Five months into the year and the UFC’s calendar continues to fill up. Here are my thoughts on some recently booked match-ups… Fight: Gian Villante vs Tom Lawlor Card: UFC on FOX 16 Where: Chicago, IL. When: July 25, 2015 Thoughts: I don’t like this fight very much, it does not make sense to me. Villante is coming off the biggest win of his career by knocking out The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 winner Corey Anderson in the third round of action, so I don’t understand why his next opponent should be a fighter coming off a long layoff who is moving up a division. I am a fan of Lawlor’s, and he always shows up to fight, but I feel like they are giving Villante a favorable match-up here. I was really impressed with Villante in his last outing, especially considering that I was I was sold on the idea that he is on a decline. He proved the opposite to be true by delivering the best performance of his UFC career, and I was looking forward to his next outing, but I’m not sure if I can still say that. I expect him to get the win, but I’m not itching to see this bout. Fight: Kevin Lee vs James Moontasri Card: UFC Fight Night 71 Where: San Diego, CA When: July 15, 2015 Thoughts: I love this match-up but I kind of don’t want it to happen! That’s because I want to see both of these guys climb up the 155-pound rankings and it’s going to be a bit sour to see either one of them take a loss. Personal feelings aside, I am expecting a very fun fight and wouldn’t dare miss this one. Fight: Joe Lauzon vs Takanori Gomi Card: UFC on FOX 16 Where: Chicago, IL. When: July 25, 2015 Thoughts: Two lightweight veterans will go to war in this match-up and I am really looking forward to it. This is one fight I am really hoping that the injury bug does not strike. It is a fight I have been hoping would get made for the past couple of years. Lauzon and Gomi are at the top of the list when you talk about fan favorites at 155-pounds, so hopefully when they enter the Octagon and square off against each other, they will leave one for the books by producing yet another memorable fight. On this stacked card full of fights that are sure to produce fireworks, it will be no surprise to see this scrap take the prize when it comes time for the UFC to hand out their ‘Fight of the Night’ check. Fight: Al Iaquinta vs Bobby Green Card: UFC Fight Night 71 Where: San Diego, CA When: July 15, 2015 Thoughts: Iaquinta rides a four fight winning streak looks to continue his climb up the UFC’s lightweight rankings by taking out Bobby Green, who most recently had an eight fight winning streak snapped by Edson Barboza. This is a fight I have mixed feelings for, as I have become a fan of both of these lightweights and it is not going to feel great seeing either of them lose, but on the other hand think it’s a good opportunity for Iaquinta and feel it could be an entertaining war between the two 155-pounders. This is another fight I would not want to miss. Fight: Thomas de Almeida vs Brad Pickett Card: UFC 189 Where: Las Vegas, NV When: July 11, 2015 Thoughts: Pickett returns to the bantamweight division following an unsuccessful run at 125-pounds and looks to hand the much-hyped Brazilian the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career. The Brit will be the underdog heading into this 135-pound contest and will hope to have a career recharge by living up to his “One-Punch” moniker. The former Legacy FC bantamweight champion looks to go 3-0 in the Octagon by defeating Pickett after just defeating another veteran in Yves Jabouin at UFC 186 nearly two weeks ago. I would not be surprised to see Pickett get the upset win here, but I think the main question is whether de Almeida gets it done by T/KO or on the judges’ scorecards. Fight: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Jessica Penne Card: UFC Fight Night 69 Where: Berlin, Germany When: June 20, 2015 Thoughts: When the events original headliner, Alexander Gustafsson vs Glover Teixeira was canceled due to an injury the Swede sustained in training, the UFC turned to their European champion. “Joanna Champion” stepped up to the plate and in her first UFC Strawweight title defense, she will be taking on Jessica Penne, who defeated Randa Markos via split decision in her Octagon debut in a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus winning performance. I think this is a good fight and I look forward to it. Penne is a good challenge for the champion’s first title defense, as she is well-versed in every aspect of the sport. That said, I would have personally preferred Maryna Moroz to get the title shot following her first round submission win over rumored “to be #1 contender” Joanne Calderwood. She ended those talks with the big upset win and called out the champion. I think that fight would have made more sense than the Penne fight, but even more so, I think the promos for it would have been much better.