- The UFC has a few super-fights they would like to make, but there are still several hurdles to clear first
- A heavyweight fight between Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar could be the biggest event in UFC history
- A title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor is what the lightweight division needs to establish an undisputed king
UFC 226 is the event we’re all waiting for. Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier meet for a crazy cross-division championship fight, and Max Holloway defends his title against Brian Ortega. It’s going to be a great night!
But before we get to that, let’s look a little further ahead and consider some of the super-fights brewing in the UFC. A heavyweight showdown between Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar, a fight that would shatter every UFC PPV record, looms on the distant horizon. And a fight between lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and former champ Conor McGregor is looking like a real possibility.
Jon Jones (-350) vs Brock Lesnar (+265)
Jon Jones (22-1) is still serving a drug suspension and Brock Lesnar (5-3) has yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool, but here we are, still talking about the potential super-fight between two of the biggest names to ever set foot in the octagon.
Lesnar’s WWE contract expires at the end of the summer but there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll leave pro wrestling to re-sign with the UFC, and Bones Jones could be sidelined for as long as four years, depending on how his USADA case plays out. Even if everything falls perfectly into place, this fight is still a long way from being booked.
That hasn’t stopped bookmakers from taking bets, though. Dana White knows that this could potentially be the most lucrative fight in UFC history, and both Jones and Lesnar are in desperate need of a big comeback. There’s a decent chance this fight happens.
When it comes to technique and versatility, there’s no question that Jones is the superior fighter. The man barreled through the light heavyweight division and made it look easy, snatching the belt when he was just 23 years old and beating some of the biggest names in MMA.
Lesnar, on the other hand, is an extremely limited fighter. His size and wrestling background makes for a vicious ground-and-pound, and that’s pretty much his bread and butter. He drags his opponents onto the mat and mauls them senseless.
The size disparity may be the key to Lesnar’s success here. Jones has never weighed in above 205 lbs, whereas Lesnar cuts to make 265 lbs. If the two agree to fight at heavyweight rather than a catchweight, this will be a giant leap for Jones. Lesnar could use his size to control Jones in the clinch and set up the takedown. If he can accomplish that, the fight is his.
Pick: Brock Lesnar (+265)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-245) vs Conor McGregor (+175)
Conor McGregor (21-3) has been absent from the UFC since 2016, and if the former lightweight champ wants his belt back, he’ll need to face the current champ. Enter Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0).
There was a time when McGregor was the favorite against any lightweight in the UFC. But that was before he spiralled out of control, running into trouble with the Irish mob and hurling objects through bus windows. He’s an inactive fighter now more famous for his antics outside of the octagon than in it. Meanwhile, Khabib has been destroying every opponent the UFC has thrown in front of him.
A fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov is an interesting clash of styles. McGregor is one of the most precise and clinical strikers we’ve ever seen, but his ground game needs some serious work. His three career losses have all come by way of submission. Khabib is one of the fiercest grapplers we’ve ever seen, but his striking is really nothing special.
Khabib’s game plan has already been written. He’ll attempt to close in on McGregor and take him down where he can maul him. Everyone knows what Khabib wants to do, but no one can ever stop him. He’ll apply relentless pressure and walk through a flurry of strikes in order to back his opponent against the cage and smother them.
McGregor will obviously want to keep the fight upright and keep Khabib at a distance. Nurmagomedov is known to be a little reckless when pressing his opponents, opening himself up to shots. This is where McGregor will look to shine. A quick left hand as Khabib rushes forward would be all it takes to stop the show.
If this fight gets booked, we’ll see money flood in for McGregor. The man knows how to sell a fight and he knows how to sell himself. Get in early and take advantage of his underdog status while it lasts.
Pick: Conor McGregor (+175)