June is nearly upon us, and I know that means, summer, sunshine, long days and hot nights, but it also means there are a virtual plethora of sizzling MMA fights under the UFC banner this June. Grab your sunscreen while we look at the June fights that should pack some serious heat.
Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Ellenberger @ TUF Finale June 1st
This MMA fight is going to be intense. Jake Ellenberger is on a roll, and not just any kind of roll, but a once in a career type roll. He’s 6-1 inside the UFC against top-level competition, including a six fight win streak, and his lone defeat being a controversial split decision loss to current interim champion, Carlos Condit. He just keeps on rolling along, hitting like a mac truck and leaving bodies in his wake.
Martin Kampmann is 10-4 against the same top-level talent since joining the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, looking very solid in defeating Rick Story by decision and Thiago Alves by submission. He’s a very talented striker who will stand in the pocket and exchange. He has good submissions too, winning seven fights via submissions in his career.
These two will stand and trade, and you have to think someone is going out on their shield in this one. It’s easy to say the smart money is on Jake winning this fight, but it could truly go either way. One thing for certain is will not be boring.
Josh Neer vs. Mike Pyle @UFC on FX 3 June 8th
I love this fight! There is something very cool about two slick veterans meeting up with a lot on the line. Josh Neer has fought a who’s who in his career. He’s double tough, crafty as hell and finds a way to win when things look darkest. With 55 wins combined between these two, there’s not a lot they haven’t seen in MMA. However, this is the first time in a long time they’ve faced someone as cagey and experienced as each other. Neer has won eight of his last nine fights, including a very impressive submission victory over Duane Ludwig back in January. He’s good standing, has excellent control and submissions on the mat.
Staring at him across the cage will be Mike Pyle, who is as crafty on the mat as anyone in the business. He’s won six of his last eight, with losses coming to Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger. His nickname is “Quicksand” and it fits his fighting style perfectly. He controls you and the pace of the fight, until you’re playing his game, sinking deeper and deeper until he finishes you. He’s submitted 16 fighters in his career. He’s a tough guy who’s been a mainstay at Xtreme Couture since its founding.
These two both know, they need to win to try to make a run into the upper echelon of the division. The loser might not be done, but his chances at making a run for a title shot most likely are shot. With that much on-line, expect these two determined veterans to leave it all in the Octagon.
Gray Maynard vs. Clay Guida @ UFC on FX 4 June 22nd
All you need to hear is Clay Guida, and you know there’s going to be crazy energy and action. When Gray Maynard is also in the Octagon, expect absolute madness. Both men are tireless workers, but Clay Guida has a motor that revs higher and runs longer than anyone else in the sport. He is constant motion, and against a fighter like Maynard, he’ll be avoiding being taken down, trying to land counter shots and basically in a potential five round scramble.
Gray Maynard is a durable wrestler who also has much improved hands since his stint on the Ultimate Fighter. He’s beaten top-level guys like Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian among others, and is at the top-level of the division. Gray tends to go the distance in his fights, and against Guida is almost a certainty that it will go the distance. Sometimes that doesn’t indicate a must see fight, but these rounds should be non-stop action, and it’s a fight both men HAVE to win.
Expect a frenetic pace, lots of fun scrambles on the mat and some back and forth standing. This will be a fun fight, and if it is scheduled for five rounds, expect to see 25 minutes of back and forth action to determine a number one contender for the Lightweight title.
Second verse, hopefully as good as the first. These two met in March, signifying the first Flyweight match in UFC history, and was supposed to determine who would fight for the first Flyweight title fight in the UFC. However, there’s a saying about the best laid plans … and long story short, human error resulted in this fight being scored a draw, and because it was after the fact, no bonus “sudden death” round could be utilized. As such, nobody advanced, and the UFC was forced to run it back.
The first meeting between these two fighters resulted in Demetrious winning the first two rounds of the fight, and McCall closing the show in dominant fashion, hurting Mighty Mouse standing and from the mount. However, “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall has only himself to blame for falling short, as he pandered the fans and showboated, while he could have been solidifying a victory.
Mighty Mouse, is very active, never gets tired, and fights smart. If he wants to win this fight, he’ll need to utilize his speed, angles and head movement while avoiding takedowns and dishing out punishment. It’s a tall order for the UFC’s shortest fighter, but it’s one he is more than capable of achieving.
This is a big fight in the UFC, the flyweight division and possibly the biggest MMA Fight in June. Look for nonstop action from bell to bell and when this one is said and done, there WILL be a lone man standing to fight for a championship.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort TBA @UFC 147 June 23d
Oh what could have been? Wanderlei Silva was scheduled to meet Vitor Belfort at UFC 147 after they coached the first season of the Ultimate Fighter Brazil, but Vitor broke his hand and had surgery on it this past week. This fight would have been fireworks, and you could have booked a knockout. Now with Vitor out of the fight, we’re left with the unknown. Dammit, all you need is Wanderlei and you know it’s going to be good.
There’s a short list of names to replace Vitor and some of the delay is in figuring out how injured Anderson Silva is. If Anderson is on the shelf and unable to defend his title, perhaps Chael could step in and face Wanderlei. It would be a HUGE MMA fight in Brazil, and could possibly save a cad that looks to be heading south rapidly.
Bottom line is, with Wand you know it’s going to be spicy. He’s going to either go out on his shield, or finish his opponent. If it somehow ends up being Chael filling in, it becomes the biggest MMA fight on the horizon.