Connect with us


Top Five UFC Fights To Look Forward To In June

June promises to be a jolly good time for fight fans, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he highlights the five most-anticipated UFC match-ups of the month, including what’s set to be an epic battle for the lightweight title.


June promises to be a jolly good time for fight fans, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he highlights the five most-anticipated UFC match-ups of the month, including what’s set to be an epic battle for the lightweight title.

Islam Makhachev v Dustin Poirier

Sunday, 2 June SA time

The month will begin with a bang with UFC 302 from the Prudential Center in Newark, where Makhachev will make the third defence of his lightweight championship against a legend of the sport in the main event.

Makhachev has been a dominant force in the UFC and sits on the throne of not only the talent-rich 155-pound division but the pound-for-pound rankings as well. A powerful grappler with killer instinct, the Dagestani destroyer is on a remarkable 13-fight win streak and plans on ruling the lightweight division for years to come.

A future Hall of Fame, Poirier looks to finally realise his dream of becoming undisputed champion in his third crack at the crown. A former interim titleholder, he was stopped in his quest for undisputed gold by Makhachev’s former training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019 and by Charles Oliveira in 2021.

However, “The Diamond” has continued to shine and gets his shot at dethroning Makhachev after knocking out Benoit Saint Denis in March.

Sean Strickland v Paulo Costa

Sunday, 2 June SA time

UFC 301’s co-main event will see Strickland return to the Octagon for the first time since losing his middleweight title to Dricus du Plessis in January.

The unfiltered American has had plenty to say about his split decision defeat to South Africa’s fighting pride and is ready to re-enter the fire and fight his way back to the title.

Standing in his way is a muscle-bound Brazilian known for his heavy hands. Costa is a knockout artist who fought for the belt back in 2020 and is looking to get back on track after dropping a decision to former champion Robert Whittaker in February.  

Jared Cannonier v Nassourdine Imavov

Sunday, 9 June SA time

Elite middleweights headline UFC Louisville from the KFC Yum! Center.

Cannonier has proved to be an evergreen assassin as the 40-year-old has won four of his past five fights, including back-to-back victories over ex-champion Strickland and former title challenger Marvin Vettori.

“The Killa Gorilla” is one of the most feared strikers at 185 pounds and after falling short of claiming the crown against then-king Israel Adesanya back in 2022, he’s closing in on a second bite at the cherry.

Imavov is 5-2-1 NC in the UFC and returned to the win column with a majority decision victory over Roman Dolidze last time out. The 29-year-old can do it all and has an opportunity to claim the biggest scalp of his career come June 9th.

Robert Whittaker v Khamzat Chimaev

Saturday, 22 June SA time

Former 185-pound king Whittaker faces undefeated juggernaut Chimaev in a five-round headliner at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

If anyone has the skills and savviness to end Borz’s unbeaten streak, it’s Whittaker, a well-rounded warrior of the highest order. Conversely, Chimaev represents a tall order for “The Reaper” with his scary power and overwhelming grappling.

Something has to give in this extremely intriguing clash, which could determine the next challenger for the middleweight title.

Sergei Pavlovich v Alexander Volkov

Saturday, 22 June SA time

Don’t blink when top-five heavyweights Pavlovich and Volkov hook ‘em up in the co-headliner of the Saudi Arabia card.

The all-Russian rumble promises to be violent as neither man works by the hours. Pavlovich, in particular, is a terrifying powerhouse on the feet who’d rattled off six straight first-round finishes before suffering his first defeat inside the Octagon against Tom Aspinall in their interim title fight last November.

The towering Volkov is still chasing an elusive UFC title shot. The former Bellator heavyweight champion has won three in a row, most recently submitting Tai Tuivasa last September, and a win over Pavlovich would certainly put him in the title picture.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

More in UFC