With another action-packed month in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best fights from July 2020: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for July.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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The Nominees

Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade at UFC 251

Rose Namajunas (9-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) got the revenge she was looking for when she defeated fellow former UFC champion Jessica Andrade (20-8 MMA, 11-6 UFC) in their anticipated rematch.

After Andrade took the strawweight title with a stunning slam knockout in May 2019, Namajunas emerged victorious in the rematch with a split decision win. She used superior footwork and striking to win the early portion of the fight, then resisted a late push from her Brazilian foe to secure the win.

Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo via punches at UFC 251

Jose Aldo (28-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) had moments when it looked like he might become a two-division UFC champion. But in the end, Petr Yan (15-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) may have brought about a changing of the guard in the lighter weight classes.

Yan became the UFC’s new bantamweight champion with a fifth-round TKO of former featherweight champ Aldo. Yan used pinpoint striking and a dangerous overall assault to overcome the moments where Aldo looked like he could successfully turn back the clock and began a new arena in the 135-pound division.

Mounir Lazzez def. Abdul Razak Alhassan at UFC on ESPN 13

Abdul Razak Alhassan (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) proved that after two years away he’s still one of the most exciting welterweights on the UFC roster. Newcomer Mounir Lazzez (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) just managed to shine a little brighter, though.

Lazzez made his UFC debut as a relative unknown, but did not leave that way after beating Alhassan by unanimous decision. The pair threw down for 15 minutes, with Lazzez standing up to the trademark power of Alhassan and taking over to claim his first octagon win in the “Fight of the Night.”

Rafael Fiziev def. Marc Diakiese at UFC on ESPN+ 30

Rafael Fiziev (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) showed how different striking levels can be when he outworked a well respected standup artist in Marc Diakiese (14-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) over 15 minutes of lightweight action.

Fiziev was one step ahead of Diakiese in his unanimous decision win, using techniques that were just a touch more effective than what his opponent brought to the table. In the end, both men took home an extra $50,000 for “Fight of the Night.”

Mauricio Rua def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on ESPN 14

Mauricio Rua (27-11-1 MMA, 11-9-1 UFC) left no doubt he’s superior to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (23-10 MMA, 6-7 UFC) when he made it 3-0 over his longtime rival in their trilogy fight.

After “Shogun” picked up wins in the first two meetings in 2005 and 2015, Rua made it a clean series sweep over Nogueira with a split decision victory. They slugged it out in classic fashion, and although it seemed Nogueira might slide out with a win, the judges once again saw it for Rua.

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The Winner: Namajunas vs. Andrade

The rematch between Namajunas and Andrade was well worth the wait – for both Namajunas and the viewers who got to witness a tremendous scrap.

In their first meeting, at UFC 237, Andrade took the strawweight belt from Namajunas via a memorable, second-round knockout slam.

Fourteen months later, the duo met again. Namajunas put together two stellar rounds, then showed great heart in withstanding a furious third-round onslaught.

Namajunas, competing for the first time since losing the title, eked out a split decision victor with the better end of two of three 29-28 scorecards.

Andrade make clear from the jump she planned on pushing a strong pace, using fast movement to dart in and out. Namajunas, however, didn’t need much time to figure out her range, and she began using a pinpoint jab, crisp straight hands, and solid counters on the occasion Andrade manage to break through.

This continued for the better part of two rounds, but Andrade might have the heaviest hands at 115 pounds, and she threw them, like with a wicked body shot in the second, she landed.

And then Andrade turned it on in the third. Andrade threw everything but the kitchen sink at her foe, leaving Namajunas with her nose cut open and her left eye nearly swollen shut. Things looked bad when Andrade landed a strong throw to take her opponent to the mat.

But Namajunas got back to her feet, gritted her way through the onslaught, and got to the final horn to seal the win.

“She went into desperation and started really unloading and she caught me a couple times, obviously,” Namajunas said. “But I just stayed strong.”

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