Must-See MMA Fights for the Month of June

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2013

Must-See MMA Fights for the Month of June

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    The first full fight weekend of June is here, and the UFC will be there to kick it off with their 10th installment on Fuel TV.

    However, the leaders of the MMA world are not the only organization with interesting fights happening this month.

    From fights that could determine the next title challenger to fights featuring some of the top prospects in the sport, there are plenty of reasons to watch. Then, of course, there are fights that will just be fun as hell to watch.

    Here are nine can't-miss fights heading your way this month.

No. 9: King Mo vs. Seth Petruzelli

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    On June 19, Bellator returns for its summer series. The main event will be the return of Muhammed Lawal, better known as King Mo.

    Opposing him in the light heavyweight tournament tilt will be Seth Petruzelli.

    This is a can't-miss fight due to King Mo's presence. Once considered one of the premier prospects in the light heavyweight division, he was knocked out by Emanuel Newton at Bellator 90. We will get to see him try to return to form against a decent veteran of the sport.

    Petruzelli's claim to fame is still the TKO of Kimbo Slice. That will never change, but he has a chance to upset King Mo and end that hype too. Will he be a wrench in Bellator's plans, too?

No. 8: Sam Stout vs. James Krause

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    This should be a fun stand-up affair. Sam Stout is always good for one of those.

    Stout is 2-2 in his last four, alternating wins and losses. He is coming off a win over Caros Fodor at UFC 157 by way of split decision. He will get a chance to welcome 27-year-old James Krause to the big leagues.

    This will be Krause's first official UFC event, but the second time he's stepped inside the Octagon. The first time, he was attempting to join The Ultimate Fighter, but Justin Lawrence stopped him to gain entry to the house.

    Since 2011, Krause is 8-1 with an active seven-fight win streak.

    These two will stand and trade. It will be a crowd-pleasing battle.

No. 7: Thiago Silva vs. Rafael Cavalcante

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    The co-main event of UFC on Fuel TV won't determine a contender in the light heavyweight division, but it is almost assuredly going to deliver violence.

    Thiago Silva and Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante are finishers. They will bring it.

    Silva has not officially won a fight since 2009. His two victories were erased due to positive post-fight tests. This could be his last chance in the Octagon. Feijao will try to see to that. Feijao is a former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, and he too has had a win taken away by way of a failed post-fight test.

    It is hard to envision how this fight goes the distance. They love to punish their opponents, and they hit very hard. Someone is going to sleep in this fight.

No. 6: Erick Silva vs. Jason High

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    Erick Silva vs. Jason High may be the best non-top 10 welterweight fight in 2013. Both men are just a fight or two away from breaking in to that elite group.

    Silva is one of the top prospects in the entire sport. He burst on to the scene with a blistering overhand right at UFC 134 and has continued to impress. He has lost twice inside the Octagon, but the first was a questionable DQ for hitting Carlo Prater in the back of the head. The second loss was a competitive fight against Jon Fitch; a fight that likely taught him more than a win would have.

    High is one of the most overlooked welterweights. He is currently on a seven-fight win streak.

    This fight will tell us a lot about both men. With each man so close to the top 10, you don't want to miss this fight. And if it is any consolation, you can see Silva's perfect hair in action.

No. 5: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum

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    The No. 3- and No. 8-ranked heavyweights headline UFC on Fuel TV 10. Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (No. 8) and Fabricio Werdum (No. 3) try to make a case for a potential title shot.

    Werdum is on the cusp of said title shot. If he wins, and Velasquez retains, he is likely next in line. He has won two in a row in the UFC, and a win over a ranked foe will do a lot for his case.

    Nogueira has exchanged wins for losses in his last six bouts. In that span, he lost to Frank Mir twice and to eventual champion Cain Velasquez. Randy Couture, Brendan Schaub and Dave Herman were victims to the legend. Injuries and battles have taken their toll, but it appears Nogueira is still capable of competing at the highest level.

    This is a rematch from a 2006 meeting in PRIDE. Nogueira won by decision. Minotauro was much more mobile back then, and Werdum was still very green. It will be interesting to see how time has shifted this matchup.

No. 4: Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley

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    This is another fantastic fight of top welterweights on the brink of the top 10. Tyron Woodley meets Jake Shields at UFC 161.

    Woodley made a very successful UFC debut with a quick KO over Jay Hieron. The welterweight prospect holds an 11-1 record, and a victory over Shields should earn him a top-10 ranking.

    Shields is making his return to the welterweight division. He is hopeful to make another run toward the top, but Woodley is a significant roadblock in that process. Shields is coming off a win that was overturned for a failed post-fight test.

    The welterweight clash will challenge both men in various ways. Neither man is an elite striker, and with their grappling abilities as a centric part of the game plan, it may turn in to a striking battle. The stylistic matchup will pose interesting problems for each, and we get to see who overcomes and conquers.

No. 3: Jeff Curran vs. Sergio Pettis

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    One of the best fights this month does not take place in any national promotion. It takes place at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 8 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 21st. The inaugural RFC Flyweight Championship is on the line when crafty veteran Jeff Curran takes on Sergio Pettis.

    Curran won his flyweight debut back in May, and he will test how good Pettis truly is. He is a perfect matchup to gauge Pettis' development as a fighter.

    Pettis is the younger brother of the UFC's Anthony Pettis, and he is very good. He currently holds a perfect MMA record at 7-0. The flyweight has been turning heads and should have the eye of the UFC.

    You can catch this fight when it headlines RFA 8 on AXS TV.

No. 2: Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton

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    Alexis Davis, ranked No. 6 in the official UFC rankings, makes her organizational debut against Rosi Sexton at UFC 161.

    Sexton is a natural flyweight who is moving up in weight for this fight. While she may be the smaller fighter, she hits hard. Very hard. She is one of the best at 125 pounds, and meeting Davis will be a tall order for her.

    Davis has looked phenomenal in recent outings. She nearly pulled off a come-from-behind victory over Sarah Kaufman in March of 2012, but has proceeded to stop her next two opponents via submission. Those two opponents were submission specialists in their own right: Hitomi Akano and Shayna Baszler.

    You will want to watch this to see how well Sexton handles the bigger fighter, and to watch two of the best pound-for-pound women fighters on the planet. It's a pleasure they are on UFC 161's main card.

No. 1: Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson

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    No. 3-ranked Dan Henderson meets No. 6-ranked Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 161, and it is the No. 1 can't-miss bout of June.

    It's a can't-miss for a variety of reasons. Not only are they top-10 fighters, but they are two of the greatest light heavyweights in the history of MMA. Two quality wrestlers with knockout power and a propensity to throw bombs.

    Their previous outings may have left a lot to be desired, but in both instances it had more to do with a poor stylistic matchup than anything else. With their backs against the wall at UFC 161, they will be more aggressive.

    If you let their last fights ruin your love of this fight, then you will miss out on one fantastic fight. Don't be that guy or gal.