UFC announces June 28th event in New Zealand, James Te Huna vs. Nate Marquardt serves as main event

Cameron Spencer

For the first time in its history, the UFC travels to New Zealand, where James Te Huna makes his middleweight debut against Nate Marqardt in the main event.

The UFC has been to Australia several times in the past 4 years, but this year they're making a trip to nearby New Zealand. Officials announced a June 28th date for the UFC Fight Pass streamed event, and the headliner will be Nate Marquardt against New Zealand's own James Te HunaThe MMA Corner's Neil Rooke first reported the main event before confirmation from the UFC came later today.

Marquardt (32-13-2) is returning to middleweight following a 1-3 run at welterweight that saw him capture the Strikeforce belt against Tyron Woodley before a string of gruesome beatings against Tarec Saffiedine, Jake Ellenberger, and Hector Lombard.

Te Huna (16-7) meanwhile is moving down to 185 lbs after consecutive 1st round stoppage losses to Glover Teixeira and Mauricio Rua. The Shogun KO marked the first time he'd ever been finished with strikes. His career highlight is a FOTN decision win over Joey Beltran in 2012.

I understand that this is a Fight Pass show, but this is definitely one of the weakest intended main events the UFC has produced. Marquardt has no UFC wins since 2011 and is 2-4 overall in his last 6. Te Huna has either lost to UFC contenders or has defeated non-UFC quality fighters (such as Aaron Rosa, Joey Beltran, and Ricardo Romero), so the main event is essentially solely riding on his value as a New Zealand native. This is the exact type of fight that should have the UFC re-examining what is and what isn't a five-round caliber fight.

This event will be held at Auckland's Vector Arena, with the main card starting at 8 PM local time, which is 4 AM ET/1 AM PT. It is effectively a dual-event day for the UFC, as June 28th also is the date of UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens in San Antonio, Texas, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.

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