10 Names To Look Out For In The UFC In 2020
What would the UFC be without prospects? I love nothing more than to watch prelims and see a fighter get a dominant win as I think to myself, they’ll be a big name one day. Today, I’m going to be looking at some of these names and I’ll be looking at upcoming prospects that will have a fantastic 2020 and names you should keep an eye out for as they step into the octagon.
10) Jack Shore (12-0)
If you haven’t heard of Welsh bantamweight, Jack Shore, then you’re missing out. Shore is already 1-0 in the UFC as he defeated Nohelin Hernandez back in September. Shore made a big name with Cage Warriors and even became the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion. The 24 year old is set to fight in London against Geraldo de Freitas and I think this fight will be something a lot of people take notice of and it could set him up for a big 2020.
9) Aleksa Camur (6-0)
Aleksa Camur fought in the Fight Pass prelims of UFC 246 and he’s an undefeated light heavyweight that will definitely be rising up the ranks throughout the year. Camur has had 5 of his wins by TKO with the other one being a decision victory. Camur may have a big 2020 ahead of him and it’s going to be fascinating to see what Camur does next.
8) Chase Hooper (9-0-1)
20 year old, Chase Hooper fights in the featherweight division and he could be a huge star due to him being so young and his fantastic fighting ability. Hooper fought on the fight pass prelims of UFC 245 and was one of the biggest talking points coming out of the card - this shows how big Hooper can be. I can definitely see ‘The Teenage Dream’ being a household name inside the octagon.
7) Arnold Allen (16-1)
It’s amazing that Arnold Allen has just been ranked - he was on a six fight win streak in the UFC and has fought on great cards but now Allen is finally ranked. The 26 year old English man hasn’t suffered a defeat since 2014 and that was his only loss. I expect to see Allen fight a higher ranked opponent but as I look at the rankings, I don’t know who he would fight but I’m sure the UFC has something up their sleeves. This time next year, I expect to see Allen in the top 10 driving towards a title shot.
6) Ciryl Gane (6-0)
Somebody who’s really impressed me in the octagon is French heavyweight, Ciryl Gane. Gane can do it all, do you want to know how good he is? Ciryl Gane became the TKO Heavyweight champion in his first MMA fight! Gane is also undefeated in Muay Thai and is scheduled for his next MMA fight at UFC 249 in April.
5) Geoff Neal (13-2)
Quite possibly the most underrated welterweight in the weight class, Geoff Neal has had 5 wins in the UFC and he’s only rising up the ranks. Neal took out Mike Perry in just 90 seconds and that’s pretty impressive if I do say so myself. In an ideal world, Neal fights three times in 2020 and he’s already ranked 11th so we can see him fighting for a title sooner rather than later.
4) Tatiana Suarez (8-0)
An argument can be made that Tatiana Suarez should be getting a Strawweight title fight next and I definitely agree but unfortunately for the 29 year old, I don’t think she will. Despite being ranked number three in the strawweight division, Suarez isn’t fighting for the title as Joanna Jedrzejczyk is getting the title shot and Suarez’s troubles won’t end there because former champions, Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade are set to clash at UFC 249 and the winner of that will most likely be getting the next title shot leaving Suarez without a title shot. Now, this is pure speculation on my part, maybe Suarez will get that title fight however I don’t see it working in her favour. Suarez is a name to keep an eye out for in 2020 as I’m sure she’ll get a title fight someone this year.
3) Islam Makhachev (18-1)
Russian lightweight, Islam Makhachev is set for a big 2020 with the 28 year old being ranked 14th in the division. Makhachev has been in the UFC since 2015 and it’s finally his time. Many wanted Makhachev to be against Kevin Lee but that fight wasn’t made for a reason unknown but I think we will see the Russian fight on the Brooklyn card in April due to his teammate and lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov main eventing the card.
2) Sean O’Malley (10-0)
Sean O’Malley hasn’t fought in almost 2 years which is absolutely insane and this is due to a little issue with USADA. ‘The Sugar Show’ was set to fight at UFC 229 however he got tested positive for ostarine. He was then supposed to fight at UFC 239 but again got tested positive for ostarine and now is scheduled to fight at UFC 248 against Jose Alberto Quinonez which was his original opponent for 229. Crazy how the world works. O’Malley is set to be a major star as the bantamweight is 10-0 at the young age of 25 and the fighter has a lot of charisma too.
1) Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0)
This list wasn’t in any particular order but I did want Edem Shahbazyan to be number one. Why? Because he’s really good and he’s really active. Shahbazyan fought 3 times in 2019 and the young man is only 22. This means, he’s eligible to break Jones record of becoming the youngest fighter to become champion. Is this possible? Yes but barely. Say, he does beat Derek Brunson at UFC 248, let’s say he then fights Jared Cannioner or somebody like that in the Summer and if he wins that, he should be next in line for the belt roughly around October. Like I said, this is possible but Shahbazyan needs to work hard for it. ‘The Golden Boy’ is 11-0 with 9 knockouts, 1 submission and 1 Decision. Like I said, Edem Shahbazyan fought three times last year but I didn’t mention how they were first round stoppages! This man is the future of the middleweight division and somebody who will become champion in the very near future.