz to take his back, lock in the choke and shock the world.
McGregor began campaigning for a rematch almost immediately and the two hit the cage again at UFC 202 and the sequel managed to surpass the original.
“The Notorious” one was more economical with his output and added leg kicks to his attack, but Diaz showed his trademark toughness and the bout appeared to be taking on a similar trajectory as the first fight, with McGregor starting hot and the resilient veteran from Stockton needing time to find his rhythm before seizing momentum.
But unlike the first fight, McGregor didn’t wilt. Instead, he steeled himself against the push back and countered, winning the fight in the championship rounds to draw level with Diaz in their personal series.