The 3 Biggest Fights The UFC Can Make?
By Michael Sampey
There are currently many fights up for discussion that the UFC needs to make. Not only for pure fan excitement, but also from a commercial standpoint for the company.
Below are arguably the 3 biggest fights I think the UFC should make.
Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones at Heavyweight
Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones is simply one of the greatest rivalries not just in MMA, but in all of sports. A great juxtaposition of characters but a great resemblance of fighting ability.
Jon Jones has been destined for greatness since a very young age, becoming the youngest UFC champion when he captured the UFC light heavyweight championship at age 23.
Jones, who was compared to a young Anderson Silva when he rose to fame with his long and creative fighting style, has beat some of the best fighters the sport has ever seen with wins over the likes Alexander Gustafsson, Rampage Jackson, Shogun Rua and two wins over Daniel Cormier, the rematch with Cormier was subsequently declared a no contest.
Becoming champion at such a young age should could have turned out in two opposing directions for Jones. The path to the most defences, surpassing Mighty Mouse and cementing his name as the best to ever do it, however there were serious bumps in the road along the way.
Problems inside and outside of the cage that have shown a potential dent in Jones’ legacy. From testing positive on drug tests creating the whole steroid debate to being involved in a hit and run and being stripped of his belt, he really has been to hell and back within his career and personal life.
Cormier, However, The UFC poster boy, the great fighter, talker and commentator on FS1 has done it all.
He came into the sport of MMA at 30 and has won The UFC light-heavyweight strap and more recently, picking up the UFC heavyweight strap after dethroning arguably the best heavyweight ever in Stipe Miocic, with a first round knockout.
This victory made Cormier become only the second fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously, after the one and only Conor McGregor who held both the featherweight and lightweight belts.
The only loses on Cormier’s resume come from Jon Jones. The first being a decision victory in favour of Jones with the second coming from the knockout of Cormier with a left high kick followed by a brutal ground and pound.
However, these two fights were at light heavyweight. At heavyweight it will be a much different fight. It is no secret that Cormier struggles to get down to the 205 limit to fight at light- heavyweight and on top of that he is also undefeated at heavyweight, where as Jon Jones would be a very small heavyweight.
If the two were to fight, it is expected that Jones would weigh in at around 225 pounds, where has Cormier would be near 250.
Will the weight play as an advantage for Cormier or will it hinder his speed? What we do know is that he says he feels much stronger at heavyweight.
The fight would be a big gamble for Jones at heavyweight and has said it would take a lot of money for him to accept the fight.
With a Cormier win, he can erase the Jon Jones defeats out of his life which continues to haunt him. Where as if Jones gets the win and has won all three of the fights, he surely puts the rivalry completely to bed and can say with full belief that he is better than Cormier.
Ben Askren vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
The highly anticipated arrival of Ben Askren was finally made official when he made the plunge and transferred from ONE Championship to the UFC in a deal which saw one of the greatest pound for pound fighters of all time, Demetrious ‘mighty mouse’ Johnson go the other way.
For those who aren’t familiar with Ben Askren, he is a very high-level fighter who specialises in wrestling and grappling who has fought and won championships all over the world for companies such as Bellator and ONE Championship. He is also undefeated and controls every opponent in every fight, exactly like The UFC lightweight champion.
Many have said, including Joe Rogan, that they would love to see Ben in the UFC and with the latest acquisition of the American wrestler, he quickly got to work as he has called out many of the top guys in the welterweight division from Darren till, to Nick and Nate Diaz to Colby Covington.
Although Ben is in the division about Khabib, it is that much of an intriguing fight that it could be made at a catchweight fight.
Khabib has shown pure dominance in his MMA Career. Being undefeated at 27-0 is no easy accomplishment, especially while fighting in the UFC, across the cage from such high-level competitors.
Khabib has never backed down to a fight, proving he can beat anyone put in front of him with wins over Edson Barbosa and his recent dominant performance over Conor McGregor, who he even dropped with an overhand right after much of the MMA world, including professionals, saying he has no striking ability and is too one-dimensional.
However, Askren possesses the same level of wrestling and grappling and feels very confident that he can dominate Khabib at his own game.
Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor 3
Perhaps the best has been saved untill last. A Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz trilogy is what every MMA fan wants to see.
Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are two of the biggest personalities in the sport. They are both big talkers, great fighters and above else are entertaining at the highest order.
From the press conferences ending in Diaz sticking up his fingers to McGregor to then McGregor launching water bottles at Nate and his team to the incredible battles they’ve endured, the third meeting will definitely be an incredible sceptical you do not want to miss.
McGregor is one of the biggest stars in all of sports. He is a one in a million individual that you are lucky to come across, especially for Dana White to be presented with as the UFC president as it makes his job remarkably easier and McGregor himself thinks he is the reason alone why the company was sold for 4.2 billion.
McGregor not only talks the talk but walks the walk. He has the biggest mouth in the sport but also has one of the best abilities in the sport to go along with it and has said multiple times he will fight anyone at any weight.
McGregor, who has already fought at featherweight and lightweight, capturing both belts, moved up to welterweight to face Nate Diaz which unfortunately ended up with him being submitted in the second round due to a rear naked choke.
What is probably more memorable than the fight is the post-fight interview with Nate, where Joe Rogan said to Diaz,
“You just shocked the world” to which Diaz replied, “Hey, I’m not surprised motherfuckers” to then pound his fist into the air.
However, McGregor was screaming for the rematch straight away and wanted all the rules to be the exact same as the first as he did not want to create any excuses or make it easier for him to get the win the second time of asking.
The rematch came at UFC 202 which saw McGregor get the decision victory in one of the best fights the UFC has ever seen. A fight that was full of knockdowns, blood and takedowns.
Both fighters have said that there will definitely be a trilogy fight and I’m sure it will be one of the greatest fights an MMA fan will have the privilege of watching.