June is the official beginning of summer, and this June is loaded with four UFC cards and two Bellator events that will pack quite a punch. Now before you park yourself in front of the TV with your flip flops, hot dogs and ice cold beer, let’s take a look at, what you’ll be taking a look at.
UFC Fight Night 68 – June 6th
This card is headlined by Tim Boetsch and Dan Henderson. Yes, Tim Boetsch is headlining a UFC card. Ignore for a minute that he’s lost 2 of 3, and 4 of his last 6, this could be a fun fight. Does Tim Boetsch belong in a main event, nah, but they should entertain.
Also on the card are heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell. That’s a heavyweight clash that will certainly be loaded with big shots, and action. I like this fight quite a bit, and it should be fun for the fans as well, as very important in the career development of Mitrione. Dustin Poirier meets Yancy Medeiros in what should be a potential show stealer, and if you’re looking for something fun on the undercard, Shawn Jordan and Derrick Lewis will certainly end via knockout.
UFC 188 – June 13th
Of course everyone is looking forward to Cain Velasquez returning to the Octagon after yet another lengthy absence, and fighting Fabricio Werdum to unify the Heavyweight World Title. I think Werdum wins this fight, in pretty easy fashion, but it’s an anticipated match up none the less.
Nate Marquardt will provide a stern veteran test for Kelvin Gastelum and there’s always the added drama as to whether or not Kelvin makes weight. I think that’s actually an interesting fight, and I’m looking forward to trying to get a solid read on where Kelvin is in his development as a fighter.
Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez share the co-main duties, and the fight on paper looks really solid. The fight in reality I’m afraid won’t be very competitive. I think Alvarez is a talent, but he’s been a big fish in a small pond. I understand that Gil has lost two of three, but he’s a better fighter than Eddie Alvarez and I think he beats him standing and on the ground. I expect Gilbert to win in the opening six minutes of the fight.
Bellator 138 – June 19th
Yes, Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock finally make their long-awaited and anticipated clash in the cage. Wait a second; does anyone even want to see this? It was originally supposed to go down with Elite XC, but Shamrock bumped his head training and was replaced on fight night by Seth Petruzelli and anyone who follows the sport remembers what happened next. This is kind of a silly fight, but Bellator is hoping it will bring them viewers, and for their sake, I hope they’re right.
Lightweight champion Patricio Freire will defend his title against Daniel Weichel in the co-main event. Freire is a talented fighter with a record of 23-2 and both losses came via split decision. He dropped closely contested fights to Joe Warren and Pat Curran, hardly anything to hang your head about.
For simply guilty pleasure viewing, Bobby Lashley will meet James Thompson on the card as well. It’s the kind of fight you don’t want your friends to know you’re watching, but can’t look away.
This event takes place entirely on Fight Pass, and it’s pretty obvious as to why that is. Outside of the main event, there’s not a single fight that I can honestly say genuinely interests me in the slightest. The Main Event features the Women’s Strawweight Title fight between Joanna “I’d like to buy a vowel” Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Penne. Joanna looked like a killer when she dismantled former champion Carla Esparza and also defeated Claudia Gadelha. Penne is 2-2 in her last four, and has fought once inside the UFC, defeating Randa Markos via split decision. I’d say heavy advantage to Joanna.
In the co main event, Denis Siver takes on Tatsuya Kawajiri, who I used to love back in the day. Neither of these fighters is near the apex of their careers, and it’s kind of a slow fade now. At ages 36 and 37, they are not spring chickens, at least as it pertains to the fight game. Siver is 1-2-1 with a failed drug test in his last four outings. This is a sad co-main event and a sad event altogether.
This card hopefully is not done being put together, because it’s pretty sad as is. Cheick Kongo and Alexander Volkov are scheduled to meet in the main event, with the co main being Pat Curran and Goiti Yamauchi. Both Volkov and Kongo are coming off of losses, so why not have them main event your card, right? Yikes.
As for Pat Curran, he is a talented fighter, but he has lost 3 of 4, and his star has significantly faded from where it once was. Yamauchi is another skilled fighter, and this will certainly test him. The event so far looks pretty less than stellar, but maybe they are waiting to announce something for the event. I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and hope that’s the case.
This event will feature the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 tourney, which means, I will not be at all interested in at least two of the fights on the card. The main event however, has potential. Lyoto Machida will be facing Yoel “Stoolie” Romero. Romero, if you remember correctly, had some issues getting off the stool against Tim Kennedy, and after not being able to answer the bell, he was allowed to continue where he caught and finished Kennedy. It was cheating 101, and the UFC missed it and allowed it to hold up. Shame on them. In this fight, he will face a more dynamic fighter in awkward karate specialist Lyoto Machida. Lyoto doesn’t lose twice in a row, and he was defeated by Luke Rockhold in his last outing. I look for Machida to win this fight, and win it big.
Also on the card, Erick Silva meets Rick Story in a fight that is sure to provide fireworks! These two don’t mess around in the cage, and they will both be looking to extinguish the others flame and move up the ladder at 170 pounds. This has undoubted fight of the night potential. It could have fight of the summer potential.
So there you have it, June is jam-packed with MMA action. Get your sunscreen and find a comfortable spot near the barbecue and cooler and get your summer started the right way, with non-stop MMA action. Enjoy!
cover image credit – The Fox Identity
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