UFC is the fastest growing sport right now and for good reason. Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is a high intensity and high excitement sport that pits two competitors of varying fighting backgrounds against each other. The man behind the madness for the UFC is Dana White. Dana White and his crew have done an extremely good job at creating fights and building them up. That's not to say he does not get some help from the cast of interesting characters the UFC has to offer, such as Conor McGregor. With some of the things that go on at the UFC press conferences, it makes the UFC almost seem like a real life version of WWE. Sometimes though, there are some fights that we want to see that do not ever end up happening. So, here we've tested our 'Dana White skills 'and created a list of fifteen fights that could happen in the near future, that we're absolutely dying to see. Some of these are just fights that I think would be awesome or “must see” fights, and some are fights that would have major implications in the UFC world.
So, without further ado, here are 15 Huge UFC Fights We NEED To See.
15 Julianna Pena vs Miesha Tate
With one riding a UFC undefeated streak and the other coming off a crushing title loss, this fight would be one to see. In a crowded women's Bantamweight division, these ladies have been some of the best. Tate finally won the title after it eluded her for so long and she lost it in her first defense of it. Known to be one of the toughest fighters in the UFC, she never gives up. For example, in her first fight against Ronda Rousey, she had her arm broken because she refused to give up. Not to mention the countless amount of times she has fought through moments where she was on the verge of being finished. She combines her grappling skills with above average stand up to come at her opponents.
Pena, on the other hand, is very ground heavy. She looks to take her opponents down and ground and pound them, much like she did in her last fight against Cat Zingano. She has used this style to win in The Ultimate Fighter and all of her other matches. So in this matchup it would most likely be more of the same from her. This matchup would be a battle of wills and is one to look for in the near future.
14 John Dodson vs John Lineker
As of recently, this fight is actually happening. At Fight Night 96, these guys will square off. After Dodson came up to Bantamweight from Flyweight, he has shown a ton of speed and power. After climbing the Flyweight ranks and getting stuck against Flyweight champ Demetrius Johnson, he has found home in the Bantamweight division. Notably in his last fight, he completely dominated his opponent, Manny Ganburyan, with quick and powerful strikes. earning him a first round TKO victory.
His opponent, John “Hands of Stone” Lineker, has lived up to his nickname. Dealing out brutal knockouts to many opponents, Lineker is a scary fighter. He has been climbing the ranks and is showing a lot of potential in a sneakily deep Bantamweight division. This fight will be sure to impress because the winner of the bout will be one more win away from a title shot. So, get ready for this battle of speed (Dodson) vs power (Lineker).
13 Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Eddie Alvarez
This is most likely the next Lightweight title fight. With Rafael Dos Anjos vs Tony Ferguson recently announced and Nate Diaz fighting Conor McGregor, that leaves no one in the top four but Khabib to fight for the title, which is a well deserved title shot for him. Khabib was running through the Lightweights before he suffered a knee injury that put him out for about two years. But, before he went down to injury, one of the lightweights he dominated was Rafael Dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion. Even on his return, he's looked as sharp as ever, completely dominating Darrell Horcher.
Alvarez, on the other hand, is coming off a knockout victory over Dos Anjos for the Championship. A style matchup between them would be very interesting, as Alvarez is a grinder and Nurmagomedov is an extremely skilled grappler. This matchup would be a clash of styles, with a brawler vs a grappler. This fight is all but set with every other Lightweight contender booked and Khabib being very deserving, so look to see it soon.
12 Robbie Lawler vs Rory MacDonald III
A final battle between these two would bring an end to a trilogy. The third fight would be one to really look for, as their last fight in 2015 won the award for Fight of the Year. With that in mind, I don't think anyone would mind seeing them fight again. Recently coming of a loss, Robbie Lawler would be looking to redeem himself and get back into a title fight.
As for his opponent Rory MacDonald, he is currently in contract discussions with the UFC and will be looking for a fight once he re-ups. This would be a familiar fight for both them and us, but an interesting one because these guys are both really tough. They are both known for getting into in ring wars and brawling it out with people. We would know what we are getting from this fight before it even started, which makes it an even better matchup
11 Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez
In a fight between two up and coming Featherweights, we would be in for a show. While they both still need to prove themselves a little bit more, they are almost ready for their chance to take the gold. Both are riding long win streaks, so they would both be looking to continue their run. Max Holloway is coming off a recent win over a pretty tough opponent in Ricardo Lamas, in which he beat him pretty handily. That fight brought a notable final fifteen seconds in which they seemed to agree to throw haymakers for the remainder of the final round.
Yair Rodriguez brings an extremely unorthodox fighting style. In his last match against another interesting fighter, Alex Caceres, he won in a close decision. In the fight, he used his notable front flip kick to bring him to victory. If they squared off, it would be sure to impress as both fighters would be looking to make an impact and show they have what it takes to take on the current champ, if he ever returns to the division, Conor McGregor.
