Up to this point, it’s not a stretch to say the UFC is enjoying its best year since the chaos that was 2016.
From surprising title changes, to top stars returning, to fans being back in the arena – the Ultimate Fighting Championship is well and truly back in business.
They’re doing great financially, the fights they’re booking are fun and there’s a new star emerging every other week.
Yet even with this being the case, we think there’s a chance the second half of 2021 could be even better than the first.
The rise of the bantamweights
For the longest time lightweight has been billed as the very best division in mixed martial arts, and especially in the UFC – but we don’t feel as if that’s the case anymore. Sterling, Yan, Sandhagen, Dillashaw, Font, Edgar, Cruz, O’Malley and more are proving that bantamweight is the place to be.
More venues return
Houston and Jacksonville have paved the way for a return to full crowds and the UFC is well and truly going full steam ahead. We’re expecting to see Las Vegas, New York, Chicago and potentially even a few arenas overseas open up which is bound to heighten the magnitude of the remaining cards in 2021.
McGregor vs Poirier 3
It’s one of the biggest fights in UFC history and we’re now just over a month away from it going down at T-Mobile Arena. Conor McGregor has to win if he wants to stay relevant as an elite 155-pounder, whereas Dustin Poirier needs to get his hand raised if he wants to go on and fight for the undisputed title.
The GOAT of women’s MMA debate
Rose Namajunas is an incredible talent but in reality, the GOAT conversation in women’s MMA tends to boil down to Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. They’ve fought twice before with Nunes controversially winning both times but if they keep on cleaning out their divisions, a trilogy bout is possible.
Francis Ngannou is now officially the baddest man on the planet – but where do we go from here? The answer appears to be a rematch with Derrick Lewis but shortly after that, we’re expecting to see the return of Stipe Miocic as well as the inevitably explosive heavyweight debut of Jon Jones.
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