With 2017 now behind us it’s time to look ahead to what’s to come in MMA in 2018. There are things I’m excited for, things I’m interested in, and things I could care less about.
What I’m excited for
It’s an interesting way to start off the New Year. It’s not a stacked card but the main and co-main events is what everyone is looking forward to. Francis Ngganou really made his presence in the MMA world known after that incredible knockout of Alistair Overeem. I’m certainly interested to see what’s going to happen with Stipe. I’ll be nervous watching this fight.
Daniel Cormier vs Volkan Oezdemir. This is interesting because I’m not sure what to expect. Is Volkan Oezdemir ready for this? Nothing against his previous opponents but DC is on another level. I don’t think he has faced the same type of challenges as DC has. The advantages that Volkan has are his age and his last two fights ended within 45 seconds giving himself the nickname “No Time”. He hasn’t taken the same amount of damage that DC has. DC as we know has been in some battles and taken damage. However we can’t count him out just yet. He’s an incredible fighter and proves this time and time again. So can Oezdemir compete with someone like DC? On January 20th we will find out.
Conor, Tony, and Khabib Saga
So who’s going to fight whom and when? Who is the real champ? After watching the slow and painful torture of Edson Barboza, I wondered will Khabib do this to Tony or Conor next. Or maybe neither? The lightweight division is calling Tony Ferguson is real champ and seems to not care about Conor, which is an interesting twist to this story. Not too long ago, everyone was calling Conor McGregor out. Now it seems like everyone is moving past Conor. Of course Tony or Khabib will fight him but will he fight them? Hopefully in 2018 we find out.
The Blessed Era
I was really happy when Max Holloway won the featherweight belt. I was happy when he defended it and won again. He finally brought back some normalcy to the division. With Conor there was too much chaos. As incredible as Jose Aldo is, he seems so disinterested in fighting. He may enjoy training but I don’t think fighting in UFC is where his heart is at anymore. It was time for a new chapter. Max Holloway as a fighter just keeps on getting better. His personality really started to show when he fought for the interim belt. He has flashy suits, a fun personality, and a serious love of cupcakes. On top of that he isn’t running from anybody. He tells everyone in the division they can bring it.
What I’m Interested In
Women’s Strawweight & Flyweight Divisions
With the opening of the women’s flyweight division there are bound to be some changes in the women’s strawweight division. There have been a few fighters in strawweight division that have talked about the difficult weight cut so they are excited about the new division. Currently, the majority of the women in the flyweight division are unknown because they were part of other promotions. Since I only watch UFC, I’m not really aware of these women and their stories. I hope the UFC promotes this division and the fighters become more familiar. It seems like some fighters will leave strawweight and find a home in flyweight so we will see some familiar faces.
Strawweight division has a new champ in Rose Namajunas. She’s one of my favorite fighters in the UFC so I was really excited about her win. Being a champion comes with more responsibility. There are more obligations. It will be interesting to see how she manages it all. Joanna did a great job handling all of her obligations and staying on top for over 2 years. There may be a rematch between Joanna and Rose, which I don’t really care for. I would like to see Rose face someone else. There are really talented women in the strawweight division and I’m interested to see what kind of matchups there will be.
Getting into other MMA promotions
Since I got into MMA, I’ve only watched UFC. I know of other promotions but I have not watched them at all. Bellator is the UFC’s biggest competition and has brought in some big names. The Heavyweight Tournament that’s coming up is an interesting concept that I think has the fans interested. Although UFC is the best of the best, I’m interested in learning about up-and-comers. There are so many other organizations and as time permits I will check those out.
I really hope this comes back! This was perfect during the summer. If anyone had doubts about purchasing UFC Fight Pass, this is more than enough reason to buy. I watched one episode and bought my membership for the year that night. Held on Tuesday night, it was quick, fun, and very entertaining. A few stars were born this summer from this show and quickly became fan favorites. I’m not sure who’s genius idea it was to have Snoop Dogg as a commentator but please never ever let him go. Keep him and Urijah Faber together please!
What I Could Care Less About
Women’s Bantamweight Division
Talk about a current snoozefest. I like Amanda Nunes but besides her what is happening in her division? A whole bunch of nothing. No call outs, no exciting fighters, no memorable fights. What has happened to this division? Hopefully something happens in this division soon. From a marketing perspective, what does the UFC have to work with? Right now, I don’t see much.
Ok I get it. GSP is one of the greatest of all time. However the man doesn’t know what he wants. He wanted to fight in middleweight for the belt and won. Then he decided that gaining weight was too much for him and got sick. Then he decided that gaining weight for the middleweight division was a bad idea and wants to leave. Then he decided to vacate the belt and might fight in welterweight. Okay GSP. What’s your next decision?