After a bumper 12 months of preventing in 2018, what can we anticipate the UFC to serve up subsequent 12 months? With extra big-name fights, rivalries, newcomers and returning former champions, 2019 could possibly be the UFC’s largest 12 months but.
Brock Lesnar returns
Earlier than Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic locked horns in one of many largest tremendous fights in historical past at UFC 226, followers have been shocked to see Brock Lesnar make his presence felt at octagon-side.
Cormier defeated Miocic for the world heavyweight title and in his post-fight interview, known as on Lesner to step in contained in the octagon, which led to a tense confrontation.
The stage has been set for Lesner to face Cormier someday subsequent 12 months for title, however there may be hypothesis surrounding when this bout will happen, if in any respect, with Lesner signing a contract extension with World Wrestling Leisure (WWE) so it’s unclear if Lesner will probably be accessible to struggle early subsequent 12 months.
If Lesnar returns, he’ll be an enormous drawcard for the UFC no matter who he faces.
The retirement of Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier has gone on file to say that he’ll retire by his 40th birthday, and at 39 it’s solely across the nook.
Cormier might have solely two fights left earlier than he hangs up the gloves. The talked about title struggle with Brock Lesnar is in limbo due to his WWE commitments. Jon Jones has been indubitably Cormier’s largest rival to this point as the one man to defeat him in UFC.
Cormier misplaced his gentle heavyweight title struggle in opposition to Jon Jones in 2015, however a number of months later he would once more discover himself within the title image as Jones was stripped of his title as a result of being arrested on hit-and-run fees.
Cormier would go on to defeat Rumble Johnson to seize the title, however many followers felt his reign was illegitimate as a result of he didn’t defeat Jones for it.
Jones would discover his manner again into the title image after coping with his exterior points, incomes a rematch with Cormier for the UFC gentle heavyweight championship. Jones would get the higher of Cormier as soon as once more earlier than the struggle end result was overturned to a no contest as a result of Jones failing a post-fight drug check. Cormier was reinstated as the sunshine heavyweight champion just for the asterisks to stay on his title reign so far as followers have been involved.
Now that Jones is again, it’s a possibility for Cormier to earn respect and legitimise his title reign with one final instalment of this epic rivalry.
Conor McGregor returns
Conor McGregor had a tough 12 months in 2018. The ‘Infamous One’ put his UFC profession on maintain to tackle Floyd Mayweather in one of many largest boxing match-ups in historical past.
After a ten-month hiatus McGregor returned to the UFC to reclaim his throne as king of the octagon. His subsequent opponent was in opposition to the person holding the title that Conor by no means misplaced, the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor would fall to the champion. Khabib inflicted the heaviest defeat of McGregor’s profession.
But when we all know something about McGregor, it’s that he’ll bounce again in 2019.
Rumours are abuzz as to what McGregor’s subsequent enterprise will probably be. There are a number of choices, particularly with the uncertainty surrounding Khabib’s future following his actions at UFC 229. McGregor might have one other title shot awaiting him.
There are talks of McGregor preventing powerhouse Tony Ferguson for the vacant title – pending the end result of Khabib’s listening to – If Khabib is profitable in maintaining his title, then a possible McGregor-Ferguson match-up can be to find out the primary contender.
The opposite prospects is a Diaz trilogy or a struggle with George St-Pierre. UFC newcomer Ben Askren desires a shot at Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva has stated he desires to struggle the Irishman.
For seven years Fox Sports activities has been the house of the UFC, however come January the UFC will transfer to ESPN and ESPN+. The UFC signed a US$1.5 billion five-year take care of ESPN that may see a wide range of new MMA exhibits, post-fight and preview exhibits for the UFC’s pay-per-views and struggle nights.
Tremendous fights was a dime a dozen in UFC, however within the modern-day we’re spoilt for selection. There may be a lot buzz surrounding potential high-profile match-ups. We’re already gearing up for Henry Cejudo vs TJ Dillashaw for the flyweight championship to see whether or not Dillashaw can develop into solely the third man in historical past to be topped a double champion.
MMA is the quickest rising sport on this planet and the UFC is the benchmark. Count on to see extra big-name fights, extra epic rivalries, thrilling newcomers and the returns of former champions in what might doubtlessly be the UFC’s largest 12 months but.