May has come and gone, and what a great month for MMA it was. Fans were treated to a veritable feast of high quality, entertaining match-ups from organisations around the world, helped by the sheer volume of events put on. While June is not quite as hectic schedule-wise, there is still plenty to look forward to as I take you through my picks for the 5 fights in June you will not want to miss.
1.) June 4th, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 76 – Lewis Long vs Andreas Stahl
First, we look to Europe and the returning Cage Warriors Fighting Championship. It was tremendous news for fans of, and fighters involved in European MMA when the company held their first event after over a year of uncertainty this past April, and they will look to build on the success of that show. On this occasion, Graham Boylan and the crew take their brand to Newport, Wales and one of the country’s proudest representatives will be in action on the night as Lewis Long takes on Andreas Stahl. The 27-year-old Welshman is one of the highest ranked fighters in Europe and boasts a professional record of 12 – 3, finishing 9 of those wins. Riding a 5-fight winning streak, Long has hit the accelerator on his career, and has no intentions of slowing up. If the name of his opponent, Andreas Stahl, sounds familiar and you cannot place it, then it is because the Swede is a UFC veteran, going 0 – 2 in his time with the promotion, albeit to tough opposition in Gilbert Burns and Santiago Ponzinibbio. However, prior to that run, Stahl had a perfect 9 – 0 record and fights for the first time since his release. This promises to be an all-action welterweight bout between two fighters with something to prove. UFC Fight Pass subscribers rejoice, because Cage Warriors FC 76 will be broadcast live on the network for your viewing pleasure. Tune in.
2.) June 4th, UFC 199 – Luke Rockhold vs Michael Bisping
When Chris Weidman pulled out of UFC 199 last month through injury, many wondered who the UFC could turn to in order to sell the pay-per-view at such short notice. Step forward Michael “The Count” Bisping. The current UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, has been an absolute wrecking machine of late, finishing all 5 of his opponents on his current winning run, which includes his 4th round TKO of Chris Weidman to capture his UFC title. Interestingly, another of those opponents was Bisping, who Rockhold looked phenomenal against, earning a second round one-armed guillotine submission victory. However, the Englishman is undeterred by that loss, steadfast in his belief that winning this fight is his “destiny”, that it is his time to hold UFC gold. Since that aforementioned loss to Rockhold, Bisping has won three straight, including a decision win against the longest reigning champion in the division’s history, Anderson Silva. It will be Bisping’s 26th UFC bout and his first title shot. UFC 199 is, as with every UFC pay-per-view card, stacked, but the main event for the UFC middleweight title stands out for a plethora of reasons. Can Luke Rockhold put on a repeat performance of the last time the two met and retain his title, or will Michael Bisping avenge his loss and become the first fighter from the UK to win a UFC belt? Tune in on June 4th to find out.
3.) June 18th, UFC Fight Night 89 – Valérie Létourneau vs Joanne Calderwood
On June 18th from Ottawa, Canada, the UFC will host their second event of the month. Featured on the card will be the first ever women’s flyweight fight in UFC history. The 125 pound division for women has long been called for in the UFC, due to the large weight gap between the existing women’s strawweight and bantamweight divisions. While the UFC have gone on record to say that this is not the founding of a new division, UFC president Dana White has previously stated that women’s flyweight would likely be the next division implemented by the promotion, so this fight could be seen as a sort of trial run for the division. Létourneau is coming off a UFC strawweight title loss to Joanna Jędrzejczyk that saw her drop her first fight in 4 for the UFC. Calderwood was last seen earning a win in front of her home crowd at UFC Glasgow over Cortney Casey, but an injury absence has kept her out of the octagon since. These two women are among the more physically larger women’s strawweights, and the cut to 125 should be much easier on them. This historic first women’s flyweight fight in the UFC is must-see MMA.
4.) June 18th, UFC Fight Night 89 – Rory MacDonald vs Stephen Thompson
This is a fight worthy of a place on any list of this nature. In fact, if I was to pick out just one fight not to miss in June, it would be this one all day long. This is a fight that will most likely determine who will face the winner of Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title. MacDonald, fighting in his home country of Canada, did lose his most recent fight, but it was in a Fight of the Year with current champion, Robbie Lawler, at UFC 189 last July. “The Red King” was actually ahead on all three judges’ scorecards in that fight before being finished in the final round, and is plotting another run at the belt. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, on the other hand, is looking to climb to number one contender status for the first time and can boast a 6-fight winning streak which includes 3 Performance of the Night bonuses in his last 4 fights. Most recently, Thompson had a spectacular showing against former champion Johny Hendricks, dominating the fight before mercifully finishing Hendricks little over three minutes into the fight. The expert striker will be hoping to put those tools to work once again in Ottawa. Both of these men have a rightful reputation for being two of the most exciting fighters, not just in the welterweight division, but in all of MMA, so, in all honesty, you would have to be absolutely out of your mind to miss this fight. Mark it on your calendars and cancel all plans; you know what you are doing on June 18th.
5.) June 24th, Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 – Quinton Jackson vs Satoshi Ishii
Rounding off the list brings us to Bellator 157 and the return of one of the modern-day icons of MMA, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The former UFC light heavyweight champion headlines the event against Olympic judo gold medallist for Japan, Satoshi Ishii, at a catchweight of 215 pounds. Jackson fights in Bellator for the first time since his much publicised contract dispute, during which time he competed in the UFC and earned a decision victory over Fabio Maldonado. However, he is back in Bellator now and looking to build on a successful past with the promotion, having won all three of his fights prior to his UFC return, including winning the Bellator Light Heavyweight tournament by beating Muhammad Lawal in the final. Ishii is 14 – 4 – 1 in MMA, with 6 submission wins. The Japanese fighter is a 6th dan judoka, which he will be looking to put to good use against Jackson in an attempt to earn what would be the biggest victory of the 29-year-old’s MMA career to date. “Rampage” Jackson is always box office viewing, and Bellator 157 on June 24th is no exception.
