It has been a hell of a yr for the UFC who’ve managed to placed on classics within the hardest of circumstances.
We didn’t get the Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov – shock horror – neither did we get Conor McGregor’s jam-packed 2020 and, regardless of Jon Jones shifting as much as heavyweight, we’ll by no means get Jones vs Daniel Cormier III.
However, we did get Cormier vs Stipe Miocic III, Justin Gaethje vs Tony Ferguson and Jorge Masvidal vs Kamaru Usman.
So what’s subsequent in 2021? With the world hopefully making progress in the direction of normality once more within the struggle in opposition to COVID-19, UFC might effectively roll out some insane fights subsequent yr, which might additionally Nick Diaz return to the octagon. Right here’s what we will’t watch for and would like to see.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Georges St-Pierre
UFC president Dana White is assembly with Khabib throughout UFC 257 struggle week, which simply so occurs to have two of his final three victims headlining in Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Khabib walked away from combined martial arts following his victory over Gaethje at UFC 254, stating he didn’t wish to struggle on with out his late father in his nook and revealed a promise made to his mom that meant he wouldn’t struggle anymore.
If White needs to lure one in all his most prized property again into the octagon, the primary struggle he may give him is the legendary Georges St-Pierre.
GSP is within the dialogue for best fighter of all-time and as a two-weight world champion at welterweight and middleweight, it wouldn’t be a stretch for Khabib to maneuver up – particularly listening to about how a lot he hates weight cuts as of late – and searching on the form GSP is in, it could actually occur.
Each males have repeatedly stated they wish to face one another. St-Pierre retired as a result of White wouldn’t give him the Khabib struggle, however stated he would return for it and Khabib’s father at all times wished his son to face GSP and attain 30-0. The story is there, however extra importantly, the struggle could be mad.
Jon Jones vs Israel Adesanya
This has a good bit of dangerous blood behind it – and it’s the one Dana White would like to make.
Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champion, says he grew up an enormous fan of Jones, however grew to become disillusioned with him as he continued to make errors outdoors of the octagon.
Adesanya has been tipped to maneuver as much as light-heavyweight shortly and Jones has simply moved on from 205lbs to heavyweight after almost a decade of dominance in that division.
Jones has crushed the very best over a couple of generations at light-heavyweight and he’s undoubtedly the most effective to ever step contained in the octagon. Adesanya, 20-0, is carving out his personal legacy however these two are magnetic to one another.
The bitter insults have flown backwards and forwards on Twitter, however the middleweight king actually thinks he’s the person to place Jones out to pasture.
Consider it or not, Jones is barely two years older, each males are 6ft 4in and whereas Adesanya must pack on some muscle, he has acknowledged he’s prepared to fulfill Jones at heavyweight.
Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jędrzejczyk II
White known as this the perfect feminine MMA struggle of all-time and fairly presumably the perfect struggle in UFC historical past, no matter gender.
The pair met in March, 2020 at UFC 248 and proceeded to only commerce punches for the entire contest.
Jędrzejczyk was left wanting like an alien with a swollen brow after the competition and that’s the picture that continues to be embedding in MMA followers’ brains, however the two girls lifted the feminine facet of the game to heights not seen since Ronda Rousey’s prime.
Each girls have stated they wish to do it once more and it’s laborious to say what struggle White has on his fingers that’s extra enticing than watching these two go hammer and tong once more within the girls’s strawweight division.
Brock Lesnar vs Stipe Miocic
Sure, Brock Lesnar continues to be a free agent from WWE and open for enterprise.
Now 43 years previous, he’s clearly not the prime specimen he was when he received the UFC heavyweight title 12 years in the past, however he’s actually the largest field workplace draw the heavyweight division might have right this moment and that features Jon Jones.
That attraction has at all times had a maintain over UFC kingmaker White and the president has remained open-minded with having Lesnar again at each move.
When his contract lapsed with WWE final summer season, each champion Miocic and Jones instantly began jostling for place to get a shot at Lesnar.
WWE legend Kurt Angle says Lesnar would return for a showdown with Jones, however a shot at regaining the title would absolutely carry some heavy attract for the Beast Incarnate, too.
Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington
That is one other struggle that writes itself. These two was once greatest associates and coaching companions, however now it couldn’t be extra completely different.
Covington had an entire character change throughout his UFC journey, a change that many consider came about as a result of he feared for his job. Now, he’s vocal in being pro-Donald Trump and in his try and be probably the most hated man in UFC.
Masvidal has had a polar reverse rise. With spectacular knockouts over Darren Until, Ben Askren after which stopping Nate Diaz, Masvidal went from UFC journeyman to their quantity two celebrity behind Conor McGregor.
The pair initially fell out when Covington reportedly refused to pay their coach following a struggle and the dangerous blood has solely received worse since then. Each males need this struggle and with welterweight Kamaru Usman busy with Gilbert Burns, it appears a no brainer.
Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
Talking of no-brainers, is there something that makes extra sense for UFC financially than rematching McGregor and Khabib?
No, is the reply. They’ve one of the vital heated and actual rivalries within the historical past of the game and the pay-per-view they headlined is comfortably probably the most purchased PPV in UFC historical past – by miles, in actual fact.
Khabib has been hesitant to offer McGregor one other shot believing the Irishman should earn it first. Infamous appears to be within the technique of doing that proper now, so them assembly in 2021 will not be out of the query.
A number of reviews have indicated that the UFC themselves are determined to make the struggle once more.
McGregor actually needs his probability to write down the improper of UFC 229 the place Khabib comfortably dispatched him, it’s simply all about Khabib.
If he comes out of retirement and will get his GSP struggle, does a showdown with McGregor observe?
Dustin Poirier in January may need one thing to say about that, thoughts.