10 Luke Rockhold vs Chris Weidman II
We may very well see this fight soon. With the UFC making Michael Bisping's first title defense a match against Dan Henderson, these two stars are both looking for a match. Their first fight ended quickly, being stopped early in the second round. This is a little misleading though, because they both matchup very well and were in an even fight until Weidman threw an ill advised wheel kick at Rockhold. Knowing this, a rematch would have them both hungry for another title shot and both trying to get revenge. Not to mention the fact that they are two of the best fighters in a pretty weak Middleweight division.
Both of these fighters have similar styles with pretty balanced skill sets. They both have above top level ground games, and high level stand up to go with it. In any event, a fight between these two very skilled fighters will be one you don't want to miss.
9 Uriah Hall vs Anderson Silva
So close, yet so far. We never got to see this fight as Anderson Silva had to pull out of this matchup and get his gallbladder removed a few days before the fight. But, even with Anderson Silva on his way out, we still want to see this fight. Anderson Silva is the greatest UFC fighter to ever do it and we want to see him go out on a win, as he deserves it.
While Hall won't be a walk in the park, it is doable for Silva, even in the latter stages of his career. These two guys have sort of similar styles with their wide array of strikes. The way they differ is Silva has a higher skill level in jiu-jitsu. We haven't seen much of Uriah Hall yet, but his Ultimate Fighter knockout of Adam Cella is one thatmany remember. This match basically sells itself as it has an up and coming talent vs one of the greatest on the way out.
8 Cain Velasquez vs Fabricio Werdum II
This would be a great matchup to see for a couple reasons. One, it would be a very anticipated fight because of how the first one ended, when Cain Velasquez lost to Fabricio Werdum by guillotine choke. And two, they would both want a title shot. Not to mention both of these guys are considered to be some of the best Heavyweights in UFC history.
In their first fight, Velasquez was coming off an injury and did not really look 100 percent. Now, Cain Velasquez looks rejuvenated. Especially after his convincing knockout victory over Travis Browne at UFC 200. Werdum, on the other hand, is coming off a knockout defeat at the hands of Stipe Miocic at UFC 198. Both guys are pretty well rounded and their styles definitely clash well. Cain is better on his feet and Fabricio is better on the ground. In a rematch, it would be great to see what would go down between these two top contenders.
7 Cody Garbrandt vs Dominick Cruz
The trash talk for this fight is already building up. As of now, Cody Garbrandt is undefeated at 10-0 and is a known knockout artist. In his last fight, he beat Takeya Mizugaki by TKO in the first round. Although he is known for his power, Garbrandt also has a strong chin as he's just walked through some of his opponents punches. This could arise as a problem for Dominick Cruz, who is not known to be a particularly strong hitter. Another, more unknown ,skill that Cody brings to the table is his wrestling. He started his career in high school as a wrestler and while he doesn't use it very often, he still has it in his repertoire.
Meanwhile, Cruz has really good takedown and ground defense, as he doesn't go down easily and when he does go down, he's not down for long. This might not be a problem for Garbrandt because he's already said that he would like to knock Cruz out. Cruz will definitely be able to take advantage of Garbrandt’s lack of experience to take a victory in this hypothetical (for now) fight. He will also have to stay out of range of the bombs Cody will throw his way and make sure to pick him apart from the outside, like he usually does to opponents. This fight is another fight that has a ton of potential.
6 Conor McGregor vs LW Champion
This is a fight we really wanted to see when Rafael Dos Anjos held the belt, but he ultimately pulled out of the fight and we got the McGregor v Diaz matches instead. Now, this fight probably won't happen for a while because McGregor has to defend his belt first and so does the new Lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez and the most likely matchup for Alvarez’s first defense is Khabib Nurmagomedov, like we already mentionned above. This fight would be huge though, because it would be Conor McGregor's shot to hold two belts and we all know he would sell that as much as he could, and so would Dana White.
It would be a fight different though, depending on who he fought. A fight against Alvarez would be a standup battle, as Alvarez is more of a grinder and tries to get into wars. Whereas Nurmagomedov is an extremely strong and skilled grappler, which would have McGregor trying to keep the fight on his feet, where he has the advantage. The most intriguing part of this fight would be seeing how Conor would attack these completely different fighters. No matter who we see fight Conor in this inevitable double title fight, it will be an interesting one.
5 TJ Dillashaw vs Urijah Faber
Here we have a matchup of former teammates. After TJ Dillashaw split on Urijah Faber and the rest of Team Alpha Male, there has been bad blood between them. Faber recently lost to current Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and hinted at retirement after the fight. While he said he may want one or two more fights before he retires, his perfect going away party would be sweet revenge on the guy who dissed him and his gym, TJ Dillashaw.
For TJ Dillashaw it would be a good opportunity to get another title shot against Dominick Cruz, while also sending off a former friend. Matchup wise, this fight would be good because of how well they know each other. As former team members and training partners, they know how the other one fights, so seeing how each would gameplan for the other would be interesting.
