The UFC is the world’s top MMA promotion and as such, it is believed to have the best fighters on the planet. But while the UFC has some of the world’s best fighters, not all of the planet’s top fighters are signed with the UFC. When you look at other promotions in the United States and all over the world, there are a lot of world-class MMA fighters who would give the UFC’s superstars a run for their money.
We saw UFC fighters like Sage Northcutt, Ian McCall, and Eddie Alvarez lose bouts when they transferred to other promotions. So there is no reason why the best fighters from those promotions can match-up well against the UFC’s top fighters. Agree? In this article, we will list down the cross-promotion MMA fights that we’d like to see:
Douglas Lima vs Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman has emerged as the top welterweight in the UFC. After dethroning Tyron Woodley, Usman stopped interim champion Colby Covington in a back and forth slugfest. Now Usman is being linked to a showdown with Jorge Masvidal who had a sensational 2019 after wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz. A matchup between Usman and Masvidal would be awesome but if you ask me, there is another opponent out there, outside the UFC, who has a real shot at defeating the Nigerian Nightmare. And he might just knock Usman out if they fight.
Douglas Lima is the Bellator welterweight champion. He’s a guy who has several losses in his resume but after a 2018 defeat to Rory MacDonald, he has emerged as one of the best welterweights on the planet. Since losing to the Red King, Lima scored a submission win over former champion Andrey Koreshkow, knocked out Michael Page in spectacular fashion, and then defeated MacDonald in a rematch. With his dominance, Lima has chosen to move up in weight to challenge Gegard Mousasi for the vacant Bellator world middleweight title.
Henry Cejudo vs Bibiano Fernandes
Henry Cejudo may be too ambitious if he wants Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight belt too. One of the UFC’s few double-champions, Cejudo vacated his flyweight belt to focus on defending his UFC bantamweight title. His first defense will be against Jose Aldo but that fight hangs in the balance because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But even if Cejudo beats Aldo, he still has plenty of worthy challengers left in the likes of Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling, and Cory Sandhagen. However, if Cejudo wants a challenge, he can call up the ONE Championship.
Bibiano Fernandes is the current bantamweight champion in Bellator and he is one of the most dominant champions the promotion has ever seen. He has lost just once since 2010 and he avenged that 2018 loss to Kevin Belingon by submitting the Filipino fighter in his last outing. This match-up will also have an added storyline because Fernandes is the chief training partner of Jose Aldo, the man whom Cejudo beat to win the UFC flyweight belt.
Amanda Nunes vs Cris Cyborg
Ok so we saw Nunes obliterate Cyborg inside the UFC octagon at UFC 232 but that was over a year ago and Cris Cyborg has won back to back fights and is now the Bellator women’s featherweight champion. Nunes is a double-champ in the UFC and she is, without doubt, the best female pound for pound fighter on the planet. However, I’ve always believed if they fought again, it could end differently given Cyborg’s punching power and striking prowess. After watching replays of their UFC 232 fights, I think that Cyborg was tenser rather than overmatched. Had she not rushed things, the fight could have ended differently. Sure, the difference in speed and quickness was obvious. But what if they fought again? I want that. Cyborg wants that.
Save for that Nunes loss, Cyborg has looked almost invincible. I mean I have to hand it to the Lioness because she did her homework and won the fight but, Cris Cyborg is more than the fighter that Nunes knocked out at UFC 232. Cyborg had not lost in a decade before getting knocked out by Nunes. That alone deserves a rematch. You know that she wasn’t in good terms with Dana White in the first place. White only wanted Cyborg in the UFC because of a mega-fight with Rousey. That didn’t happen. He wanted to ship her out right away and after the Nunes loss, he had his justification.
Henry Cejudo vs Demetrious Johnson Part 3
Why not? Demetrious Johnson defeated Henry Cejudo during their first encounter via knockout. Mighty Mouse was the inaugural UFC Flyweight king and he made 11 consecutive successful title defenses before losing the belt, to Cejudo in a closely fought bout which could have gone either way. After that loss, the UFC exiled DJ to Asia by trading him to the ONE Championship where he has won three straight fights and the ONE Championship Flyweight Grand Prix.
For his part, Cejudo has annexed the UFC bantamweight title and has vacated the UFC flyweight belt, opting to stay at bantamweight for now. Cejudo has been talking here and there. He’s talked about challenging for the featherweight belt as well. However, we have not been given the chance to see Cejudo and Johnson settle the score once and for all. Remember, the score is still 1-1 between these two. Both fighters are enjoying a good amount of success in their respective promotions and both are arguably the best flyweights today. A trilogy bout would be great so we’ll know who’s better.
Jon Jones vs Ryan Bader
I won’t blame you if you’re going to tell me we’ve seen this before because that’s true. Jon Jones submitted Ryan Bader via guillotine choke at UFC 126 but that was in 2011 when Jon himself wasn’t even a champion. Jones is considered the GOAT by some people and he is the most dominant light heavyweight champion in UFC history. We have seen Jones beat the who’s who of the 205-pound division but in his last two bouts, he has been far from invincible. Jones has been tested before. He was taken to his limit by Alexander Gustaffson. Thiago Santos gave him a hard time at UFC 239 and then Dominick Reyes went to war with him at UFC 247. If given another shot, who knows what the new Ryan Bader can do?
Bader has gone a long way since that 2011 fight. He was 15-5 in the UFC and joined Bellator not because he was fired but because he was looking for greener pastures. Since arriving at Bellator, Bader has been impressive. He won the Bellator light heavyweight belt in his first bout. Bader beat King Mo, Matt Mitrione, and Fedor Emelianenko to win the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Now that’s impressive work and that deserves a bigger fight. There is no bigger fight for Bader than Jones and if there’s a cross-promotion matchup that I want to see, this one is on top of my list.