After his dominant win at UFC Fight Island 7, what’s next for Max Holloway?

Heading into UFC Fight Island 7, I thought that Max Holloway (22-6) was going to need to be on his game to defeat Calvin Kattar (22-5). Kattar looked to be a dangerous contender and he was riding a ton of momentum.

Holloway on the other hand was just 1-3 in his last four fights. While you could make the argument that he defeated Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) at UFC 251, two of the scorecards said he lost which is what matters.

I wanted to see how Holloway would do in his first non-title fight since 2016. Would we get the Max Holloway who tore through the division on his way to capturing gold? Or would we get the more flat Max Holloway that lost to Volkanovski in December of 2019?

Well, at UFC Fight Island 7, we saw the best version of Max Holloway. Holloway put on the greatest performance I’ve ever seen him have. Of course he’s had other great ones, but there was just something about this performance that stood out.

He set virtually every striking record on Saturday. He landed over 400 significant strikes and one of the scorecards even read 50-42 which is unheard of. This was a one-sided beating and Max Holloway made a statement on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

I’ve said for the last couple of months that the Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) that we saw fight Chan Sung Jung was the best featherweight on the roster. Just the way he looked, I was blown away. However, Saturday changed that for me.

The Max Holloway that we saw at UFC Fight Island 7 is the best in the world. If that Holloway shows up to fight, not only do I think he defeats everyone at 145, but I think nobody even comes close to beating him. He’s that good when he’s on.

However, we haven’t really seen that dominant Max Holloway in a couple of years. The last time we saw that Holloway was against Brian Ortega. If this Max Holloway sticks around, he’s going to be the UFC featherweight champion again.

In March, Ortega will challenge Volkanovski for the featherweight title. No matter what the result, there is no doubting that Max Holloway is getting the next shot. He’s the clear number one contender and even a couple of days removed, I’m still blown away by his performance on Saturday.

UFC officially books Alexander Volkanovski – Brian Ortega

Last night, it was reported that the UFC wanted to have two massive fight fights for a second March PPV. However, neither fight was finalized and neither fight was relatively close to being finalized as of last night.

That has changed today. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was first to report that the UFC has finalized the featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) and Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). The fight will take place at UFC 260 on March 27th.

For Alexander Volkanovski, this title defense will feel more like a redemption. While there’s no questioning how good the UFC featherweight champion is, it feels like he has something to prove heading into his March title defense.

Volkanovski dethroned Max Holloway (21-6) in December of 2019. Nobody questioned who won that fight. However, the two ran things back at UFC 251 and the majority of people believe that Holloway won the rematch. While Volkanovski walked away with the title, he lost support as champion.

That said, he will have his chance to really prove he’s the best in March. If he’s able to come out and put on a dominant performance, it will shut up all of the doubters who are saying that he’s walking around with Holloway’s title.

UFC 260’s featherweight title fight

That said, Volkanovski is going to have his hands full at UFC 260. In my opinion, the Brian Ortega that we saw in October against Chan Sung Jung looked like the best featherweight on the planet.

Ortega was crisp in his striking and he didn’t even have to go to the ground where we know he excels. The questions surrounding Ortega have always been around how good his striking was.

Yes, he knocked out Frankie Edgar, but he was lit up by Max Holloway. After nearly two years off due to injuries, Ortega came back looking like a new fighter. His striking looked better than ever and he might be the best featherweight in the UFC.

Well, he’s going to get his chance to prove it on March 27th. This is such a fantastic matchup and as of now the plan is for it to serve as the co-main event of the preview. The promotion is still working on finalizing the main event.

UFC targeting two massive title fights for second March PPV

MMA, Stipe Miocic

Since the calendar turned over to 2021, the UFC has been busy working on building it’s biggest year yet. They are kicking off the new year with a bang with three fantastic cards on Fight Island that starts tomorrow with Max Holloway – Calvin Kattar.

Of course, the biggest star in the sport, Conor McGregor, is headlining the first PPV next weekend at UFC 257. Despite all of this excitement in the next week, it’s actually the month of March that’s getting the hype.

The UFC has already announced a massive PPV event to kick things off in March. UFC 259 is scheduled for March 6th and has three title fights booked for that card with the headliner being Israel Adesanya – Jan Blachowicz.

