2018 has been a fantastic year for the UFC as the company continues to grow in popularity around the world. There have been many marquee performances to note, and bookies across the world have seen unprecedented levels of money staked on some of the biggest fights in history.
None were bigger than the blockbuster clash between Russian, Khabib Nurmagomedov and the returning Conor McGregor. Bookies reported stakes like they’ve never seen before, with some UK firms taking record numbers of bets on the big fight. Bet365, William Hill and Betfair were just three who were hotly contesting the new punter market, with free bets bookies and signup offers being used to entice bettors from across the globe. Both welcome bonuses, and offers that were specific to this fight were available at SportyTrader in the build-up to the contest.
So, who makes the list of the leading fighters of 2018?
The Russian simply has to make the list as he further extended his unbeaten record to 27-0, and showed why he is one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Khabib has such a dominating ground game and has yet to really be tested. He stopped McGregor at UFC 229 and a big clash with Tony Ferguson looks the likely next step. There is little doubt he remains one of the pound for pound best in the UFC.
A team mate to Khabib and a real star of MMA for the past decade is Daniel Cormier. The 39-year-old is coming to the end of his career, and is another fighter renowned for his dominating ground game. Cormier currently holds the belts in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, and most recently extended his professional record to 22-1-0. His only loss coming against his bitter rival, Jon Jones. Could we yet see them face off again in 2019?
Holloway has been on an incredible run, and is now without a doubt one of the leading fighters in the sport. He is just coming off stopping the previously undefeated Brian Ortega to extend his professional record to 20-3-0. This unbeaten run dates back to his 2013 defeat to Conor McGregor. The future Is very bright for the 27-year-old as he now sets up several big fights in 2019. Could Max step up to face off against the previously mentioned dominating champion in Khabib?
The 32-year-old is the current champion of the Bantamweight division, and has had a very successful last few years in defeating rival Cody Garbrandt on two occasions. This meant he has now extended his professional record to 16-3-0, with his last defeat coming back in 2016. His next fight is a clash with flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo, who recently dethroned Demetrious Johnson. 2019 is set to be a big year for Dillashaw as he continues to prove why is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport.