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UFC Fights We All Want To See: Strawweight To Heavyweight – Part 2

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand (L) and Uriah Hall of Jamaica compete in their middleweight bout during the UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and with stars like Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Ronda Rousey and Paige VanZant stealing headlines, it is clear that the UFC is the driving force behind the sport’s growth.

The talent pool is rich and therefore there are many fights to make. As a fight fan, one will always have their favourite fighters and favourite fights, but picking bouts and there outcomes is one of the big attractions to the sport.

In UFC Fights We All Want To See: Strawweight To Heavyweight – Part 1, we looked at potential fights from the Strawweight Division right up to the Women’s Featherweight Division, which doesn’t even exist yet. In Part 2 we take a look at the Featherweight Division through to the Heavyweight Division.

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Featherweight Division

Charles Oliveira vs Dennis Bermudez

Two featherweights who have been top ten fighters for a long time but have struggled to make the jump to the top five. Oliveira (21-5, 1n/c), has won five of his last six fights but again dropped the highest profile fight of the bunch to Max Holloway. With McGregor’s future at featherweight uncertain and four of the top five contenders squaring off against each other, the timing has never been better to pick up a big win.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 28: Charles Oliveira of Brazil celebrates after winning the UFC Featherweight bout between Charles Oliveira of Brazil and Hatsu Hioki of Japan on June 28, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Bermudez (15-5) holds a win over Holloway back in 2013 but has lost his two biggest fights since that time. Those two losses were the ‘Menace’s’ only losses in his last ten however, and the timing has never been better for these two to square off.

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Lightweight Division

Donald Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis

‘Cowboy’ (29-7, 1n/c) has been vacationing up in the welterweight division as of late but he still holds the number four ranking at lightweight. In a rematch of their January 2013 showdown, Cerrone-Pettis would be the perfect career move for both fighters right now. Cerrone has fought twelve times since that bout, only losing to current champion Rafael dos Anjos, albeit twice.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - APRIL 8: UFC lightweight contender Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (top) spars during a media event at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness Academy on APRIL 8, 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images)

Pettis (18-5) has now lost three in a row, the first of which was when he lost his lightweight title to Dos Anjos. Pettis needs a win more than ever before and having beaten Cerrone already, ‘Showtime’ would likely go into the bout as favourite.

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Welterweight Division

Carlos Condit vs Matt Brown

Carlos Condit (30-9) has stated that he might retire if he doesn’t get a rematch with Robbie Lawler next, but with Lawler being booked to fight Woodley, it looks as though the ‘Natural Born Killer’ will have to play a waiting game for his chance. In the meantime there is one fight that has interested fans for some time now but has never materialised, Condit vs Brown.

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 14: (L-R) Matt Brown fights with Johny Hendricks in the Welterweight bout during the UFC 185 event at American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Brown (20-14) had a seven-fight win streak snapped in July 2014 but has lost three of his four bouts since. the ‘Immortal’ has 21 UFC contests under his belt and is an extremely entertaining fighter. Brown has been unlucky with his match-ups of late and will be hoping for another big name next, in the mould of a Carlos Condit.

Brown has been booked to fight Jake Ellenberger at UFC 201 but this fight is one that needs to happen soon.

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Middleweight Division

Vitor Belfort vs Uriah Hall

Belfort (25-12) has been a mainstay in the UFC now since 1997, with the exception of a short hiatus, where the Brazilian fought for other promotions between 1999 and 2001. Belfort has lost twelve fights in total but the list of opponents the ‘Phenom’ has fallen to reads like an all time greats list, with names such as Randy Couture, Chuck Lidell, Tito Ortiz, Jon Jones, Chris Weidman and Dan Henderson, just to name a few. Belfort is amazingly still a contender at middleweight and a big win will get him back in the mix.

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - MAY 13: Vitor Belfort of Brazil weighs in during the UFC 198 weigh-in at Arena da Baixada stadium on May 13, 2016 in Curitiba, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Hall (12-6) was frustrated to miss out on the opportunity to fight MMA legend Anderson Silva at UFC 198, when the ‘Spider’ was forced out of the fight with just a few days remaining, through injury. Belfort would prove to be a great alternative for Hall, who is coming off the back of a loss to Robert Whittaker late last year.

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Light Heavyweight Division

Rashad Evans vs Nikita Krylov

Evans (19-5-1), has had a poor return to the UFC, losing to top contender Glover Teixeira in a dominating performance by the Brazilian. ‘Suga’ will be looking to come back strong against an opponent a bit lower down the rankings. Krylov would prove to be a tough assignment and a test of where the Blackzilians product’s credentials lie as a ranked fighter.

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21: Rashad Evans prepares for his light heavyweight title bout against Jon Jones for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Krylov (20-4) is an extremely exciting prospect at light heavyweight. The 24-year-old Ukrainian has won five of his seven UFC fights and has never gone the distance in 24 fights. With seven KO victories and 13 submission victories, Krylov is a threat everywhere and needs a step up in competition. Evans would provide this, at least on paper.

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Heavyweight Division

Andrei Arlovski vs Mark Hunt

Arlovski’s (25-12, 1n/c) six-fight win streak has turned into back-to-back losses in the UFC, losing to current champion Stipe Miocic and his UFC 203 challenger Alistair Overeem. Although booked to fight Josh Barnett, a fight the fans would like to see is against the always entertaining Mark Hunt.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 08:  Alistair Overeem (L) of the Netherlands and Andrei Arlovski of Belarus compete in their Heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night 87 at Ahoy on May 8, 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Hunt (12-10-1) is coming off the back of back to back KO wins and is going through a purple patch. With the Heavyweight Division as it is, another couple of big wins could easily see the ‘Super Samoan’ get a crack at the title. A win over Arlovski would be a massive coup for Hunt, should the fight ever get booked.

Paul O’Dea, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.