Tonight, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that the promotion has plans for another massive PPV at the end of March. Per Helwani, UFC 260 is being targeted for March 27th and the card would feature Stipe Miocic – Francis Ngannou 2 and Alexander Volkanovski – Brian Ortega.

Two UFC title fights

To start things off, it should be known that neither one of these fights for UFC 260 are finalized. However, let’s move with assumption that they will get done and let’s start with the main event of the evening.

The rematch between Stipe Miocic (20-3) and Francis Ngannou (15-3) is a fight that UFC fans have been waiting for. Ngannou has knocked out four straight opponents in the first round while Miocic just concluded his trilogy with Daniel Cormier.

While Miocic dominated the first fight, the general consensus is that Ngannou will be the favorite at UFC 260. Ngannou is looking better than ever while Miocic isn’t quite as good as he was when they first fought. The winner will take on Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) later in the summer.

Then we have the co-main event of the evening. The UFC featherweight title will be on the line as Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) will be taking on Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). Volkanovski will be making his second title defense.

In my opinion, Brian Ortega looked like the best featherweight in the world when he fought Chan Sung Jung back in October. Ortega has always been known for his ground skills, but his striking looked sensational.

Factoring both of those in with his cardio and size and you have a problem for the division. Despite being the champion, Alexander Volkanovski will have a lot to prove at UFC 260.

Most people believe that he lost to Max Holloway in their rematch in July. He will need to come out and make a statement to show the world that he truly is the best in the UFC’s featherweight division. This event is not official, but if it gets done, March is going to be insane.

UFC Fight Island 7 Preview: Max Holloway – Calvin Kattar

Tomorrow afternoon, the UFC returns with a sensational card from Fight Island. In the main event of the evening we have a featherweight contest between the former champion, Max Holloway (21-6), and Calvin Kattar (22-4).

For the first time since June of 2016, Holloway is going to be fighting in a non-title fight. The Blessed title era has been a great one in the UFC and it still might not be done yet. However, he’s got some work to do to get back to the title.

Holloway is coming into this contest having lost two fights in a row to the champion, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1). However, many believe that Holloway won the second matchup between the two men.

Nevertheless, Holloway is going to be entering the octagon tomorrow looking to prove he’s still the best in the world. However, there’s a very tough Boston-Born challenger standing in front of him.

Calvin Kattar had a sensational 2020. He started the year off in May by knocking out Jeremy Stephens then he defeated Dan Ige in a main event on Fight Island. Those two wins put him on the fringe of the UFC‘s top five at featherweight.

For his sensational year, the promotion has given him another headliner against Holloway. Kattar made it clear this week that if he defeats Max Holloway tomorrow, he expects to get a UFC title shot. 

UFC Fight Island 7 Prediction

This is going to be a very fun matchup. I’m expecting the UFC Fight Island 7 headliner to primarily be a standup fight considering the skillsets of both men. Kattar probably has the best pure boxing at featherweight.

However, Holloway has a much more diverse striking attack which will be key tomorrow. For Holloway to win the standup battle, he’s going to have to use his kicks. He’s going to have to keep mixing it up on Kattar to keep him on his toes.

If Holloway goes out and tries to just box with Kattar, he could be in trouble. I’m also going to give the power advantage to Calvin Kattar which should force Holloway to try and strike from range for most of the fight.

The style is going to determine this fight. If it’s a boxing match, Calvin Kattar is going to pickup the biggest win of his career. If they do a little more kickboxing, Holloway will win. While it’s close, I’m going to side with the former UFC featherweight champion her.

Prediction: Max Holloway by Unanimous Decision

Calvin Kattar wants a title shot with a win at UFC Fight Island 7

UFC

This weekend at UFC Fight Island 7, Calvin Kattar (22-4) has the biggest fight of his career. In the headliner, he’s taking on the former featherweight champion of the world, Max Holloway (21-6), in the UFC‘s first main event on ABC.

Kattar comes into the contest as the sixth ranked featherweight in the UFC. He’s 4-1 in his last five fights inside the octagon with the only loss coming to Zabit Magomedsharipov (22-1) in a fight that was taken on short notice.

That fight was a three round main event, however, if it had been a five round fight, many believe Kattar would have won. Instead, Zabit walked away with his hand raised that night. Kattar has since won two straight over Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige.

The Boston Finisher knows that the opportunity in front of him at UFC Fight Island 7 is a big one. Max Holloway is considered by many in the business to still be the best featherweight on the planet.

