Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has perhaps been the strangest year in UFC history. No less than 5 straight UFC shows were cancelled between March and May, but somehow, the promotion has been able to regain its footing.
We’ve now been treated to 17 UFC shows behind closed doors since May 9th’s UFC 249, and before the next year rolls around, we’ve still got at least 15 more to look forward to. And of course, that means plenty of amazing-sounding fights coming up in 2020.
Here are 5 upcoming UFC fights that you won’t want to miss.
Note: Fights are in date order.
#1 Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone vs. Niko Price – UFC Fight Night 178 – September 19th, 2020
UFC Fight Night 178 is all set to be headlined by a major Welterweight grudge match between former UFC champ Tyron Woodley and his bitter rival, former title challenger Colby Covington. However, in my opinion at least the main event isn’t likely to be the best fight on the card, even if ‘The Chosen One’ and ‘Chaos’ give their all.
That’s because on the undercard, a Welterweight bout between Niko Price and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is set to take place. To say that this fight sounds exciting on paper would be an absolute understatement. Simply put, this is a meeting of two of the most exciting fighters in UFC history.
Everyone who’s watched the UFC for the last few years knows all about Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ is a bonafide UFC legend, a man who holds the record for the most wins in UFC history, the most finishes in UFC history and the most post-fight bonus awards in UFC history. His fights with the likes of Melvin Guillard, Robbie Lawler and Jim Miller are amongst the best in UFC history.
Price, though, is carving his own path into UFC stardom. ‘The Hybrid’ has stepped into the Octagon on 11 occasions since his 2016 debut, and not one of his fights has gone the distance, with Price winning 7 of them. He’s already got 4 Performance of the Night bonuses to his name and has quickly become a must-see fighter.
The only issue with this fight is that it may be taking place at the wrong time, given Cerrone appears to be on the downswing of his career. However, that only means we’re more likely to see some kind of violent finish. Basically, you shouldn’t blink when this one begins.
#2 Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa – UFC 253 – September 26th, 2020
UFC 253 will have two title fights on offer. But while the UFC Light-Heavyweight title clash between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz sounds good, it’s the UFC Middleweight title fight between champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Paulo Costa that really piques the interest.
Firstly, it’s a rare example of a title fight between two undefeated fighters. Adesanya is 19-0 in MMA, with 8 of those wins coming in the UFC. It took ‘The Last Stylebender’ less than two years to climb to the top of the UFC’s mountain, and now he’s hell-bent on staying there.
But Costa’s record is also impressive. ‘The Eraser’ is 13-0, and is on a 5-fight win streak in the UFC. A physical beast, the Brazilian has been a wrecking machine since debuting in the promotion back in 2018, taking out all but one of his foes with brutal strikes.
The tremendous style clash between the elusive, pinpoint accuracy of Adesanya and the straight-ahead, brute-force arsenal of Costa would make for a must-see fight in itself. However, to make matters more interesting, the feud between the two has become extremely personal.
The two have been sniping at each other in the media for over a year now, with Costa usually sniping at Adesanya’s lean physique and ‘The Last Stylebender’ hitting back with all kinds of hilarious insults. Essentially, these two do not like each other at all, which makes this one of the most highly-anticipated UFC title fights in years.