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UFC June 2021 Recap: In-Depth Breakdown + Biggest Takeaways

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For the first time this year, the UFC gave fans over 50 fights in June and we are here to break it all down! Join us for our UFC June 2021 Recap, where we will go over the in-depth stats from each card and give some of our biggest takeaways heading into the second half of 2021!

UFC June 2021 Recap: The “Nitty Gritty”

UFC June 2021 Recap

UFC Vegas 28: Rozenstruik vs Sakai (6/05)

  • 13 Fights
    • 8 Decisions
      • 6 Unanimous
      • 2 Split
    • 4 Finishes
      • 4 KO/TKOs
        • 2 in Round One
        • 2 in Round Two
    • 1 No Contest
      • 1 in Round Two (Eye poke)
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Miguel Baeza
    • Performance: Jairzinho Rozenstruik (TKO) and Marcin Tybura (TKO)

UFC 263: Adesanya vs Vettori 2 (6/12)

  • 14 Fights
    • 11 Decisions
      • 8 Unanimous
      • 2 Split
      • 1 Majority
    • 3 Finishes
      • 2 KO/TKOs
        • 2 in Round One
      • 1 Submission
        • 1 in Round Three
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Brad Riddell vs. Drew Dober
    • Performance: Brandon Moreno (Submission) and Paul Craig (TKO)

UFC Vegas 29: Korean Zombie vs Ige (6/19)

  • 12 Fights
    • 6 Decisions
      • 4 Unanimous
      • 2 Split
    • 6 Finishes
      • 5 KO/TKOs
        • 3 in Round One
        • 2 in Round Two
      • 1 Submission
        • 1 in Round Three
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant
    • Performance: Seungwoo Choi (TKO) and Matt Brown (KO)

UFC Vegas 30: Gane vs Volkov (6/26)

  • 13 Fights
    • 5 Decisions
      • 3 Unanimous
      • 1 Split
      • 1 Majority
    • 7 Finishes
      • 4 KO/TKOs
        • 3 in Round Two
        • 1 in Round Three
      • 3 Submissions
        • 2 in Round Two
        • 1 in Round Three
    • 1 No Contest
      • 1 in Round Two (Eye poke)
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Raoni Barcelos vs. Timur Valiev
    • Performance: Kennedy Nzechukwu (TKO) and Marcin Prochnio (TKO)

June 2021 Totals

  • 52 Fights
    • 30 Decisions
      • 21 Unanimous
      • 7 Split
      • 2 Majority
    • 20 Finishes
      • 15 KO/TKOs (0 in Rounds Four or Five)
        • 7 in Round One
        • 7 in Round Two
        • 1 in Round Three
      • 5 Submissions (0 in Rounds One, Four, or Five)
        • 2 in Round Two
        • 3 in Round Three
    • 2 No Contests
      • 2 in Round Two (both eye pokes)
  • Total Bonus Money Awarded = $800,000
    • 4 Fight of the Nights
    • 8 Performance Awards

UFC June 2021 Recap: Biggest Takeaways

The Last Stylebender Reigns Supreme

UFC June 2021 Recap
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – JUNE 12: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria reacts after his victory over Marvin Vettori of Italy in their UFC middleweight championship fight during the UFC 263 event at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC 263 was headlined by one of the biggest stars in the organization, Israel Adesanya, defending his title against Italian-born Marvin Vettori. This fight was a well-anticipated rematch for the simple fact that Vettori had given Adesanya his closest fight yet, at least on the judges’ scorecards. Also, the fact that Israel Adesanya was coming off of his first professional loss, albeit up a weight class against the Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz, added some extra intrigue.

Fans were curious to see how the champion’s wrestling defense would hold up, after being shown as a weakness against Blachowicz. Adesanya not only answered all doubts but showed that in a matter of three months, his vast improvements in the grappling department. Not only defensively, but offensively as well, displaying great takedown defense, a strong ability to get up off of his back, and even escaping a submission attempt and reversing position.

The performance was a near shutout from Adesanya at UFC 263 and he earned his third title defense at 185 pounds as well. With this ever-improving champion still making statements every time he steps into the octagon, the question must be asked. Can anyone stop Israel Adesanya’s title run at middleweight? With another rematch on the horizon for the champion, this time against Robert Whittaker, it will be interesting to see these two go to war once again.