Yes, he lost to the champion, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1), however, the majority believe he won their fight in July. Nevertheless, Holloway lost by split decision and now Kattar is getting his shot at the former champion.

Kattar spoke to the media yesterday to discuss the fight and his plans after. He made it very clear that he believes a UFC title shot should be next if he wins. Kattar told the media, “What else do you gotta do besides take out the number one guy?”

Should Kattar get a UFC title shot with a win?

Calvin Kattar is in a very interesting spot heading into Saturday night. He’s still ranked outside the top five, however, he’s taking on the number one contender. He definitely has a case for a title fight if he gets the win.

However, there is one fighter in front of him who could throw a wrench in his UFC title plans. That fighter being Zabit. Zabit already holds a victory over Kattar and he’s currently ranked third in the division.

If Kattar wins, everyone in front of him is either booked, suspended or coming off of a loss outside of Zabit. Currently, the promotion is targeting a title fight between Volkanovski and Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) in the next couple of months.

Should Kattar get the win on Saturday, I think the fight to make would be the rematch between Zabit and Kattar. Give them both a full camp to show who is truly the better fighter between the two. If the UFC makes that fight, you’ll have a true number one contender in the division.

Max Holloway has a lot on the line at UFC Fight Island 7

This weekend in the headliner of UFC Fight Island 7, Max Holloway (21-6) will be taking on Calvin Kattar (22-4). The fight is Holloway’s first fight since he lost the rematch to Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) at UFC 251.

Granted, most people believe that Holloway won that fight. Nevertheless, Holloway will enter the cage this Saturday riding a two-fight losing streak. Saturday night is going to be a very interesting evening for Holloway.

UFC Fight Island 7’s headliner will be the first non-title fight for Holloway in almost five years. In June of 2016, Holloway fought Ricardo Lamas at UFC 199. Since then, it’s been all title fights for the blessed one.

Another reason that Saturday is so interesting is the fact that Holloway has so much on the line. Holloway is in a very difficult position at the moment having already lost to the current champion twice on paper.

End of the UFC’s Blessed Era

It’s not only that he’s lost to the current champion twice, but Holloway will enter the cage at UFC Fight Island 7 having gone just 1-3 in his last four fights. Granted, it’s all been to top competition.

He moved up and lost to Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title. Then of course, he’s had the back-to-back losses to Volkanovski. If Calvin Kattar wins Saturday evening, we might be seeing the end of the Blessed Era.

What we learned at UFC 236 was that Max Holloway is not a lightweight. When he fought Dustin Poirier, he looked so much smaller than Poirier. Featherweight is the ideal spot for the Hawaiian.

Calvin Kattar is riding a ton of momentum into Saturday evening. Holloway on the other hand is looking at a potential three-fight losing streak in the featherweight division. While it wouldn’t spell the end, it would spell a big tumble down the mountain.

For that reason, it could be looked at as a do or die at UFC Fight Island 7. There’s no shame in losing to Poirier, Volkanovski, and Kattar. However, 1-4 in five fights doesn’t show that you’re at the top of the heap in the UFC.

UFC: If Henry Cejudo returns in 2021, who will he fight?

UFC, Henry Cejudo

At UFC 249 in May of last year, Henry Cejudo (16-2) successfully defended his bantamweight title when he stopped Dominick Cruz (22-3). The fight capped off an incredible three-year run for Cejudo.

Cejudo lost a split decision to Joseph Benavidez (28-7) in December of 2016. However, after that loss, Cejudo would not lose again in the UFC. He climbed to the top of the flyweight division where he was the first flyweight to defeat Demetrious Johnson (30-3-1).

From there, he defeated TJ Dillashaw (16-4) before moving up to bantamweight. At bantamweight he stopped Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) to capture the title before of course stopping Cruz at UFC 249.

After the fight was over, Cejudo said that he was walking away on top. At just 33 years old, Cejudo seemed comfortable with his decision to retire. However, he’s been constantly active on social media over the last few months.

Cejudo doesn’t talk like someone who’s fought his last fight in the UFC. He’s hinted at returning to the octagon at some point and perhaps 2021 is the year. So if Cejudo does return, who should he fight?

Who would the UFC pair him with?

The fight that Cejudo really wants is a fight with the UFC’s featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1). Fighting Volkanovski would give Cejudo the chance to do something truly remarkable.

