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10 UFC Fights To Watch in June

By Ryan Frederick, WrestlingObserver.com

June is shaping up to be another big month in the UFC with events on all four Saturdays of the month as the Octagon will be in three different countries during the month. Up first will be UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6 in New Orleans, followed by UFC 188 on June 13 in Mexico City, then a trek overseas for UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin on June 20, and ending the month in Hollywood, Florida for the The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 Finale on June 27. With a full slate of fights coming our way this month, it is time to take a look at ten fights to keep an eye on during the month of June.

Honorable Mentions:
Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill-UFC 188-June 13
Dennis Siver vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri-UFC Fight Night 69-June 20
Lorenz Larkin vs. Santigao Ponzinibbio-TUF Brazil 4 Finale-June 27

10. Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nate Marquardt-UFC 188-June 13

Gastelum is a former TUF winner who had some success competing in the welterweight division. However, he also had trouble making weight, missing weight in two of his last three fights, and having trouble making weight for other fights. He missed weight by ten pounds for his last bout, prompting UFC President Dana Whtie to force him to move up to middleweight. Marquardt is another fighter moving to middleweight from the welterweight division, though he fought at middleweight for the majority of his career. The move down to 170 pounds didn't pan out for Marquardt, and it took a toll on him physically, so he moved back up. He is 1-1 since going back to 185 pounds, while Gastelum will be coming into this fight off of his first career loss. Gastelum scored the biggest win of his career the last time the UFC was in Mexico City, a first-round submission of Jake Ellenberger, and he is hoping that history will repear itself.

9. Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson-UFC Fight Night 68-June 6

Tim Boetsch and Dan Henderson will headline UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans after the original main event, Daniel Cormier against Ryan Bader, was changed when Cormier was moved to a title fight, which he won last month at UFC 187. Boetsch and Henderson were tapped as the new main event despite the fact both men are coming in off of losses, and have only won a combined three fights in their last twelve combined fights. Henderson still has that vicious right hand power, but he has faded as he has entered the twilight of his career. He is better fit at 185 pounds, but Boetsch is a powerful middleweight fighter. Boetsch has had some knockout victories, and he gets the chance to compete in his first main event UFC bout. This fight probably isn't even the best fight on the June 6 card, but it gets the chance to shine in the showcase spot.

8. Rick Story vs. Erick Silva-TUF Brazil 4 Finale-June 27

Story and Silva were originally supposed to headline the TUF Brazil 4 Finale when it was scheduled for Sao Paulo, but with the event moving to Florida, they were bumped down to the semi-main event in favor of a more marketable main event. That isn't to say this won't be a fun fight. Silva is known for exciting fights as he comes out quick and looking to finish. Story is a more methodical fighter, and he can be in some boring fights, but he has been in some exciting fights as well. Story is currently ranked at number eleven in the UFC's welterweight rankings following a split decision win over Gunnar Nelson in October. Silva is looking to crack into the top 15 of the rankings after two straight wins, but he will need to get out of that first round as all of his UFC wins have come in the first round, having yet to win a fight that has gone past five minutes in the Octagon. This is a pretty underrated fight this month, and one to definitely keep an eye on.

7. Henry Cejudo vs. Chico Camus-UFC 188-June 13

This is a fight that could have title shot ramifications, and is the only fight currently scheduled for the preliminary card to make this list. Cejudo is being built as a flyweight contender as long as he can show he can continually make weight. After winning in his flyweight debut over Chris Cariaso at UFC 185 in March, Cejudo was open about wanting to fight on the UFC 188 card in Mexico City as he has a Hispanic heritage. It took some time to announce this bout as Cejudo was rumored to be dealing with an injury, but the fight with Camus that was in the works was finally announced in late April. Camus had a successful flyweight debut win over Brad Pickett in November, and he will be looking to score the upset and make it two straight wins. Cejudo is the guy buing built for Demetrious Johnson, and this is a fight made for him to use his wrestling to domiante in, but he shouldn't take Camus lightly. This will be another interesting test for Cejudo.

