Freelance: Ten UFC Fights Every MMA Fan Wants to See
Now, more than ever, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is in the business of making money by way of bloodshed. The era of “money fights” is well underway and the list of possible fights below (that either have yet to occur of for some other reason have fallen through) has fans eagerly waiting to hand over sixty bucks.
10. Angela Lee vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Kickboxer, muay thai specialist, and UFC women’s strawweight (115-pound) champion has gone largely untested inside the UFC and some fans are looking elsewhere to propose a threat to the Polish champion’s crown. That challenge comes in the form of 20-year-old Angela “Unstoppable” Lee of Asia’s ONE Championship.
The Hawaiian Lee is a perfect 7-0 and ONE’s atomweight (105-pound) dominator. She has only been to a decision a single time, winning unanimously last year. Where this possible scrap gets interesting is in the grappling department. Lee has won by using multiple techniques: the armbar, rear-naked choke, twister, and neck crank.
Even after 13 victories and an over two-year run in the UFC, fans have yet to see the point-fighter Jedrzejczyk’s submission ability outside of her native country on one occasion. On the other side of the coin, Jedrzejczyk is a striker and could spell disaster for Lee as she’s only won by way of TKO once–her last fight.
While the ONE brass would like to get a call from UFC President Dana White, White has admittedly never been a fan of co-promoting competition. However, this fight could still take place after Lee becomes a free agent. She fights on May 26 against 5-0 Stela Nunes De Souza in what will be Lee’s second title defense. She has not fought in just shy of a year but competed six times between mid-2015 and 2016.
Jedrzejczyk will defend her UFC title for a fifth time on May 13 at UFC 211 against 5-0 Jessica Andrade.
9. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 2
This fight must happen or Jon “Bones” Jones will always cast a large shadow over the career of current UFC light heavyweight (205-pound) champion, Daniel “DC” Cormier. Still if it does, it will be a co-main even as Dana White does not trust Jones to stay out of trouble to making it worth investing in him as a pay-per-view main event anymore.
Jones is the only person to defeat Cormier in MMA, a fact Cormier is well aware of. Cormier does not care for Jones’ behavior away from the cage and how he represents the sport: testing positive for cocaine metabolites, marijuana use, multiple DUIs, and an infamous hit-and run incident that injured a pregnant woman.
The worst punishment Jones has received to date has been community service and probation. Despite being the ultimate bad guy in MMA, it cannot be denied that Jones is ungodly talented as an athlete, only losing by way of disqualification due to an illegal elbow. He is in the middle of two concurrent suspensions for testing positive for an estrogen blocker ahead of UFC 200.
8. Michael Page in the UFC
If you are an aging fighter, Bellator MMA is often viewed as the place where your career goes to die. If you are a young gun fighter, you simply haven’t been tested yet. The second statement applies to England’s Michael “Venom” Page (12-0 in MMA, 8-0 in Bellator with 10 finishes in total.)
Page will be another highly sought-after free agent when the time is right. Despite there being other nominees, Page was the clear winner of and took home “Knockout of the Year” honors from the Fighters Only World MMA Awards held in late February. A flying knee in his last fight fractured the skull of Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, retiring him in the process.
The newly-minted 30-year-old is easily the single greatest welterweight (170-pound) fighter to not be wearing championship gold.
7. Ronda Rousey’s Final Fight
It’s likely that the last appearance of “Rowdy” has already happened (a 48-second loss to current UFC women’s bantamweight (135-pound) champion, Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes. Still fans have proven that they will pay for a Rousey fight no matter the result because of how she’s transcended combat sports.
Whoever her next adversary might be, they will be her last as she has said she does not want to compete beyond the age of 30. That means that she has since entered the self-imposed final year of her career. WWE’s Stephanie McMahon described Rousey and WWE as a “match made in heaven” in spite of the losses.
