Fury vs Wilder Pt. 3 Headlines a Jam-Packed July for Combat Sports
The Boxing and UFC worlds are set to form a wild month of July this summer, featuring four landmark events and some of the most respected champions in their respective sports.
Whether you are a fan of heavyweights slugging it out in the ring or ruthlessness in the Octagon, the next couple of months have got you covered with a sample of the best action the sport has to offer. Fury vs Wilder is the most anticipated match, but there are some other matches scheduled for July that surely require your attention. Let’s check out what July has to offer!
Dustin Poirier (-105) vs Conor McGregor (-114)
McGregor (22-5) took the first fight via technical knockout in 2014 while Poirier (27-6) got his revenge in January, unleashing a flurry of blows that caused the referee to wave off the rest of the fight. This fight will complete the trilogy between the lightweight fighters and will determine the pecking order for a fight with Charles Oliveira, the current world champion in the division.
The two fighters are the same height and roughly the same weight while McGregor has a one-inch reach advantage. Both men are considered to be strikers and have similar statistics throughout their careers, though Poirier has a more refined ground game. McGregor’s grappling game was memorably eviscerated by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 and caused the Irish champion to evaluate his standing within the sport.
Poirier will hunt for a knockout against McGregor and will have the confidence to do so, having taken him down earlier this year; McGregor will not mind absorbing the pressure and looking for a decisive blow himself.
Poirier will probably enter the fight as the favorite but could be in for a rude awakening if the McGregor that stole victory from Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in 40 seconds comes out to play.
Max Holloway (-400) vs Yair Rodriguez (+310)
Holloway (22-6) is regarded as a savage within the ring, and with good reasoning: he is a fearless attacker that holds UFC records for most strikes thrown and landed in a fight, which he did in his last match versus Calvin Kattar. He is on the front foot at all times and looks to bloody up the fight as quickly as possible.
His opponent will enter the ring with a 13-2 record and as the #3 ranked featherweight in the UFC. Rodriguez is nowhere near as active as Holloway and will have to look to take the fight to the ground to create a better tempo for himself.
This fight truly pits two opponents on the opposite ends of a spectrum against one another— it is like having a 100m sprinter and a marathoner meet for a mid-distance race. The winner of this fight will be the man that can impose his will upon the other and stick to his game plan, though that is hard to do against the ferocity of Holloway.
TJ Dillashaw (+132) vs Cory Sandhagen (-160)
Dillashaw (17-4) was suspended in 2019 for violating the sport’s anti-doping policy and will be walking into the ring 30 months removed from his last professional fight.
Dillashaw also received a double-shoulder surgery during his hiatus from the cage and is now 35 years old. As experienced as he may be, he has the odds stacked against him against the younger Sandhagen.
Sandhagen (14-2) has made it clear that he will not underestimate his opponent post-steroid suspension, but also stated that “[if he is not using steroids] then, yeah, he’s probably not gonna be coming back the same guy.”
The favorite heading into the fight also claimed that he has been working on more technical aspects of his repertoire, whereas the lack of footage on Dillashaw has created confusion on exactly what he is going to look like when he returns to the ring. Both men will look to get the fight to the ground, where the fight will most likely be decided.
Tyson Fury (-360) vs Deontay Wilder (+250)
The trilogy fight almost did not happen, as Fury (30-1, 21 KOs) had already agreed to a fight with current WBA world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua after defeating Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) in a second fight; however, an independent arbitrator ruled that Wilder was within his right to demand a rematch based on the contract that had been signed, thus creating the final showdown between these two great boxers.
The initial match between the two ended in a draw, a career-first for both after Fury managed to wipe off a right-cross, left-hook combo from Wilder and get up before the referee’s 10-count.
The second match was dominant from Fury: he entered the ring in much better shape and was able to wear out a bulked-up Wilder with his overwhelming size (273 pounds to Wilder’s 231). Wilder also suffered a blow to the side of the head in round three that caused his ear to start bleeding from within, throwing off his equilibrium and allowing Fury to dismantle his opponent.
With a win, Fury would solidify his position as a top-two boxer in the heavyweight division, with only Joshua remaining as a target; Wilder, on the other hand, could restore his legacy by knocking out Fury and regaining his status as the most dangerous man in boxing.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.