Christmas is almost upon us, and we are looking forward to the UFC in 2023. The question is if what we want will matchup with what we will get. It’s kind of like playing games at the pin-up casino, there are certain results that we want when we play casino games, but we don’t always get them. Let’s take a look at some fights we want.
First, we would ask Dana Claus for a comeback fight for Conor McGregor that he has a chance of winning. He is no longer that guy who starched Jose Aldo in seconds to win the featherweight title or the guy who broke Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight championship. He has not been the same since boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr and losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Once he got Mayweather money his focus has been on money, his physique, and more money. His fighting skills have dulled somewhat, and his focus is not on The Octagon, or at least it appears that it isn’t. He doesn’t need to get owned by Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, or Michael Chandler. Those guys are still hungry and very dangerous for anyone. Once McGregor left featherweight he has been only moderately successful. Just give him a fight he might win.
We need to see Jon Jones return to action and against someone he realistically will be challenged by but not necessarily sitting atop the rankings. Someone like Curtis Blaydes, Derrick Lewis, or Ciryl Gane. Any of those three would sell tickets and a win over one of them puts Jones in title contention immediately. A bout between Jon Jones with a few wins and champion Francis Ngannou would be a blockbuster. His first bout at heavyweight should not be Ngannou. However, we have a sneaky suspicion that Jon’s ego might make it too tempting to match Daniel Cormier’s two division champion legacy.
Another gift we would like to receive is someone actually carrying the light heavyweight belt. Jiri Prochazka won it from Glover Teixeira and then vacated it due to injury. The fight to determine the new champ ended in a disappointing draw and because of it a new pairing had to be made with two fresh contenders. The division has historically been a good draw in terms of gates and pay per view buys and without a champ it is suffering and fighters are in a frustrating holding pattern.
Dana Claus please book bantamweight king Aljamain Sterling in a bout that will cement his status as a proper champion. He won the belt from Petr Yan due to a disqualification, beat Yan by decision in the rematch, and beat an aging TJ DIllashaw. None of that helped his image and he needs a real contender on a hot streak to test his reign.
Finally, we need to see Taila Santos get her rematch against Valentina Shevchenko. Santos lost such a close split decision that noone would have batted an eye if she got the nod and the belt. Valentina appears less motivated and has possibly fallen in to that ‘fight not to lose’ trap that long term champs do. Someone needs to light a fire under her that will bring back that killer instinct she once displayed. If not she is going to be beltless and we will have a new queen.
Those are just a few of the bouts we want to see. Come on Dana Claus make it happen.