BJPENN.COM’s Scraps of the Month for July 2018

Paul Felder, Mike Perry

There is a special place in the heart of every MMA fan for a good, old-fashioned scrap… Frenetic fights like Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua I, Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II, and Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley, that hammer their way into our memories and never leave.

At the end of each month, BJPENN.COM honors the best scraps of the month, from the UFC’s Octagon, to the Rizin ring, to the cages of regional promotions all over the world.

Without further ado, here are the BJPENN.COM Scraps of the Month for July, 2018

Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder @ UFC 226 – July 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Mike Perry, Paul Felder

If things had gone according to the original plan, Mike Perry would have battled Yancy Medeiros at UFC 226, and Paul Felder would have taken on James Vick at UFC Boise. When Medeiros sustained an injury and Vick was relocated to a UFC Lincoln scrap with Justin Gaethje, however, Felder agreed to move up to welterweight and fight Perry at UFC 226. The result was an incredible, Octagon-shaking slugfest.

For three hectic rounds, the welterweight knockout artist and the lightweight striking whiz bludgeoned each other with punches, elbows, knees and kicks, leaving Rorschach blots of blood all over the canvas. Felder even broke his arm in the first, but continued to scrap for two more rounds anyway. It was not only one of the best fights of July, but one of the best fights of the year period, and given Perry and Felder’s predilections for violence, that was absolutely no surprise.

Ultimately, Perry walked away with a split decision win, but Felder would leave with a reputation as one of the world’s toughest men, having moved up a weight class on short notice, and battled for three rounds with a broken arm.

John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson @ UFC on FOX 30 – July 28 in Calgary, Alberta

John Makdessi, Ross Pearson

On the undercard of UFC on Fox 30 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Canadian lightweight veteran John Makdessi met British lightweight veteran Ross Pearson in a fight that easily could have happened at numerous other times over the last 10 years.

It was an absolute barnburner. Although Makdessi was visibly the faster man on the feet, Pearson bit down on his mouth piece and responded to this physical deficit with heaps of MMA’s great intangible: heart. Content to eat five of Makdessi’s shots to land one in return, the Brit plowed forward until he was wearing a mask of blood. And he didn’t stop until the final bell chimed.

In the end, the judges gave this one to Makdessi by unanimous decision. Even in defeat, however, Pearson only gained fans.

Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens @ UFC on FOX 30 – July 28 in Calgary, Alberta

Jose Aldo, UFC on FOX 30

In the co-main event of UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo competed in the first non-title bout of his UFC career. His opponent in this fight was the brick-fisted Jeremy Stephens, who looked to bolster his win-streak with the biggest victory of his career thus far.

This fight was proof that a fight doesn’t need to go the distance to be deemed a true scrap. Like Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley and Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry, it proved that you shoehorn plenty of raw, uninhibited violence into a single round.

The action began almost immediately, as Stephens pressed forward, chasing yet another headache-maker, but Aldo refused to back down, firing back with some punishing blows of his own. Though Stephens seemed to have Aldo in big trouble early, the former champion hung in there, surviving on nothing but head movement and heart, and ultimately landed a missile of an uppercut on Stephens’ body. Stephens doubled over in pain, and Aldo swarmed all over him until the referee intervened.

Just like that, the former champion was back in the win column. It was as raw and emotional a scene as you’ll get in the perilous world as cage fighting, and a definite scrap for the scant minutes that it lasted.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/1/2018.