6. Ben Rothwell vs. Matt Mitrione-UFC Fight Night 68-June 6
Honestly, this bout probably should have been named the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 when the original headliner was cancelled. Rothwell has won two straight, and three of his last four overall, and is coming off a big first-round knockout win over Alistair Overeem in September. He has been out of action for nine months and makes his return against Mitrione. Mitrione is coming in as perhaps the hottest fighter in the heavyweight division, having won three straight fights, all by knockout in the first round, and four of his last five overall. He has improved dramatically, and eight of his nine career wins have come by a finish. More importantly, this fight will have some title contention meaning as the UFC's heavyweight division is open to all contenders at the moment. This is a big fight to watch, and one that probably will see a finish.

5. Dustin Poirier vs. Yancy Medeiros-UFC Fight Night 68-June 6
This fight has the chance to be the best fight on the UFC Fight Night 68 card on June 6 in New Orleans. Poirier gets what he wants, a chance to fight in New Orleans just two months after his last bout, and this will be his second fight since returning to the lightweight division. He scored a first-round knockout over Carlos Diego Ferreira in April, and he has looked strong with wins in four of his last five fights, the only loss coming to Conor McGregor. Medeiros will be coming into the bout with Poirier having won two straight fights by submission, scoring wins over Damon Jackson and Joe Proctor, and he has been honored with "Performance Of The Night" in both fights. Both men come out swinging in their fights, and both have solid submission skills. This has the makings of being the best fight in the month of June.

4. Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero-TUF Brazil 4 Finale-June 27

This fight was announced kinda out of nowhere in the middle of May as the new headliner for the TUF Brazil 4 Finale on June 27. That event was originally scheduled to be in Sao Paulo, Brazil and to be headlined by Rick Story against Erick Silva, but the event was moved to Florida and needed a bigger main event, and this bout was made. It is a very interesting fight and a chance for Romero to prove if he can be a contender at 185 pounds. Romero was supposed to fight Ronaldo Souza in April but was forced out due to a ligament and meniscus tear in his knee. He may be coming back too soon from that injury, especially against an opponent like Machida. Machida is coming off a disappointing submission loss to Luke Rockhold in April, and it was the worst loss of his career. He will be looking to bounce back, and a second straight loss would likely end any chance Machida would have of fighting for the championship again. Romero winning would put him in the same group as Rockhold and Souza looking for the next crack at Chris Weidman.

3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Penne-UFC Fight Night 69-June 20 
For the first time in the history of the UFC's digital network, UFC Fight Pass, a championship will be on the line when the Octagon returns to Germany on June 20 for UFC Fight Night 69. UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrezjczyk will make her first title defense against the challenger, Jessica Penne, in the headliner in Berlin. Jedrezjczyk won the championship at UFC 185 in March in a dominant win over former title holder Carla Esparza, finishing her with punches in the second round. Penne was selected as the challenger when the original main event for this card was cancelled and they needed a fill-in, and she was probably the best available opponent for Jedrzejczyk. Penne is a former Invicta Atomweight Champion, but she is probably still a little undersized for the strawweight division. She defeated Randa Markos in a close fight in her UFC debut, and has won five of her last six fights.

2. Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez-UFC 188-June 13

This is a fight that has been years in the making since when Melendez was the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and Alvarez was the Bellator Lightweight Champion. There was talk of an inter-promotional bout between the two six years ago, but it went nowhere as their was little chance of it even happening. Now, both are in the UFC, both are no longer champions, and both are looking to get to the title fight. Melendez has surprisingly had two title shots in three UFC bouts, but has come up on the short end to Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis. Alvarez has only fought in the Octagon once so far, losing a decision to the red-hot Donald Cerrone. Both men have Hispanic heritage, and they get the semi-main event slot on UFC 188 in Mexico City on June 13. This has the makings of a great fight, and Melendez and Alvarez are both known for putting on great fights. This is another potential fight of the month.

1. Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum-UFC 188-June 13

It looks like we will finally get the long-awaited heavyweight championship battle between current UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum as we will finally get an undisputed champion. They will headline when the Octagon returns to Mexico City on June 13, just like they were scheduled to in November when the UFC went to the city for the first time for UFC 180. Velasquez was forced out due to injury, and Werdum went on to defeat Mark Hunt for the interim belt. Velasquez hasn't fought since defending the title against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 166 in October 2013, and he has a bad history of injuries. He has seen his teammates do well in his absence, with Daniel Cormier becoming a champion and Luke Rockhold becoming the top contender. Velasquez wants to return with a statement and make himself the undisputed champion. With this being the biggest fight of the month, it rightfully takes our top spot as the fight to watch in June.