Predicting The UFC Champions: A Year From Now
It’s a weird time, it’s March and today it’s UFC 235! There are two title fights tonight so this might be the best time to do an article on where I predict the UFC champions in March, 2020. This was a hard article to title as it may sound like I’m doing this article in 2020 rather than today, which I am! I’ve been Josh from AllThingsCombat.com and I’ll be back this time next year.......right let’s get this started because we’re actually doing it today, how funny am I?
Current UFC Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier is the current UFC heavyweight champion after defeating Stipe Miocic back in July of last year. Cormier has made it no secret that he’s going to retire in he very near future with him having only one or two fights left and I definitely want to see a fight with Brock Lesnar to round his career off but who do I think will be UFC heavyweight champion this time next year?
The UFC Heavyweight Champion A Year From Now: Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought since his defeat to Cormier but surely he should get a title shot soon or a big fight at the very least. Before Cain Velasquez’s return to the octagon I thought he would’ve beat Ngannou then proceeded to fight for the vacant heavyweight title but that’s not going to happen and I don’t think Ngannou could become heavyweight champion as when he fought for the title, Miocic didn’t let Ngannou hit him and just gassed him out and that’s Ngannou’s biggest weakness: stamina. Miocic will be back and will regain the heavyweight championship.
Current UFC Light Heavyweights Champion: Jon Jones
Jon Jones just returned and is scheduled to defend his light heavyweight championship against Anthony Smith tonight and I don’t know who can cause him an issue in the division. There’s top prospect, Johnny Walker who might cause an issue if he continues his winning ways, undefeated Dominick Rees which I’m a huge fan of, Thiago Santos and Jon Jones could be a good fight.
The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion A Year From Now: Jon Jones
In 2020, Jon Jones will still be light heavyweight champion however, I think he will be getting himself ready for a heavyweight title fight in the summer of 2020 against Stipe Miocic and try and follow the footsteps of a then retired Daniel Cormier.
Current UFC Middleweight Champion: Robert Whittaker
Apparently at UFC 236, there will be an interim middleweight title fight and it is unknown whether Whittaker will get stripped but as of writing (the 23rd of February) - Whittaker is still Champion but will he be champion in a year’s time?
The UFC Middleweight Champion A Year From Now: Israel Adesanya
Nope! I think Whittaker will have a tough year as there’s stiff competition in the middleweight division: Kelvin Gastelum, Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero and even Jacaré Souza - the weight class is so problematic but in a good way. However, I think the middleweight champion in a years time will be Israel Adesanya and for good reason too as the middleweight fighter is brilliant.
Current UFC Welterweight Champion: Tyron Woodley
Tyron Woodley is criminally underrated and it was only until he defeated Darren Till back in September when he was considered by many as a welterweight great and if he defeats Kanarese Usman tonight which many people think he will - me included then that conversation only grows bigger but will T-Woodley be the welterweight champion a year from now?
The UFC Welterweight Champion A Year From Now: Ben Askren
Timing is the key here. Ben Askren is set to make his octagon debut tonight against a top contender and former welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler and if Askren wins that, then surely he’s going to receive a top place in the rankings then I see him having a big fight later in 2019, July, September or November and in that fight he will somebody like Darren Till or Stephen Thompson and if he wins that, then he will receive a title shot but the only problem is, will it be this time next year? It could be but I definitely vision the funky one as the welterweight champion a year from now.
Current UFC Lightweight Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov
It’s Khabib time! It’s a hard thing, Khabib as he’s not fighting until November and that means there won’t be a fight for Nurmagomedov until either the late months of 2019 or the early months of 2020 and that means he will only be faced with like one opponent but that one opponent could possibly end the reign but let’s look at the possibilities. Max Holloway is fighting Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 for the interim lightweight championship and even though they are tough competitors, Khabib will out wrestle them and destroy them which means:
The UFC Lightweight Champion A Year From Now: Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov will be Lightweight champion in a year’s time unless he gets stripped but Conor McGregor didn’t fight for almost 2 years when he was lightweight champion and didn’t get stripped so there is hope for the Russian - although I don’t think Khabib would get away with throwing a dolley through the window of a bus but he might get away with not defending his title for the MAJORITY of 2019 so that’s why I think he will be champion a Year from now.
Current UFC Featherweight Champion: Max Holloway
Max Holloway might just be the most entertaining featherweight we’ve seen in the octagon and as he’s moving to Lightweight to fight for the interim belt, the featherweight title won’t belong to Holloway for much longer and there’s going to be a big run for the belt with people like Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, Alexander Volkanovski, Chad Mendes all racing for the belt but I don’t think none of those names will be the featherweight champion in a year’s time.