Cejudo is already an Olympic Gold Medalist and a two-division UFC champion. However, if he were to fight and defeat Volkanovski, he would become the first fighter in the promotion’s history to have held a title in three divisions.

However, given the landscape of featherweight, I think this is unlikely. Volkanovski has a big challenge in front of him in Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). After Ortega, there is a plethora of top contenders waiting.

I can’t imagine the UFC giving Cejudo that fight because I don’t think he would commit to defending that title. I believe if he moved up for that fight it would be a one and done type of situation.

Now, if Volkanovski clears out the division over the next year or two, then I could see the UFC doing it. However, that division is too fluid right now to have a one and done type of title fight.

The same situation could be said about bantamweight. Petr Yan (15-1) and Aljamain Sterling (19-3) are getting ready to fight for that title. Bantamweight is one of the more stacked divisions in the UFC. I can’t see them letting Cejudo hold up the division.

Return to flyweight or a catchweight?

Of course that leaves flyweight and Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1). To me, this is the most likely fight as things currently stand. Figueiredo is set to have a rematch with Brandon Moreno (18-5-2) followed by a fight with Cody Garbrandt (12-3) should he beat Moreno.

If Figueiredo wins both of those fights, I could see the UFC pairing him up against Cejudo in a one-off fight. It would be a massive fight for Figueiredo who the UFC is putting a lot of stock into. They’ve already had some fun back and forth which could fuel the potential fight.

As you can see, there are a number of options across three divisions. If Cejudo commits to coming back and competing more than once, any of the divisions are a possibility. However, if it’s just a one-time deal it will likely be against the flyweight champion of the world.

Who will be the UFC champions after 2021? (Flyweight – Lightweight)

Conor McGregor, UFC

2021 is already looking like an incredibly exciting year for the UFC. After a big year despite the pandemic in 2020, the promotion is riding a wave of momentum that should carry them to a huge year in 2021.

2020 was remarkable in the sense that no UFC champion lost their title inside the octagon. Sure, there were titles that were vacated, however, if a champion made the walk to the cage as a champion, they left as a champion.

We might never see another year like that in the UFC. With how good the competition levels are, every year you’re virtually guaranteed to see at least one champion lose their title. We should expect this in 2021.

Earlier this week, we posted an article on which UFC champions would likely lose their titles in 2021. However, I wanted to dive a little more in-depth and make predictions on who exactly I believe will leave 2021 a champion.

In this article we will go through the lower men’s divisions starting with flyweight. We will continue to go through the rest of the divisions and the women’s divisions throughout the week. So, who will walk out of 2021 a UFC champion?

UFC Champions after 2021

Flyweight – Deiveson Figueiredo

The first division we will look at features the 2020 UFC fighter of the year, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1). Figueiredo captured the flyweight title this year after it was vacated by Henry Cejudo in late 2019.

He captured the title after dominating Joseph Benavidez twice. From there he defended his title against Alex Perez before running into Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). Moreno and Figueiredo fought to a draw at UFC 256.

Their fight was a fight of the year candidate. A back and forth war that ultimately saw the hands of both men raised. The UFC is planning on them rematching at some point in either April or May.

I believe that Figueiredo will win that rematch. From there, I’m expecting Figueiredo to face former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt (12-3). I also believe that Figueiredo will turn away Garbrandt on his request to capture another UFC title.

That might be the only two times we see Figueiredo in 2021. I believe that the Moreno fight is going to be another war which might cause him to take some time off. Expect the Garbrandt fight in the second half of the year. Two tough fights might be it for Figueiredo.

Bantamweight – Aljamain Sterling

I believe that we are going to see a new UFC bantamweight champion in 2021 and his name is Aljamain Sterling (19-3). Sterling is currently waiting on his title shot against bantamweight champion, Petr Yan (15-1).

I’ll start by saying that I believe Petr Yan is incredible. If I was told that he will go through 2021 and remain the champion, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. However, I just have this feeling about Sterling.

Sterling has really showed me a lot over his last five performance. His striking is looking so much better and he’s incredibly slick on the ground. His domination of Cory Sandhagen was jaw dropping.

These two bantamweights are so good and I’m anxious for the UFC to book the title fight between the two. The bantamweight division is insanely stacked, but in my heart, I believe that Sterling is the best of the bunch right now.

Featherweight – Brian Ortega

Back in October, I believe we saw the best featherweight in the UFC compete. His name is Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). Ortega fought for the first time in almost two years against The Korean Zombie.