So there we have it, five MMA fights to watch in June. Do you agree with the list? Is there any other fight in particular you are looking forward to this month? Get in touch and let us know on Twitter @MMALatestNws.
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Exclusive: Jalin Turner vs Noah Tillis set for Bellator LA in January
Bellator LA: Douglas Lima vs Rory MacDonald, has just had another entertaining fight added as two talented prospects Jalin Turner and Noah Tillis are set to meet in a lightweight bout. Sources close to the fight confirmed the news to MMA Latest earlier this morning.
Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner makes his return to the Bellator cage for the first time since January 2017, where he defeated Gabriel Green by knockout, in an exciting fight that only lasted 36 seconds. Since the fight, Turner has gone 2-1 where he defeated Paradise Vaovasa by KO, at Tachi PF 31, before dropping his next fight to Richard LeRoy by TKO, at CFX 8. Turner bounced back from the loss by beating Vytautas Sadauskas by submission, at KOTC: Never Quit, back in September.
Noah Tillis is currently coming off of a 9-second submission victory against Jeff Carson, at Gladiator Challenge: American Pride, back in July. The “Submission Magician” has amassed a professional record of 3-2 with three victories coming by submission, DQ, and a TKO due to injury. His two losses coming by way of TKO and decision.
It is unclear where the fight will be featured, but it is assumed it will take place on the undercard. The potential brawl represents a stiff challenge for either man, as well as an opportunity to make some noise in an always deep lightweight division.
The only other fight currently announced on the card is the main event between current Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger, Rory MacDonald. Bellator LA: Lima vs MacDonald is set to take place on Saturday, January 20th, in Los Angeles, Calfornia, at the Forum.
Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor wants to knockout Trey Branch then fight Brian Moore in Bellator on St. Patricks Day
Going from postlim fights in Bellator to a co-main event and then a main card fight after with such little professional experience isn’t something you’d hear of very often in the slightest. In this case Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor is the exception, who in only his third professional fight went to Ireland as part of the co-main event for a fight with James Gallagher. Taylor became well known to many in the build-up to that fight for being so outspoken and quite an entertainer, something he carries with him to the cage.
Anthony Taylor now has himself a fight lined up in a regional show near his home in California at California Fighting Championships. This will be his first time fighting back in America since May 2016. His last two bouts were in Europe as part of Bellator’s expansion into Europe. Following two losses he now hopes to get back in the win column in front of a home crowd. Taking this fight as a tune off fight Anthony is confident he won’t be touched by his opponent Trey Branch.
“Well, I’m taking this fight because Bellator said I’ll be fighting next year for overseas and it will be a good tune off fight for me. I think of trey like any other fighter. Just a guy who’s not going to touch me nor beat me.”
His opponent Trey Branch is jumping up from flyweight for this fight, Anthony believes he’s going to dominate his opponent and knock him out with ease. Now having 3 career losses coming via submission, he is not worried about his ground game, guaranteeing it was improved from training with some of the top fighters in Bellator.
“I believe I’m going to overpower him and KO him. He’s coming up from 125lb to fight me which I stated to the world on Bellator that I’m the strongest 45er in the world!! And as far as my ground game, it’d be covered and it’s great. Thanks to AJ McKee, Baby Slice, Joey Davis and Aaron Pico. My ground game is great and up there to the level, as there’s”
Looking ahead to next year when he competes in Bellator again, Taylor has his eyes set on a big fight in a return to Irish soil.
“Well Bellator loves me and I proved them that I belong there. I haven’t been told when I was fighting but I hope it’s back in Ireland, and maybe on St. Patricks day and hopefully I’ll fight Brian Moore because me and him been wanting to fight the longest.”
As a training partner for AJ McKee, Taylor was very pleased with how the fight went down, claiming it was a simple enough fight for his teammate that apparently didn’t train much for the fight. Suffering a loss on the initial trip to the emerald isle, “PrettyBoy” wants to come back and take home a win next time around.
“Oh man it was an easy fight for AJ, he only trained 2 weeks for that Brian Moore fight” he laughs “but absolutely it would be a great show if I was also on the show me and James alone still holds the record of views internationally and I’m looking to come back and taking what’s mines which is that W”
The win against Brian Moore could now potentially line up a fight between McKee and James Gallagher, fight fans have long sought after. Having fought against James and training with McKee on the regular Taylor isn’t convinced that Gallagher is ready for the AJ just yet. He also had some words about SBG fighters who were calling out Baby Slice.
“James is not ready for AJ. And people calling out slice since he’s new in the game. Why are sbg guys not calling out Joey Davis?? They are all talk and think that they’re better than everyone.”
With a win on Saturday, Anthony Taylor thinks it will kick him off to a series of consecutive wins that could ultimately land him in a fight with Emmanuel Sanchez.
“Yes it will start off (Saturday) and I believe it will set me up tremendously. I’m only getting better and I plan on winning fights in Bellator and then taking out Emanuel Sanchez. I do not like him, I hate him”
“I don’t like his style and he’s always hating on my teammates so I want his head” he added
Away from the fight scene, Anthony is pleased with the life that he’s got set up for himself with his newfound love since joining Bellator as he now aims to break into the movie industry too.
“Man it’s been great I now have a wonderful woman in my life so I’m happy. I’m acting too, trying to get into the movies industry and God has blessed me which so much love”
You can follow Anthony Taylor on all his social media accounts to keep an eye out for all his upcoming fight information and results.
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