UFC New York is set to be absolutely massive with a stellar line up predicted.
One of the biggest ever MMA events has still yet to be announced, but it is commonly accepted that when the UFC rolls into New York sometime later this year, it’s going to be an earth shaking moment.
Recently legalised again in the state, MMA is likely to make its triumphant return with a spectacular line up at Madison Square Garden. But before any headliners or under cards can be determined, there’s a small matter of UFC 198, 199 and the monumental 200.
While the majority of fan focus lies with UFC 200 in July, there is a growing anticipation of what is to come for the Big Apple event. As such there are five title fight predictions which must be all but assumed.
Featherweight – Conor McGregor v Frankie Edgar
There is no way the Irish man will relinquish his title unless it’s in the ring. UFC 200 sees Jose Aldo take on Edgar for the interim featherweight strap, with the victor to take on McGregor for the title. This is likely going to be a headliner for the New York event.
While Aldo is out for revenge following his 13 second loss to McGregor last December, he seems consumed by this and is not focused on Edgar, something that could well catch him out at UFC 200.
In truth, a McGregor – Edgar title bout would be a preferred bout from a business perspective and a huge local draw, as there is a huge Irish population on New York and Edgar hails from neighbouring New Jersey.
Lightweight – Rafael dos Anjos v Dustin Poirer
This might be a long shot but Poirier is burning up the lightweight division, with a 3-0 record following his move back up from featherweight. Dos Anjos looks increasingly likely like he will face Eddie Alvarez at UFC 200 and a clash with the American in New York would be an interesting match up were both to record victories in July.
Welterweight – Robbie Lawler v Nate Diaz
When Diaz stunned the MMA world and beat Conor McGregor at UFC 196, he became hot property and immediately got catapulted into the title contender bracket. If he repeats his victory over McGregor at UFC 200, surely a title clash with Lawler is on the cards.
Bantamweight – Cristine ‘Cyborg’ Justino v Miesha Tate
Cyborg hits the UFC in May at UFC 198, and is destined for the top.
Tate, the champion following her defeat of Holly Holm at UFC 196, faces Amanda Nunes in July and should successfully defend her title, setting up a huge defence against Cyborg in New York.
As MMA can and routinely does throw up shock results there are a good many assumptions made with these four lineups. The only dead cert is a headline billing for Conor McGregor in a featherweight title clash with either Aldo or Edgar.
Whoever is eventually on the billing, UFC New York is going to be a record breaker, unlike anything seen before in the sport. With so many events yet to take place and permutations still to be worked out, the hype for this event is going to throw up many huge names before Dana White et al put us all out our misery.
Until then, at least there are a handful of big events taking place before then, to keep us all occupied and happy.