Like most sports, the UFC has canceled its next three events due to the coronavirus pandemic. But unlike most sports that are targeting to return in May, June or July, the UFC is looking forward to fighting again soon.
MMA is a combat sport between two fighters and can be held with 10 or fewer people in the venue to comply with the restrictions on large gatherings around the world due to the COVID-19 virus. The UFC also has a defiant boss in Dana White who isn’t keen on staying on the sidelines for too long. Because of this, the UFC could be back as early as next month.
And remember to keep checking the top UFC betting sites. Now let’s take a look at the fights we want to see when the action returns:
Khabib vs Ferguson
This is the fight that we’ve been waiting for five years. The UFC booked Khabib vs Ferguson four times before but each time, either one of the fighters got injured. Dana White used to say he would never book this fight again but then if he stood by that, we would never know who the best lightweight fighter in the history of the games is.
- Nurmagomedov is unbeaten in 28 fights and dismantled McGregor in October 2018 and submitted Dustin Poirier in his last title defense.
- Ferguson has won a record 12 consecutive fights at lightweight and he was the interim champion.
El Cucuy not only has the ground game that could match Khabib’s grappling but he has the striking skills to knock out Nurmagomedov on the feet. A lot of people are saying that if there’s one man who can beat Khabib, it’s Tony. The fight date is compromised because of the coronavirus scare but Dana White insists it will push through with only 10 people and even if it has to be taken outside the United States if needed.
McGregor vs Gaethje
The MMA world has been waiting for Conor McGregor to make his return. The world’s most popular MMA fighter has been sidelined since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov but has been talking about an octagon return soon. Justin Gaethje has been calling out Conor McGregor for quite some time now. McGregor’s manager said that his ward needs to beat Gaethje first before aiming at a rematch against Khabib. Nurmagomedov fights next month ( if plans don’t miscarry) and will be out for quite some time after that. Conor needs a tune-up fight if you call it that way, and I think Gaethje fits the bill.
The Highlight is an all-brawl fighter, making him tailor-made for McGregor and his left-hand punch. However, if Conor isn’t careful, he’ll get starched here. The trash talk has begun with Gaethje promising to knock the Irishman out. McGregor countered by saying he’s knocked out the last two fighters who defeated Gaethje. This one should be firework from start to finish.
Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier 3
Ok, so Daniel Cormier recently said that his trilogy fight against Stipe Miocic will be the last one before he finally retires. That’s nostalgic but I think he’ll get his ass whooped again here. DC is a guy you have to love. When he came to the UFC, he was a former Strikeforce heavyweight tournament champion. But he chose to fight at light heavyweight because the champion back then was his good friend Cain Velasquez. He ran into Jon Jones, created a rivalry but was never able to beat Jones in two fights although one of those fights was reverted to a no-contest after Jones failed a drug test. Anyway, he moved to heavyweight and shocked Miocic at UFC 226. But Stipe proved that was a fluke when he knocked out Cormier in an absolute war in a rematch last August. Cormier has been talking about going out on a blaze of glory. Miocic wants to finally erase DC from his mind. This will be another war worth the wait.
Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes 2
Their first bout ended with Jon Jones winning by unanimous decision but with media saying otherwise. 14 out of 21 major media outlets thought Reyes won but the judges gave the nod to Jones. It wasn’t a controversial fight for me. However, it was close and it could have gone either way. When you have a title fight, the challenger must take it to the champion. Sure, Reyes landed some big shots but none of them had Jones in trouble although Jon was backing up at times. Jones was so untouchable for a long time. He has won 12 UFC title fights which is a record. But his last two bouts have seen a decline in his performance. He defeated Thiago Santos by split decision and then Dominick Reyes dropped him and forced him into a close fight. I’m not saying that Reyes got robbed but he certainly deserves a rematch. The Devastator will do better against Jones than Jan Blachowicz. C’mon Dana, book this one too!
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal
Kamaru Usman successfully the UFC welterweight title at UFC 245 by mauling the loudmouth Colby Covington. The Nigerian Nightmare stood toe to toe with Covington and battered him to a TKO. Usman won the title nine months earlier by dominating Tyron Woodley with a crippling ground game. So who can stop Usman? Perhaps Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal is coming off the best year by any fighter and should be the 2019 Fighter of the Year in everyone’s book after knocking out Darren Till in London, stopping Ben Askren in five seconds, and beating up Nate Diaz at UFC 244. With those wins, I think he deserves the next title shot against Usman.
UFC President Dana White said that the UFC is targeting this fight for the International Fight Week in July. Usman has said that he wants to fight Masvidal next. Gamebred has been in the picture for so long and the very popular fighter has a chance to finally be called champion if White makes good on his promise to book this fight. I can’t wait for this one!
Henry Cejudo vs Alexander Volkanovski
Cejudo is one of only seven fighters to win two different UFC belts and one of four to hold the belts concurrently. After relinquishing the flyweight belt, Cejudo has chosen to defend his bantamweight gold against the former champion Jose Aldo. That bout is currently booked for UFC 250 on May 9th and Cejudo is the betting favorite at -180. A win over Aldo will give Cejudo his third straight win over an ex-UFC champion.
Volkanovski is coming off an upset win over Max Holloway and the rumors are saying the two are headed for a rematch.
However, if Cejudo beats Aldo, he will start talking about a third world championship which is unprecedented in the UFC. I know Cejudo isn’t the kind of fighter than Dana White believes has Conor McGregor star power but this one could be about history, not just for Cejudo but for Volkanovski as well to become the next two-weight division champion. I’m not sure if Dana likes this fight but this isn’t just about Cejudo cementing his legacy. It’s about him becoming the first-ever three-division champion in UFC history. I don’t like Cejudo but it would be great to watch him make history.