2021 is promising to be a big year for the UFC. The world’s leader in mixed martial arts had a very good 2020 despite the global pandemic. Now, the promotion is poised to capitalize and have an even bigger 2021.
They are starting their year with an incredible three-fight run on Fight Island ending with the rematch between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) at UFC 257. The UFC is starting out the year with a bang.
There are so many big matchups that the UFC is already talking about booking. You have Israel Adesanya (20-0) moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz (27-8) at UFC 259. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) is moving up to heavyweight to go for the UFC heavyweight title.
These are fights that are already set in stone. However, there are some major superfights that the UFC could attempt to make in 2021. These fights would depend on the fighters winning early in the year, but if they do, there’s a big opportunity for the promotion.
UFC Superfights in 2021
Khabib Nurmagomedov – Conor McGregor 2
Dana White recently said that the UFC will attempt to make this fight happen should McGregor win at UFC 257. What makes this fight hard to pull off is getting Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) to agree to it.
White is planning on talking with Khabib on Fight Island about his future. Khabib retired after he defended his title at UFC 254, however, White said that he’s going to try to convince him to come back.
Should McGregor win in January, there’s not a bigger fight the UFC could make in terms of dollar signs. McGregor is the biggest star in the sport, but Khabib is a big star on his own. The two men hate each other and a brawl ensued after their first fight.
In my opinion, they are going to get the chance to make this happen. I believe that McGregor will win at UFC 257, and then eyes will turn to the talks between White and Khabib. If Khabib agrees to it, it might be the biggest UFC PPV of all time.
Jon Jones – Israel Adesanya
There is no questioning that Khabib and McGregor would be the biggest PPV seller. However, the biggest superfight the UFC could make between two fighters in 2021 is the potential matchup between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya.
Jones is considered to be the greatest fighter that the UFC has ever seen. Adesanya is looked at as the new-breed who is on his way to becoming the UFC’s biggest superstar. Stylebender is attempting to become a two-division champion at UFC 259.
These two men have long talked about fighter each other. Jones is currently preparing to fight for the heavyweight title in the summer. If Jones is able to win and Adesanya is able to win at UFC 259, the two men would control three titles.
There has never been a potential superfight where the champions of three combined divisions would face off. Combine that with the personal animosity and you have the makings for a massive fight that could take place at the end of 2021.
Amanda Nunes – Valentina Shevchenko 3
This might not be a superfight that everyone wants to see, but it’s sure one I want to see. UFC two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4), taking on the UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko (20-3), for a third time.
Both of these champions are so dominant in their divisions that nobody truly questions whether they will win their next fight or not. The debate is more centered around how they will win their fights.
These two have fought twice before with Nunes winning both. However, their fight at UFC 215 in 2017 was razor close. I’ve watched the fight a few times and I can see the argument for the judges giving it to either fighter.
The lack of challenges in their divisions is truly a testament to the dominance of the two champions. Their next challenges are set as Nunes will take on Megan Anderson while Shevchenko will fight former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade.
Should both win, I think the UFC should seriously think about the trilogy. It would make all the sense in the world, and I don’t think there are UFC fans out there who would complain about seeing these two greats fight one more time.