This fight would also come with great pre-fight content, as they would be going after each other more than they already are. This must-see matchup could happen very soon as both fighters are looking for a fight, with Faber having nothing lined up after his match with Jimmie Rivera at UFC 203.
4 Brock Lesnar vs Roy Nelson
“Big Country” squaring off against “The Beast Incarnate,” how much better could it get? With Brock Lesnar recently failing a drug test, he could be out for two years. He tested positive for the same thing (estrogen blockers) Jon Jones tested for and, as it stands now, Jones should return soon. So, hopefully we can get the same outcome for Brock and see him fight a couple more times in hte UFC, if WWE allows it.
While he probably won't get a title shot, especially because of the failed drug test, he could still get a big name fight. On his return, he looked great and fans want more. He completely dominated Mark Hunt on his way to his first UFC victory since he held the Heavyweight championship. One guy who is close to the end of his career that could bring a big name fight is Roy Nelson. In his last fight, he lost an extremely close decision to Derrick Lewis in a match where he looked pretty good. So, a fight like this would be extremely interesting because both of these guys have really good ground games. Nelson with top level jiu-jitsu and Lesnar with top level wrestling and ground and pound. So, this would bring an epic ground match between the two.
3 Ronda Rousey vs Amanda Nunes
Ronda Rousey's comeback tour should start with Amanda Nunes. I may be one of the few UFC fanatics that still thinks Rousey is the best fighter in the women's Bantamweight division, but things should return to normal soon. MMA is a tough sport to go undefeated in, especially when you are focusing on more than just fighting as she did. For this fight, she would have to fully focus again to bring back the immortal Ronda we saw before.
Her (hypothetical) opponent, Amanda Nunes, is no joke though. She just knocked out an extremely tough fighter in Miesha Tate, a girl who let her arm get broken because she refused to tap out. Nunes has a ton of power and always starts strong, which would be an interesting matchup against Ronda, who is another fast starter. Ronda’s unmatched quick starting grappling attack would be a perfect counter for Nunes’ quick starting brawler attack. This matchup would be guaranteed to end quickly by either submission or knockout. No matter what, this fight would be great and it needs to happen.
2 Conor McGregor vs Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz has already expressed his desire to fight an opponent out of his division to have the opportunity to hold two belts and so has Conor McGregor, so we're gonna match them up here. While this fight would definitely be fought at Featherweight (145 lbs), Conor McGregor would definitely take this fight because of the big numbers this fight could bring in. Dominick Cruz is undefeated so far in the UFC, although he has had to take a couple of big breaks due to injury. It just goes to show how skilled he is though, because each time he comes back, he comes back stronger than before against really tough opponents. He has an unorthodox fighting style in which he tries to throw an array of strikes from many different angles. This has shown to be too much for all his UFC opponents so far, but one thing he hasn't shown is knockout power. Which he will need a lot of, especially if he's moving up in weight.
At the same time, Conor McGregor has no problem with knockout power. Being undefeated in the UFC at 145 pounds, Conor has shown enough power to knock out anyone he faces. He would bring two things to the fight that Cruz has not seen before, huge power and equal or great striking skill. Mystic Mac brings a lot to every fight, whether that be his movements, his punches or his kicks. Conor can do it all in the striking world and he can do it with power. Another thing he would bring to this fight is mental warfare. No one is better at it than him, as he gets into all his opponents heads with confident trash talk. That would sell this fight a ton, especially given the fact that Dominick Cruz is a sharp guy himself. This fight would prove to be a huge seller and a fan favorite, and as long as they both keep winning, you likely won't have to wait long to see this fight either.
1 Michael Page vs Stephen Thompson
Firstly, we know that Michael Page is not in the UFC as of now, but his Bellator contract ends after his next fight. So, hopefully he joins the UFC and more people can see how truly great he is. If you don't remember who MVP is off the top of your head, you will probably remember him for his highlight knockouts and celebrations. Most notably, the Pokemon celebration he did after denting his opponent, Cyborg Santos’ skull with a flying knee. This guy is on the come up, as he is so far undefeated and has finished all of his opponents, but one. Many like to compare him to Anderson Silva and we would agree, in a sense, because he does like to get into his opponents head during the fight, but he really adds his own flare to every fight he's in. Not only can he knock out anyone in the game, he has the skill to submit them too. Quite simply, his potential is through the roof.
Our dream opponent for him, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, is no pushover. He has lightning fast movements and extremely good timing and technique. He's on a seven fight win streak, with his most recent victories coming over Rory MacDonald by decision and Johny Hendricks by TKO. He has proved to be more than just a standup fighter, as he's fought out and evaded the ground game of his last two opponents, who are each very strong on the ground. On the feet, Thompson uses a traditional karate style that would be an interesting matchup to see against Page's unorthodox karateka fighting style. These guys would duke it out on the feet in what would easily be a “Fight of the Year” candidate.