Mexico Gets It’s First UFC Champion

UFC June 2021 Recap
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – JUNE 12: Brandon Moreno of Mexico reacts after submitting Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil to win the UFC flyweight championship fight during the UFC 263 event at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Legos, Funko pops, and now a shiny, gold UFC belt sits atop the shelf of Brandon Moreno’s collection. The Assassin Baby put on his best performance to date at UFC 263 slaying the dominant force, Deiveson Figueiredo, to win the UFC Flyweight Championship, thus becoming the first Mexican-born champion promotion’s history. After such a back and forth affair in their first meeting that ended in a draw, no one expected Moreno to come out and look nearly flawless against Figueiredo. 

This is exactly what Moreno did, however. Right from the opening bell, he constantly was the aggressor in this bout, having the advantage over Figueiredo wherever the fight took place. He displayed a much improved striking game, with both speed and power, dropping the former champion with a jab during the fight. Moreno would inevitably work his way to a rear-naked choke submission in the third round that forced Figueiredo to tap and at that moment, it felt as if a superstar was born.

The Gila River Arena erupted as Moreno was pulled off by the referee and the pure emotion let out was something you see in the movies. For the longest time, the UFC has been searching for a champion from Mexico, and now they finally have that with Moreno. Already one of the most likable and marketable talents on the roster, his stock is now through the roof and is must-watch television no matter who he defends his belt against for the first time. 

The Korean Zombie Takes Another Victim

UFC June 2021 Recap
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 19: (L-R) ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung of South Korea punches Dan Ige in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 29 showed fans one of the most well-rounded fights from Chan Sung Jung, otherwise known as The Korean Zombie, that they have ever seen. Coming into this main event slot, Zombie’s opponent Dan Ige was riding high after knocking out then-undefeated prospect Gavin Tucker in under 30 seconds earlier in the year. It seemed that all of the hype and momentum surrounding Ige, plus his ability to match the pace and take punishment like Korean Zombie, would push him to secure the biggest win of his career.

This was far from the case though, as TKZ not only got the better of the striking exchanges but utilized his underrated grappling to really control this entire fight on the ground. Constantly threatening with submissions, landing ground and pound strikes, and locking in numerous body triangles left Ige helpless on the mat. While it was not the fight that fight fans expected, it was the one they needed to see out of Zombie.

Seeing Zombie not take as much punishment and go back to his roots of being an elite grappler earned him a huge bounce-back win after being defeated handily in his last outing against Brian Ortega. Now back in the win column and still one of the most beloved fighters on the UFC roster, Chan Sung Jung is now seemingly one more win away from earning a title shot in this absolutely stacked featherweight division. While there are a plethora of options, one thing is certain, anytime that TKZ appears on the marque, fans from all across the globe will be tuning in. 

Ciryl Gane’s Striking Showcase Earns Interim Title Shot

UFC June 2021 Recap
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 26: Ciryl Gane of France reacts after his unanimous-decision victory over Alexander Volkov of Russia in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The month of June ended with Ciryl Gane putting on a clinic in the striking realm at UFC Vegas 30 against Alexander Volkov. While most expected this fight to be very technical between the two giants, Gane stole the show, landing the second most significant strikes in UFC heavyweight history en route to his unanimous decision victory.

The footwork was on point, the in and out movement, the ability to switch from southpaw to orthodox and back so quickly. The list could go on and on for how great of performance that Gane put on. After his last win against Jairzinho Rozenstruik left many questioning the ceiling that Gane could possess, he put all doubts to bed in this one. Gane’s output was far higher, the power shots landing more prominently, and every time that Volkov would offer any sort of threat, Gane would be able to answer with two or three shots of his own.

While many probably felt a title shot was next for Gane after such a great performance, no one expected what would be announced no more than 48 hours later. Brett Okamoto reported that Gane would now be facing off against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 in August for an interim heavyweight title, rather than awaiting the winner of the expected undisputed fight between current champion Francis Ngannou and aforementioned Lewis.

This is an interim title fight that feels very unnecessary, however, the bout itself between Lewis and Gane is quite exciting when you get past the situation putting them against one another. The one-shot power of Lewis, paired up with the technical expertise of Gane is going to give plenty of intrigue over the next month until they meet in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas on August 7th. 

Give us your thoughts on our UFC June 2021 Recap and what you felt were the biggest takeaways of the month in the comments below!

Check out my MMA podcast and follow me on Twitter @dsallee14. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter @OTHeroicsMMA for more great content! Head over to the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!

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Dominic Sallee is a Combat Sports writer. He focuses primarily on the UFC, with plans to venture out with pieces from other MMA organizations in the future. Along with writing, Dominic is also the Co-Host of the Below Average Joe's MMA Podcast, which produces 2-3 new episodes per week about all things in the MMA community!