I know the Heavyweight Division has had their name in the headlines recently with the announcement of P4P king Jon “Bones” Jones moving into the division, the big trilogy fight between current Champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, followed just as quickly by Cormier’s retirement. Of course how could we not mention the Brock Lesnar possibility of a comeback? While this is all newsworthy and they have some monsters in the division, none of it really makes me say “Wow, I really want to see this”.
The fights and possibilities that give me the most interest come from another divisions in the UFC, The 170lb Welterweights.
I’ll be honest, I was having a difficult time trying figure out if it was the Welterweight or Lightweights that interested me more but after a talk with a friend (shout-out to the Haines family) my question was easily answered. The Lightweight division has a big fight upcoming on October 24th between undefeated, frankly unchallenged, champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and number one contender Justin Gaethje but after that there’s not much else there. My thought process, which is probably unfair, is that the Lightweights get the same treatment from me that The Woman’s Divisions does.
It’s Khabib 1A with no one really on the prowl to challenge him and with the Woman it’s Amanda Nunes who is 1A, 1B and 1C over multiple divisions. While dominance does makes big names, it doesn’t offer much in the way of potential matchups for the future.
Meanwhile, The Welterweight Division is stacked with already booked bouts, potential fights, big names and some good trash talkers. Hell, Conor McGregor got $100 out of me to see him box Floyd Mayweather knowing darn well he wasn’t gonna win the fight. Instead of going through every fighter in the division and their potential fights I’m just gonna talk about the two fights already booked and possible fights I’d like to see leading into 2021.
Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns UFC 256 on December 12, 2020
Speaking of dominant fighters, Usman may not have the amount of finishes fans like to see but don’t let that fool you. He was a Division II National wrestling champion and amassed a record of 44-1 his senior year at the University Of Nebraska At Kearney. Usman also hasn’t lost a fight since 2013. Gilbert Burns is on the other side is on a 6 fight win streak and is a finisher. 14 of his 19 wins have come from submission or TKO and he’s heavy handed. A win for the champion would either lead to a rematch against Leon Edwards, who he bested 5 years ago or all out fighter Michel Pereira who has received high praise from Usman after his last victory. A win from the challenger and the sky could be the limit.
Colby Covington vs Tyron Woodley UFC Fight Night On September 19, 2020
Both men are coming off losses in 2019 to champion Kamaru Usman. While Woodley was dominated but lasted all rounds, Covington on the other hand was stopped and took a vicious beating. Still, Colby remains a top ranked contender since that was his only loss in his last 8 fights and Woodley is still a name but mostly a journeyman now for the top fighters. Colby Covington was recently in the headlines outside the octagon when he seemed to take a shot at Lebron James and the NBA over the Jacob Blake shooting, which seemed to lead to a line of other fighters wanting to fight him in or out of the ring. Including a quote from Woodley in which he stated “I might even punch him in the sack for the warning. Bow! I’ll take the warning or even the point deduction“.
Jorge Masvidal vs Leon Edwards
On paper this seems like a no brainer given their history following a backstage altercation at UFC Fight Night 147, Which left Edwards needing stitches and Masvidal proclaiming he gave him the “Three-piece and a soda”. Unfortunately, it’s hasn’t been that simple and a war of words is all it’s amounted to. Masvidal in between the altercation and now seems to have risen to Star power being in high profile fights with Diaz and Usman leaving less popular Edwards taking a backseat. Leon Edwards recently said he was moving on from pursuing a fight with Jorge but we all know if the contract ends up in front of him he’s signing on the dotted line. The bad blood is there for an epic showdown.
Nate Diaz vs Anyone at 170lbs
Nate Diaz has options, a rematch against Jorge Masvidal who defeated him for the “BMF” title due to doctor stoppage or a rubber match against Conor McGregor. I would prefer the Masvidal fight because until Conor shows me he’s not just about the paycheck anymore, I don’t need to see him in a ring. A Leon Edwards fight could materialize as well due to Diaz recently jumping during the Edwards/Masvidal beef in which He felt Edwards downplayed the “BMF” title. You know with Nate the build up will always be worth the price and you’re guaranteed an all out war in the ring, He’s always a crowd favorite.
Nick Diaz vs Anyone at 170lbs
When you talk about Nick Diaz it’s rinse, recycle, repeat from his brother Nate. A Trash talker that will give you everything in the ring. He hasn’t fought since 2015 and that’s a long time away but if you want to believe his team that he’s “100% ready” to fight again, I’m in. Nick Diaz was in with the top competition in their prime such as GSP, Anderson Silva and BJ Penn. He’s as tough as they come as he was only stopped once that wasn’t due to doctor stoppage which was at the beginning of his 35 fight career. He’d be a tough out for anyone but I’d be interested in a Neil Magny fight.
I really wanted to have some wishful thinking that could possibly see a MEGA fight between Karamu Usman and Israel Adesanya but there’s no point to even write about it because it’s never gonna happen. Both men have stated that they consider themselves to be brothers and would never fight one another, sorry fight fans. The landscape at 170 could always see a new comer make the jump up in weight like Tony Ferguson or a jump back down in weight from Darren Till who previously fought in the division. However, given the talent at Welterweight, there are a lot of interesting matches to be had within the division and I hope we get to see them.
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