The UFC's bantamweight division has developed into one of the most exciting weight classes. The division is brimming with talent and could eventually surpass the lightweight division in terms of depth.
Former champions and legends Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar have moved down to 135lbs for an opportunity to add another UFC championship to their legacy. With such a deep division, every fight carries significant repercussions to the rankings and title picture.
With more states and countries easing COVID restrictions, high-profile fights in the division could be an attractive selling point. The UFC's top-ranked bantamweights could be relied on for pay-per-views or to main event upcoming ESPN cards. This list will look at 5 bantamweight fights the UFC should consider.
#5. 'Sugar' Sean O'Malley vs. 9th ranked bantamweight Pedro Munhoz
'Sugar' Sean O'Malley has become a fan-favorite since making his UFC debut on Dana White's Contender Series in 2017. O'Malley has been awarded with either a Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night bonus on 5 occasions. This is impressive considering O'Malley has only competed in 7 UFC fights. 'Sugar' is currently 6-1 in the UFC with his lone loss coming via TKO against Marlon Vera back in 2020. The UFC have received criticism for O'Malley's opponents as there is a noticeable discrepancy in skill level. This is apparent in betting odds for his fights as he is usually an overwhelming favorite. After defeating Kris Moutinho, it's clear that O'Malley is ready for a test against a top-10 bantamweight.
Pedro 'The Young Punisher' Munhoz would be the perfect opponent for O'Malley. The current No.9-ranked bantamweight has fought some of the division's best and proven he can compete in the top 10. Some of Munhoz's victories include a submission over Rob Font and a first-round knockout over former champion Cody Garbrandt.
O'Malley has generated plenty of attention for his fights, however, his resume lacks a ranked opponent. Defeating a fighter of Munhoz's caliber could line up 'Sugar' with the 135 elite.
'The Young Punisher' is scheduled to fight former champion Dominick Cruz on December 11th at UFC 269. Munhoz's performance will dictate his standing in the division and could set the stage for a bout with O'Malley. A win over Cruz would be significant as it'd be his second win over a former bantamweight champion.
O'Malley-Munhoz has the potential to be an absolute war.