I picked Ortega to lose because the Brian Ortega who fought Max Holloway in 2018 wouldn’t have outstruck Chan Sung Jung. However, the Brian Ortega we saw in October on Fight Island looked like a completely different fighter.

T-City showed incredible striking that night beating up TKZ. We already know the skills he possesses on the mat so there were just questions on if his striking could get to that same level. I believe that they have.

Ortega will be taking on Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) in the first part of this year for the featherweight title. I believe this is a perfect fight for Ortega when it comes to the style. His rangy striking along with his grappling skills should create problems for Volkanovski.

I’m expecting Brian Ortega to get his hand raised when the two men fight. Expect Brian Ortega to hold onto that UFC title once he gets his hands on it. T-City is a problem and he’s just getting better.

Lightweight – Conor McGregor

I can already feel a portion of the UFC fan base rolling their eyes reading that. Yes, I believe that Conor McGregor (22-4) is going to leave 2021 as the UFC lightweight champion. There is plenty of reasoning behind this.

First and foremost, I believe that McGregor is going to defeat Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) at UFC 257. McGregor’s next fight after that will be for the lightweight championship. Likely coming against Justin Gaethje or Charles Oliveira. 

Let’s say that McGregor fight’s Justin Gaethje (22-3). I really like McGregor’s chances in that matchup. While we’ve seen such good performances from Gaethje, I think McGregor’s clean straight striking would give him a lot of problems.

I only see McGregor fighting twice at lightweight in 2021 which is why I believe he will be the champion. However, should Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) not retire, I believe Nurmagomedov will leave 2021 the champion.

The toughest test for McGregor in 2021 will be Charles Oliveira (30-9, 1 NC). Based on what we’ve seen from Oliveira lately, that is a very tough matchup for McGregor.

However, I still believe in the end, McGregor is the second best lightweight in the world only behind Nurmagomedov. If there’s no Khabib, then lightweight will see the second title reign of The Notorious Conor McGregor in 2021.

UFC champions that are likely to lose in 2021

Corey Anderson

2020 was a great year if you were a UFC champion. Not a single champion lost their title in a title fight during 2020. There were some vacated title, however, nobody lost their title inside the octagon.

I don’t believe we are going to see the same thing for the UFC champions in 2021. There are some stacked divisions in the UFC and there are champions that have incredibly tough title defenses ahead of them.

There are a few champions who aren’t even going to be favored in their next title defense. Even if the champions get through their first difficult defense, many divisions have even tougher matchups awaiting the champions.

With that, I wanted to go through the divisions and pick out some UFC champions that I believe are at the highest risk in 2021. Some titles won’t change hands in 2021 while others are almost guarantees in my opinion.

Three UFC champions that will lose in 2021

Stipe Miocic

The first champion and in my opinion the most likely champion that I see losing his UFC title in 2021 is Stipe Miocic (20-3). The greatest heavyweight in the promotions history has a nightmare of a year in front of him in 2021.

Miocic’s first title defense will come against Francis Ngannou (15-3). The fight is a rematch from UFC 220. That night saw Miocic completely dominate Ngannou and overwhelm the dangerous challenger.

However, I believe that the rematch is going to go differently. Ngannou has rededicated himself to his career and I believe he’s going to enter their title fight better than ever. I can’t say the same thing for the UFC heavyweight champion.

I’m not sure we are going to see the best version of Stipe Miocic whenever they fight. Stipe is definitely capable of winning, but he’s going to need to be the best version of himself. Anything short of it and he’s getting put to sleep.

Let’s say that Stipe Miocic makes it through Ngannou. Well, then he has to face the greatest of all time in Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones is moving to heavyweight after dominating the UFC’s light heavyweight division for over a decade.

So if Miocic makes it through Ngannou, he has an even tougher task in front of him in defeating Jon Jones. With those two challenges in front of him, I don’t see Miocic making it out of 2021 with the UFC heavyweight title.

Jan Blachowicz

The next UFC champion that will fall in 2021 is the new light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz (27-8). Blachowicz has completely turned his career around the last few years and it culminated at UFC 253.

That night, Blachowicz took on Dominick Reyes (12-2) for the light heavyweight title. Reyes was the favorite, however, Blachowicz used his famous Polish Power to dominate Reyes and capture the title.

