Conor McGregor’s accomplishment of holding two UFC championships at the same time is one that may never been emulated in the company.
Aside from the fact that few have the same level of influence when it comes to matchmaking, McGregor’s size and skill level in relation to the featherweight and lightweight divisions made a near-impossible task in today’s world of MMA all too believable.
Despite this, the UFC definitely have candidates should they decide to give another one a champions a shot at making history. Here are the five most likely:
After defeating Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205, defending her Strawweight Championship for the fourth time, Jedrzejczyk might be the most likely current fighter to hold two UFC belts at the same time.
At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any strawweight fighter not named Claudia Gadelha on the same skill level as the Polish Champion, and Joanna already expressed her desire to hold championships in two divisions when speaking to MMAFighting.com
Of course, the one significant roadblock in this plan is the fact that there is currently no Women’s Flyweight division in the UFC at the moment, and the talent pool of women’s fighters at the moment doesn’t point to one being created any time soon.
Despite the lack of current flyweight fighters though, Joanna insists that with a bit of shuffling, a women’s flyweight division could be feasible:
“So many girls from bantamweight can go down, so many girls from strawweight division can go up. So we should make that division the next division,” Jedrzejczyk told MMAFighting.com
With her wide arsenal of punches, elbows and knees, it’d be very hard to bet against Jedrzejczyk being beaten by anyone at either 115lbs or 125lbs, but a move up to Bantamweight would almost certainly see her give up too much a size advantage to be a credible threat.
Considering that, it all depends on whether the UFC ever bring this new weight class in, and whether or not Jedrzejczyk will still be at the top of Women’s MMA by then.
Rightfully the pound-for-pound #1 in MMA at the moment, if anyone is deserving of the chance to become a champion in another weight division, it’s ‘Mighty Mouse’.
Should Johnson defend his belt once more against the eventual winner of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, he will have comprehensively cleared out the flyweight division.
Given that, why shouldn’t be deserving of a shot at fighting for bantamweight gold, and give his profile a much deserved boost?
Johnson has already had a chance at capturing this belt though from it’s current champion though; before the inception of the UFC’s flyweight division he challenged Dominick Cruz in a title fight and lost in a decisive unanimous decision.
That was in 2011 though; since then Johnson has been on an impressive 11 fight unbeaten streak as a flyweight, while Cruz has only fought three times due to recurring injuries.
Johnson may already be regarded as MMA’s best fighter at the moment, and rightfully so, but winning the bantamweight championship and avenging his only loss would truly cement his decision as one of the all time greats.
It’s fair to say there’s definitely a chance that in a few weeks time, Cormier might not even be the light-heavyweight champion as he is set to defend against top contender Anthony Johnson.
Should Cormier defend his title once more though, a successful jump up to the heavyweight division may be more plausible.
The former NCAA Division 1 wrestler has prior experience at this weight class. Cormier won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2012, and has two UFC wins at heavyweight against Roy Nelson and Frank Mir.
With the current UFC Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic normally weighing in at around 245lbs, Cormier will not likely face that big of a size disadvantage should the two face off and could potentially be successful if he is able to properly utilise his superior wrestling game.
Cormier stated last year that he’d never go back to the heavyweight division, so this may be unlikely. However, one look at the success Conor McGregor has achieved and the capital he has accumulated as a result might be enough to change his mind sometime down the line.
We’re stretching further down the scale of likelihood here in the case of the UFC welterweight champion; it seems that Woodley’s next fight is bound to be a rematch with Stephen Thompson after their draw at UFC 205.
As well as that, there is plenty of contenders in the shark tank that is welterweight that will give Woodley plenty of options at his current division, and the incentive to become the most dominant 170lb champion since George St. Pierre.
Given his size and skill though, one can definitely make the argument for Woodley being able to make a successful transition to the middleweight division should he choose to do so.
As seen in his fights against Lawler and Thompson, Woodley’s strengths in size and power give him an impressive advantage over most welterweight contenders in both his stand-up and his wrestling game.
We haven’t seen how that would transition to the 185lbs division, with Woodley having never fought at middleweight before. But when you look at the punching power he has, and the way he can control opponents at welterweight, it’d certainly be interesting to see what he can do should he move up.
Okay, a string of unlikely events need to occur in order to ever see the former light-heavyweight hold two belts at the same time but hear us out.
This is all depending on whether or not Jones can indeed clean up his act to even return to the Octagon in the first place.
Should he manage to be able to make a return to the UFC, Jones would be more than entitled to walk into a Light-Heavyweight championship fight given the way he dominated the division previously.
In a world where Jones does return and defeats the light-heavyweight champion, the freakishly-athletic frame of Jones would definitely be enough to warrant an attempt at capturing the heavyweight title.
Jones would more than likely possess a reach advantage over whoever is champion at the time, and has already shown that he is incredibly difficult to take down should one choose to do so.
It might be a pipe dream, but if Jones wants to do this and can get cleared to do so, it’d be hard to bet against him.