The 5 MMA fights we want to see in 2021
2020 was a challenging year for most sports leagues, but the UFC came though with flying colors thanks to an ability to adapt and a series of amazing, high-profile fights
Here are the five big fights MMA fans can look forward to in 2021.
5. Kevin Holland vs. Khamzat Chimaev
One of the great things about the UFC is that streaking prospects on the cusp of big fights aren’t afraid to take each other out in their grand pursuits. Titles may not be on the line, but Holland/Chimaev would pit two of the promotion’s most explosive fighters against each other in a high-octane fight that will surely end in a knockout. After the solid 2020 both fighters had, this is a no-brainer for a headlining event in 2021.
4. Gaethje vs. Poirier/McGregor II
The void left by retired lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is going to be filled in 2021, and it will be Gaethje against the winner of the McGregor/Poirier rematch in January with subplots abound.
Gaethje called out McGregor last year, but wouldn’t hesitate for an opportunity to avenge a 2018 loss to Poirier. Poirier avenging his loss to McGregor and beating Gaethje for the title would be a huge story. McGregor taking down both men to regain his lightweight title would be a testament to his greatness. This tandem could tell the story of 2021.
3. Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz
With no one left to challenge him at middleweight, the prodigious Adesanya’s next step is both logical and dangerous. Moving up to face off against recently crowned light heavyweight champion Blachowicz would be a staunch challenge, as his physical strengths could be more than a match for Adesanya's impeccable technique.
This is a 50/50 fight on paper and could be a fight that will be too close to call when the proceedings get underway. Whomever stands tall here will cross the threshold from being good to being great.
2. Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk II
2020’s best fight needs a second bloody chapter, and there’s no doubt this rematch is a high priority for the UFC. While it’s entirely understandable if both competitors want to take it easy after their horrifically brutal first encounter, Zhang and Jędrzejczyk are destined for another bout.
As Zhang continues her incredible run, fans will be demanding the rematch with Jędrzejczyk. When it does happen, bring the popcorn for the food and the splash guards for the blood.
1. Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou
I am fully confident that Ngannou will avenge his loss to Stipe Miocic when the two collide this spring, and the win will lead to the biggest fight of the year when Jon Jones makes his long awaited debut at heavyweight.
Jones clearly stayed at light heavyweight longer than he needed to, and he will be taking a challenge meritorious of his talent in facing the sport’s deadliest puncher for one of its most prestigious titles. This will be the biggest fight of 2021 when it gets announced.