The UFC, in nearly every facet, had a successful 2020. Still, there were some fights we didn’t get to see for one reason or another, e.g., Khabib-Ferguson and Usman-Burns. Luckily, there’s always next year. We have to see these fights in 2021.
In recent weeks we learned that Volkanovski-Ortega is “probable” for UFC 258 in February. Then, we find out that Nunes-Anderson is booked for UFC 259 in March – with either Stipe-Ngannou 2 or Adesanya-Blachowicz aiming to headline the March PPV.
Some other notable fights were announced along the way, but many sought after match ups remain unannounced or undecided upon. All in all, we have to see these fights in 2021.
Adesanya vs Jones
I don’t care what weight it’s at. I don’t care where it takes place or what belt is on the line – if any. Bottom line is Adesanya-Jones is the super fight of all super fights and 2021 is the year to make it happen.
For the last two years, ‘Stylebender’ has been proclaiming that 2021 is the year he fights Jon Jones. He even selected Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas as the venue. Meanwhile, Jones seems like he wants this fight as soon as possible.
Realistically, Adesanya fights Blachowicz in either March or April. Jones likely is sidelined until summer when he will take on the winner of the Stipe-Ngannou rematch.
The timeline sets up for an Adesanya-Jones super fight at the end of 2021. Again, who cares about semantics. Just make it happen.
Masvidal vs Covington
Once friends, roommates, sparring partners. Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington are present-day bitter rivals. There isn’t another welterweight fight you could make that would garner more eyeballs than this one.
There were rumors that these two might coach March’s season of The Ultimate Fighter – I can’t think of a more compelling pair of coaches. Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum (coaches of most recent Ultimate Fighter) were scheduled to fight a month following the airing of the show.
Book Masvidal-Covington for April or May. Both contenders are healthy and ready to go. The time is now.
Shevchenko vs Weili
This is the most intriguing match up currently in women’s MMA. Shevchenko is the most dominant women’s UFC champion ever – behind of course ‘The Lioness’. On the flip side, Weili Zhang proved her other-worldly abilities are legit in her last two performances.
The easiest path to booking this fight is having Weili move up to challenge for Shevchenko’s flyweight strap. This bout doesn’t have to be next necessarily for either champion, but it could be.
Word has it that Dana White believes Rose (Namajunas) “doesn’t want” a title shot. Namajunas’s camp has later refuted the President’s claim, but perhaps he will look passed ‘Thug’ Rose’.
Figueiredo vs Cejudo or Garbrandt
Do you want to see Deiveson Figueiredo fight Askar Askarov if he beats Joseph Benavidez in March? What about Manel Kape? Personally, I’m yawning to those options at this point. We just saw Figueiredo run through two flyweight challengers – Joseph Benavidez (x2) and Alex Perez. Then, he fought a war against Brandon Moreno. A fight that warranted an immediate rematch in my opinion.
For this case, let’s assume ‘Deus Da Guerra’ gets passed Moreno again. His work in 2020 earned Figueiredo a massive fight – Henry Cejudo would be that. ‘Triple C’ has been teasing a return, basically since he retired in May. The flyweights could again dominate December by booking Figueiredo-Cejudo to round out the year.
We cannot count Cody Garbrandt out of the flyweight title picture just yet. ‘No Love’ has steadily insisted he’ll receive a flyweight title bout upon returning from injury. Figueiredo-Garbrandt is still a fight I want to see.
Dillashaw vs Aldo
TJ Dillashaw returns from suspension next month, causing people to speculate who he’ll fight. What Jose Aldo did at two weeks back versus Marlon Vera was prove he can still execute what got him to the dance. He’s still quick, precise, and powerful.
Sure, Dillashaw could fight Rob Font, but something tells me the UFC doesn’t go that route. The only other option is Dominick Cruz, but that’s if he gets passed Casey Kenney in March. Does Dillashaw wait that long to get an opponent though?
Doubtful. Instead, I strongly believe Dillashaw-Aldo gets booked shortly following the Dillashaw’s suspension is lifted.
Chimaev vs Holland
After knocking Jacare Souza out in highlight fashion, Kevin Holland called out Khamzat Chimaev to fight the following week. Sure, it was far-fetched, but respect to Holland for being so game. Still, this fight has to happen at some point.
Chimaev is facing Leon Edwards next month, and Holland versus Derek Brunson might be officially announced soon. If both Chimaev and Holland win or lose, a match up between the two makes sense. If one wins and the other loses, the fight will have to wait.
This bout will happen at welterweight, which is notable because Chimaev has bounced back and forth between 170s and 185lbs. The contrast in personalities combined with what they’ve shown in short young UFC careers, makes this a fight we have to see in 2021.
We have to see these fights in 2021. All of them. What other match ups do you want to see next year?