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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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