6. Demetrious Johnson’s 11th Title Defense/Return to Bantamweight
125-pound Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson might not be the most well-marketed UFC champion, but his is just two fights away from becoming the greatest champion in UFC history. Should he defeat Wilson Reis on April 15 in the main even of UFC on Fox in Kansas City, Missouri, he will tie Anderson “The Spider” Silva’s overall title defense record (10.)
An 11th defense (setting a new record) is the last goal he wants to complete before moving up to 135 pounds—his previous division. The former bantamweight king, Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz, also a tactical stand-up artist, is the only man to beat him at the weight in the UFC.
Their first bout was put in the hands of judges and thanks to his incredible title run, a rematch should bring in good money.
5. Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre
This fight has been booked minus the date and venue. The best welterweight (170-pound) fighter in UFC history will compete at middleweight (185 pounds) in a championship bout for the very first time against Michael “The Count” Bisping. While some fans see adding the belt to the contest as an obvious money grab, the fight’s major selling point is that the French-Canadian icon in St-Pierre is returning after a plus-three-year hiatus.
Dana White is hoping for the battle to go down on July 8 during 2017’s UFC International Fight Week.
GSP (25-2) has the most welterweight title defenses with nine (he’s tied with Demetrious Johnson,) the most title fight victories (12,) and the second most overall UFC wins at 19.
4. Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
These two men (in connection with “Notorious” Conor McGregor) are holding up the UFC’s lightweight (155-pound) division. There clash has been booked multiple times but never come to fruition due to weight-cutting issues. With McGregor and partner Dee Devlin about to welcome their first child, Ferguson and Nurmagomedov would do battle to then face McGregor upon his return.
Ferguson is 22-3 overall and will enter the fight with a trademark D’arce/Brabo choke opposite the world sambo champion in the unbeaten Nurmagomedov (24-0.) These two men are the only real contenders for the title at the moment, and so, the delays are holding up the entire division.
3. A Conor McGregor Title Defense
Whether fans like it or not, with Ronda Rousey bound to say goodbye to MMA, Conor McGregor is the face of the sport and the UFC as a promotion. He is the money fight and, to be fair, did climb the ladder at featherweight (145 pounds) before becoming the interim champion while Jose Aldo sat out due to injury.
McGregor eventually unified the titles by defeated Aldo via KO in just 13 seconds. He then made history by immediately jumping into a lightweight title fight against then-champion, Eddie Alvarez despite his previous two fights being at welterweight.
The Irishman has made enough money to last a number of lifetimes and made history by being the only fighter in UFC history to hold championships in two weight classes simultaneously (145 and 155 pounds.) Unfortunately, he was stripped of the 145-pound belt due to inactivity (although others have been inactive longer) in a move to save the UFC 206 event.
McGregor has no need to defend his current belt if he gets the proposed super-fight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. but it would definitely help cement his legacy even more.
2. Conor McGregor vs. GSP
Big bouts like his planned one with Bisping and squaring off against the face of the sport brought GSP back to MMA. He has nothing left to prove and is a sure-fire future Hall of Fame member. While McGregor has yet to comment, GSP asked is looking at “Notorious” per coach Freddie Roach. However, White denied that the contest was ever in the works.
Fans can dream, can’t we?
1. Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Super-Fight
This fight is so highly anticipated because it just might be the single best-selling combat sports pay-per-view event in the history of sports. Both McGregor and “Money” Mayweather say this fight is happening and the previously biggest obstacle, McGregor’s bosses at the UFC, have given the go-ahead.
The boxing match has a possible date in June, but it seems unlikely as McGregor is off due to the birth of his future son and Mayweather typically fights in either May or September. In the eyes of many, McGregor has already won the fight by even being willing to box the 49-0 pugilist as Mayweather wouldn’t dare attempt MMA like James Toney.
Even MMA fans can guess the outcome though, but some are giving him more of a chance thanks to the power of his left hand, Mayweather’s tendency to struggle against southpaws, and the fact he is now 40 years of age. Defensive (often viewed as boring) fighting has Mayweather coming in as the favorite for now.
It’s mostly down to settling on a date and financial matters. Leading experts predict this fight could bring in $100 million.