They say 20/20 vision is deemed as perfect! An unabated, unobstructed, perfectly clear vision of what’s in front of you. It seems as if the UFC has implemented this perfect vision as we get ready to start the year 2020.
There are a lot of potential superstars on the UFC roster, I say potential because some of these fighters haven’t truly figured out the perfect formula of being a world-class fighter, and also somebody that the public engages with whether in support of said fighter or against them. These fighters haven’t hit their stride yet, but they are on their way and hopefully sooner rather than later.
Then there are the true stars of the UFC. Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Donald Cerrone, Khabib Nurmagmedov, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Nick and Nate Diaz. These fighters are needle movers! Whether they’re winning or losing they drive the bus. They’ve got their staunch truly dedicated fan bases and they also have an equal number of haters. These are all truly polarizing athletes that the world wants to see.
The UFC is coming off a year where they joined forces with the worldwide leader in sports ESPN, where the numbers have not been exactly what they were looking for especially on the pay-per-view side of things.
In 2 weeks the UFC gives us the final numbered event of 2019, and it’s a doozy. UFC 245 takes place on December 14th live in Las Vegas Nevada and features 3 world title fights.
Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine De Randamie for the women’s bantamweight championship, Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski for the men’s featherweight championship of the world, and headlining that night will be welterweight champion Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington.
A card stacked with 3 championship fights featuring fan favorites Holloway and Nunes As well as one of the most hated men in UFC history in Covington will definitely draw some numbers. However, even with these 3 title fights, this event will probably not do as many buys as 3 separate events that will kick the New Year into high gear. Even though none of the events I’m about to mention will have more than one championship fight, and 1 of them, as it sits, will have no title on the line and will probably do a huge number.
The UFC for lack of a better turn has gone ham! Starting off 2020 with UFC 246 on January 18th which will feature a 5 round main event with no title on the line between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Conor McGregor. The biggest star in UFC history returns to the octagon after more than a year away to take on a legend who happens to hold the record for most wins, most knockdowns and the most appearances inside the octagon in Cerrone.
Even with his time away from fighting make no mistake McGregor is still the biggest star on the roster. This last year away he has been accused of sexual assault, fathering a child with another woman and punching an old man in the face at a bar in Ireland. With all that drama hanging over his head, one would think that his fan base would have dwindled, It hasn’t! McGregor fans are rabid in support of the plucky Irishman who went from being on welfare eating potatoes to the top of the combat sports world including a boxing match where he earned more than 100 million dollars against Floyd Mayweather jr. All this accomplished in a 5-year span under the UFC banner.
Add to McGregor fan favorite Donald Cerrone, and that’s a win. I mean who doesn’t want to watch Cowboy fight? Nobody, that’s who! If Cerrone is fighting, people are watching. Even though he doesn’t have the huge social media following like his opponent, don’t let that fool you into believing that Donald Cerrone isn’t one of the biggest stars in the UFC. Any place, any time, anybody that has been the motto of Donald Cerrone, and one of the main reasons people tune in to watch him. He’s a man of the people, the people’s champion if you will.
This is a very interesting matchup. McGregor likes to stand and bang whereas Cerrone completely outclasses him in every other aspect of mixed martial arts fighting but will more than likely be willing to oblige McGregor in a stand-up war. Cerrone is an epic striker with his hands and even more so with his feet. He could probably take this fight to the ground at any time once the bell rings but will more than likely try to keep it on his feet and finish McGregor with a brutal knockout. Not necessarily the best game plan especially when you are better than your opponent with your Jiu-Jitsu and grappling, but that’s why people tune in to watch him because he will give them the fight that they want to see even if it means he could quite possibly lose.
This welterweight matchup that will kick off the New Year is of one that both fighters that are involved, and the MMA community is excited to see.
This fight was talked about before but never came to fruition, that is until now and what a way to start off the New Year. The UFC is no doubt salivating right now because they are back in the McGregor business, and that’s always proved to be a winning formula for them. They could literally put 11 more fights on this card with fighters that were on The Contender Series and this event would still probably do the biggest number the UFC has seen in a long time. That’s how much clout this bout has all on its own.
February 8th we get UFC 247 Jones vs. Reyes for the UFC Light heavyweight championship of the world in Houston Texas.
When the G. O. A. T. fights, we watch! Jon Jones is coming off a year in where he was able to return to the octagon after being exonerated of cheating and has run off a 3 fight streak as the champion. Taking out Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Smith, and Thiago Santos, Jones is now slated to face the number one contender in Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes who is undefeated 12-0.
While this matchup had to be made because Reyes is next in line, I don’t know too many people other than Reyes himself that thinks he will win. He is so confident that he will win that he is already looking at the rematch in Cowboys Stadium later in the year because he feels after he beats Jones that it won’t be enough to convince people that he is that damn good and is already gearing up to prove it a second time.
Lofty goals and aspirations are admirable and nothing to make fun of, but I think Reyes is drunk on his own Kool-Aid and completely off base in his assessment of who he is and what he is capable of against the greatest of all time in Jon Jones.
Even though this championship fight isn’t one that people are thinking that we will see one of the greatest upsets of all time, they will still tune in to watch greatness in action because that’s what Jones is and always has been, and whether you love him or hate him, you’ll be watching, and the UFC is counting on that.
While there have been no announcements made for the March event which should take place on the 7th and be numbered as UFC 248, although there is a rumor that this event will feature Miocic vs. Cormier 3, Nothing has been confirmed, so we have to look forward to UFC 249 in April, and it already has a main event that the world has been clammoring for.
UFC 249 is going to hopefully provide us a fight that we have been looking forward to for years as we finally, hopefully, keep your fingers crossed, get to see the lightweight championship of the UFC contested between Tony Ferguson the former interim lightweight champion and Khabib Nurmagmedov the reigning undefeated, undisputed champion!
Could the 5th time finally be the right time? The entire mixed martial arts world is hoping so.
With a champion in Khabib who has been dominant in a way that nobody has before taking on Ferguson, who many deem the most legitimate threat to not only his title, but to his undefeated record as well, which I believe means more to him (Khabib) than any gold around his waist, we should see a true war!
This fight has been booked four times before and for one reason or another, it hasn’t happened. As long as we don’t have either one of these guys tripping over TV studio cables or pigging out on tiramisu we might actually get to see this fight happen!
The most dominant ground fighter in the history of the UFC taking on undoubtedly the most unique fighter to ever step foot in the octagon Ferguson vs. Nurmagmedov may just be a fight that actually lives up to the hype! These 2 guys have wanted to tear each other apart for years. With this booking, however, there is so much more on the line than ever before, and God forbid something happens to take this fight off the schedule. I fear if that happens we will never get to see this one go down as it has been labeled as the most cursed matchups ever in the UFC. One more cancelation would more than likely mean we will never see it and if we do it will be when both are out of their prime.
I can’t remember the last time that the fan base and the media were so excited about the beginning of a New Year for the UFC. If everything goes according to plan they are going to hit some big numbers on pay-per-view that will get the cash registers singing which will be music to the ears of the UFC and their broadcast partner ESPN
The UFC could not ask for a better way to bring in the 1st quarter of 2020. The most talked-about fighters on their roster are all going to be in action in the 1st quarter of the New Year, something that we haven’t seen in quite some time
Many people like to accuse the UFC of not seeing things clearly. One would have to say that they must have heard the rumblings and decided that it was the right time to head to the doctor for the corporate version of Lasik surgery because they are wide-eyed and laser-focused and that the surgery was successful because they seem to have a perfect vision of what they want 2020 to be.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.