The UFC Featherweight Champion A Year From Now: Zabit Magomedsharipov
Zabit Magomedsharipov is currently 16-1 in MMA and 4-0 overall in the UFC and if he defeats top contender, Jeremy Stephens then he will be near title contention and that’s brilliant as I personally think that Zabit is elite level and can really wrestle and I think we’ll see him fight for the UFC title very soon.
Current UFC Bantamweight Champion: TJ Dillashaw
TJ Dillashaw is a fantastic bantamweight fighter and might just be the greatest bantamweight in UFC history besides Dominick Cruz who was supposed to fight on tonight’s card but sadly got injured which is a shame as many (myself included) wanted Cruz to fight again but tonight wasn’t the night for him. Dillashaw has been bantamweight champion for a good while and has even went down to flyweight to fight for the title down there in an unsuccessful effort and it’s still unknown whether he will try again or just resume fighting at bantamweight which I think is best for him and if he does then, there’s one opponent he should fight: Marlon Moraes.
The UFC Bantamweight Champion A Year From Now: Marlon Moraes
The number one contender, Magic Moraes might be at the age of 30 but I definitely see him being able to become bantamweight champion. He hasn’t lost a fight since the summer of 2017 and has defeated names like John Dodson and Jimmie Rivera - the latter name was defeated in only 33 seconds. His last 3 fights have resulted in performance of the night bonuses and has headlined the past two cards he’s fought on and I think it’s time he receives his crack at Dillashaw.
Current UFC Flyweight Champion: Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo is only the second flyweight champion and has really improved as a fighter over the course of his MMA career and has recently defended his championship against current UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw but will Cejudo be champion a year from now?
The UFC Flyweight Champion A Year From Now: Nobody
I don’t think the flyweight weight class will make it into 2020 as the division has no direction as all the fighters are decent but they’re not draws and the UFC don’t like that. Let’s face it who would sell more PPV’s: Ray Borg or Conor McGregor, Sergio Pettis or Jon Jones? The flyweight division entered 2019 on thin ice and going at some point, the ice will eventually break and there goes for flyweight division.
Current UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion: Amanda Nunes
Now let’s move onto the women and it’s about the women’s featherweight champion - a division without rankings and I definitely don’t see Amanda Nunes being champion next year as she did say that she has no intention of fighting at 145 pounds again.
The UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion A Year From Now: Germaine De Randamie
There are a few names in the women’s featherweight division but somebody who sticks out is the first women’s featherweight champion, Germaine De Randamie who is currently fighting at bantamweight but I see Randamie heading back up and regaining the featherweight title which will most likely be vacant at the time.
Current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion: Amanda Nunes
Let’s talk about Amanda Nunes again, she’s been bantamweight champion since UFC 200 and I think she’ll go down to flyweight to fight Shevchenko in a losing effort and will return to bantamweight. I think we’ll see Nunes fight Holly Holm at 237 and after Nunes wins that, then she targets the flyweight title later in the year.
The UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion A Year From Now: Amanda Nunes
I see Amanda Nunes being champion as there’s not much competition in the bantamweight division for her to face. Aspen Ladd may cause some issues as she is 7-0 but Nunes won’t need to worry about her for a good while. I doubt Holm will beat her, Ketlen Vieira is doing really good however has a knee injury. I expect Nunes to remain the bantamweight champion a year from now.
Current UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion: Valentina Shevchenko
The UFC women’s flyweight division was built for Valentina Shevchenko and she won the title from Joanna Jędrzejczyk who use to run the strawweight division. Shevchenko will kill everybody in the division while her older sister, Antonina Shevchenko takes out everybody in the lower rankings - it’s the perfect match up.
The UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion A Year From Now: Valentina Shevchenko
If Nunes drops down to flyweight, I think Shevchenko will chew her and spit her out - basically Cejudo/Dillashaw in the women’s division. Shevchenko would beat anybody in the flyweight division, Calderwood, Jedrzejczyk, Davis, Eubanks - I cant imagine Shevchenko having too many problems and credit to her; it’s the perfect weight class for her.
Current UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion: Rose Namajunas
THUG ROSE! Rose Namajunas is a great fighter but hasn’t defended her title since UFC 223, making her the least active champion which is sad really as Namajunas is only 26 years old so she’s in her prime. Apparently Namajunas’ next fight will be Jessica Andrade and it absolutely should be her because Andrade has been really good recently. This fight would take place in the co main event of UFC 237 and I really believe that this fight will happen.
The UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion A Year From Now: Rose Namajunas
I’m going to say that Namajunas will retain because after this fight, she probably won’t fight for a while. The strawweight division is an interesting division with names like Andrade, Waterson, Ansaroff, Jędrzejczyk, Suarez, Herrig - the list really does go on. I really do hope that Namajunas fights more often and become the fighting champion we all thought she would be.