2021 is already shaping up to be a big year for the UFC, and here are five fights that need to happen in the coming year.
While 2020 proved to be a challenging year for the world of sports, the UFC was able to step up and navigate through the global pandemic. Every week since May 9th, the octagon's doors opened and gave some of the best fighters in the world a chance to compete and make a living.
In 2020, the UFC showcased memorable fights and intriguing stories that have set the stage for matchups that fans would love to see in 2021.
From from super fights, grudge matches, and rematches, here are five bouts that need to happen in 2021.
5. Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight championship
When Henry Cejudo relinquished the UFC flyweight championship, Deiveson Figueiredo took over as the 125-pound division's new ruler. So far, 'Deus Da Guerra' has done a stable job of keeping the flyweight division interesting.
Even though Cejudo is retired, he continues to talk trash to Figueiredo, dismissing the Brazilian's reign as champion. Because of this, fans have started clamoring for a showdown between the flyweight division's last two titleholders.
Will 2021 play host to a battle for UFC flyweight supremacy? Only time will tell.
4. Jorge Masvidal vs. Colby Covington
Of all the fights on this list, Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington has the biggest chance of actually taking place. Masvidal is coming off a loss to reigning champion Kamaru Usman, while Covington works his way back up to the title picture. The two are bound to cross paths.
What makes this fight all the more intriguing to book is that the two have history between them. Masvidal and Covington used to be the closest of friends, having trained together at American Top Team. However, over the past year, their relationship has soured, and fight fans would love nothing more than to see them settle their differences inside the octagon.
Covington has expressed his willingness to fight Masvidal, and he could be getting his wish in 2021.
3. Jon Jones vs. Israel Adesanya for the UFC light heavyweight championship
Speaking of grudge matches, perhaps no other feud has fans hoping for a fight than that of Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya.
Jones and Adesanya have traded barbs on social media over the last few months, but the two are on completely different paths as of now.
In 2020, Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title to make a run at the heavyweight crown. On the other hand, Adesanya will be moving up to light heavyweight in 2021 to challenge for the 205-pound title.
While the odds of Jones and Adesanya agreeing to a fight are quite slim, stranger things have happened in the UFC. The two could end up getting on the same page and giving fans a dream fight in 2021.
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor 2 for the UFC lightweight championship
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement has been a topic of debate since it happened back in October. Nurmagomedov himself insists that he is done, but others believe otherwise.
Many believe that Nurmagomedov could come back and try to reach 30 career wins. If that is the case, then the biggest fight out there is a rematch with Conor McGregor for the UFC lightweight championship.
While Nurmagomedov was dominant in their first encounter, a second win over McGregor will solidify his status as the best 155-pounder ever.
However, before any talks of a rematch with Khabib gains any traction, McGregor will first need to get past Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St-Pierre
If considering only active UFC fighters, a rematch with Conor McGregor would be the biggest fight to make for Khabib Nurmagomedov's return. However, the war that most fans want to see is a super fight between Khabib and former two-division champion Georges St-Pierre.
People close to Khabib believe that a fight with GSP would be enough to lure the undefeated Russian out of retirement. GSP also previously expressed interest in a match with Nurmagomedov, but unfortunately, the UFC had other plans.
Maybe in 2021, the UFC can finally make Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Georges St-Pierre come to fruition.