The UFC is poised for another big year in 2020, with Conor McGregor returning and the likes of Israel Adesanya, Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman potentially becoming big drawing cards after tremendous performances in 2019.
Every year sees new stars break out too, though; the likes of Dominick Reyes and Weili Zhang also shot up the card to stardom in 2019 and although they’re not quite on the level of the aforementioned fighters, they could definitely reach those heights soon.
Who is likely to break out in 2020 as potential UFC stars of the future? There are many fighters to choose from but these 5 are definitely distinct possibilities.
#1 Ciryl Gane
It’s easy to jump onto the bandwagon of a new fighter who starts winning in the Heavyweight division, largely because when the big men win, it’s usually in explosive, violent fashion, and it’s common to see a newcomer rocket up the ranks in just a handful of fights.
But after a breakout 2019, it should be easy to pinpoint Ciryl Gane as a potential UFC star going forward.
A native of France, ‘Bon Gamin’ drew comparisons with Francis Ngannou prior to his UFC debut due to his penchant for brutal, heavy-handed striking, but then he surprised everyone in his fight with Raphael Pessoa by taking the Brazilian down and submitting him with an arm triangle choke.
His second fight, meanwhile, saw him beat up Don’Tale Mayes with his kickboxing – before again surprising everyone by submitting his foe with a heel hook, becoming the first Heavyweight to pull the hold off in over a decade. Gane ended the year with another win, this time picking the slower Tanner Boser apart with his striking over three rounds.
An A+ athlete with seemingly well-rounded skills, Gane appears to have all the tools to reach the top of the UFC’s Heavyweight division, and 2020 could be the year that he does so.