Blachowicz has all of the makings to be a UFC champion that could reign for a while. However, he has a nightmare of a matchup in his first defense. He will be taking on the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), at UFC 259.

Adesanya is moving up to try and become a two-division UFC champion. I believe this is an awful matchup for Blachowicz. The light heavyweight champion is going to go have to either grapple Adesanya or catch him with one big shot.

He’s definitely got the power to put Adesanya out, but in a pure striking matchup, I think he’s going to get lit up. While it’s been a great story, I think the reign of the Polish Power ends at UFC 259 at the hands of Israel Adesanya.

Alexander Volkanovski

The final UFC champion that I will touch on is the featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1). Volkanovski has been on an incredible run inside the octagon and he’s going to be defending his featherweight title for the second time in early 2021.

Volkanovski’s first title defense came at UFC 251 against former champion, Max Holloway (21-6). In the eyes of most, Holloway won that fight, but two of the judges gave the fight to Volkanovski.

It marked the second straight win for Volkanovski over Holloway. Had it not been the second straight win, we’d likely have seen an immediate rematch. Nevertheless, the division is moving forward to start the year.

First up for Volkanovski will be Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). Ortega is fresh off of his victory over The Korean Zombie back in October. In my opinion, the Brian Ortega we saw that night was the best featherweight in the UFC.

His striking had gotten so much better since the last time we saw him. He’s big, he’s elite on the ground and now his striking is developed. He’s going to be an extremely tough out for the UFC champion.

However, should Volkanovski get by Ortega, there’s a number of difficult fights. I could see him having to fight Holloway again and after the second fight, I might lean towards Max Holloway in the trilogy.

Another tough fight for Volkanovski could be Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1). Zabit didn’t fight in 2020, however, he’s looked at as one of the best contenders in the division. Zabit could cause a lot of problems for Volkanovski.

Out of the three champions I’ve listed, Volkanovski would be the one I’m the least surprised by keeping his UFC title. However, with the guys lined up behind him, I would bet on him falling in 2021.

State of the UFC’s featherweight division entering 2021

One of the more dynamic divisions in the UFC over the last decade has been the featherweight division. The division had it’s first title fight back in 2011 when Jose Aldo (29-7) fought Mark Hominick at UFC 129.

Prior to that the featherweight division had been in the WEC. After the featherweight division moved over to the UFC, the division was ruled by Aldo until the end of 2015 when Conor McGregor knocked Aldo out in the first round.

While Aldo did end up winning an interim featherweight title after McGregor left the division, once Aldo’s reign was over, we transitioned to the blessed era. Max Holloway (21-6) became UFC featherweight champion in 2016.

Holloway went on a run that saw him beat Anthony Pettis, Aldo (Twice), Frankie Edgar, and Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). However, the Blessed Express finally fell last December to the new king, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1).

Volkanovski entered UFC 245 as a betting underdog to Holloway. However, he used a steady attack to dethrone the featherweight king. The two ran things back at UFC 251 with Volkanovski barely edging Holloway by split decision.

With two consecutive wins over Max Holloway, Volkanovski is ready for new challenges in the UFC‘s featherweight division in 2021. Fortunately for him, it’s a division full of killers which is promising for a big year.

UFC’s featherweight division in 2021

Starting at the top, we should expect to see a UFC featherweight title fight pretty quickly in 2021. After Brian Ortega completely dominated Chan Sung Jung (16-6), he’s earned the next shot at Volkanovski.

Dana White has said that the title fight between those two will likely take place in February. The former champion, Holloway, is still near the top of the division. Holloway will kick off the UFC‘s action in 2021 on Fight Island.

UFC Fight Island 7 is being headlined by Holloway as he takes on Calvin Kattar (22-4). Kattar has risen to the top of the division having only lost once in the last couple of years. Whoever wins that fight should be in a really good position in the division.

The one UFC contender people need to watch out for is Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1). The Russian didn’t get to fight in 2020 and he’s not currently booked, but he’s been perfect at 6-0 since joining the UFC.

Had he picked up a win in 2020, he could’ve gotten a title shot before Brian Ortega. I would expect the UFC to get Zabit a fight relatively early in 2021. The top contender needs to get back in the octagon sooner than later.

The featherweight division is absolutely stacked and Volkanovski is going to have his hands full in 2021. To be completely honest, I really don’t know who will leave 2021 as the UFC featherweight champion. Should be a very fun year in that weight class.