I am putting this article together to entertain fights that I believe are realistic and would do very well in revenue which would ultimately draw more attention to this already fast-growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts. I am doing these matchmaking ideas exclusively as it pertains to UFC fighters currently on the roster (no crossover fights with other promotions). I hope you like this!
Weili Zhang versus Valentina Shevchenko
There is no bad blood between these two very high-level mixed martial artists. In fact, these two ladies have trained together before. What we have here is arguably the two most technical female fighters on the UFC’s roster and I would be interested in a super fight where Weili would move up to Flyweight to face Valentina for the title. Weili is coming off one of the best fights in MMA history where she emerged victorious. Prior to that bout, Weili got a quick finish that earned her Performance of the Night and claim the Strawweight title so she certainly has momentum. I also think this matchup makes sense for Valentina because I believe it would be a more competitive fight for her than any fights that are currently on the table for her within Flyweight as it currently stands. I also believe this is the most viable super fight for Valentina at this moment. Both women have wins over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, are very technical, super well-rounded, and very talented. I think this is a huge fight to make!
Jon Jones versus Stipe Miocic
There is one reason that is clear to me as to why Jon Jones has not looked as dominant recently as he has in the past and it’s his lack of motivation which is hindering his preparation in recent fights (i.e. Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos). While I think Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes are very talented fighters, I think a Jon Jones that was at his best would’ve won both fights more comfortably. What matchup can get Jon Jones motivated and perform at his best? I believe his first fight at Heavyweight against the only other man to defeat Daniel Cormier in MMA will fulfill this task. Enter Stipe Miocic. This is a challenge I do think Jones would show up at his best for as he is NOT the champion at Heavyweight and is facing a very proven champion and arguably best Heavyweight of all-time, Stipe Miocic. I would like to see this fight booked after the Miocic versus Cormier trilogy. I also believe Stipe would prefer a bout with Jon Jones then say Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Francis Ngannou, or Curtis Blaydes who are the top Heavyweight contenders as the payday will likely be significantly larger with the potential to improve his already very impressive legacy.
Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa
I realize this is not a hot take, but I feel this is a fight that is worth mentioning considering Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya have been talking smack at each other since they were prospects. Both are undefeated fighters that have shown to be finishers with exciting fighting styles. I trust many will purchase a Pay-Per-View with these two featured on it.
Kamaru Usman versus Jorge Masvidal
This is one of the more solidified selections in this article as Dana White mentioned he planned on having these two men fight this summer. This fight is a huge sell as there’s been some trash talk (at the Super Bowl) between these two and both fighters are riding a lot of momentum.
Conor McGregor versus Justin Gaethje
The logic for this one is very simple. Conor McGregor is the biggest draw in the history of the sport and Justin Gaethje has 7 performance bonuses in 6 UFC fights & is nicknamed “The Highlight”. These two are also top 5 Lightweights. This bout has the perfect recipe for an outstanding fight that many people would tune in for.
Conor McGregor versus Tony Ferguson
When you have an athlete like Conor McGregor in a sport, you have a lot of very viable options to make revenue. These two had previously trash talked each other and are top 3 Lightweights. It also has the dynamic of Ferguson not facing a fighter with the power of McGregor and McGregor not fighting someone like Ferguson as Ferguson in general has a very unique style. This fight would bring in some big numbers in terms of sales.
Justin Gaethje versus Khabib Nurmagomedov
This matchup has a very interesting dynamic: Is Gaethje’s takedown defense good enough to stop Khabib’s wrestling threat? It remains to be seen. In addition to these two being top 5 Lightweights, they are both very marketable and present threats with high pedigree to each other inside the octagon each are not used to.
Justin Gaethje versus Tony Ferguson
The good thing about the bout between these two getting cancelled for UFC 249 initially is that if this bout is scheduled again, Justin Gaethje will likely have more notice and proper training. Both of these men’s styles are very exciting. These two combined have 13 performances bonuses from their last 6 fights. This fight has all the ingredients to be awesome and I trust the public will be very wise to it even if there’s not a belt at stake.
Dustin Poirier versus Tony Ferguson
As you can tell, Lightweight as a few different matchups that I believe will do very well. This fight has ‘action-packed’ written all over it. Both fighters have shown they can go a hard 5 rounds while landing close to 200 hundred significant strikes. Dustin Poirier has won 4 performance bonuses in his last 7 fights. Tony Ferguson has won 8 performance bonuses his last 8 fights. Also, these two were interim belt holders for this division. With this division having elite fighters at the very top, I believe this is a bout that would deliver strongly.
Leon Edwards versus Jorge Masvidal
This is one of my sneakier selections. These two had an altercation backstage after UFC London in 2019. I realize this was over a year ago, but the seed has been planted regardless. The way I understand it is Leon Edwards (in the co-main event and fought Gunnar Nelson) wanted to fight Darren Till (fought Jorge Masvidal in the main event) prior to the event taking place as he believed he and Till should be headlining the card. After Jorge Masvidal defeated Darren Till, Leon said something to Jorge backstage that prompted Jorge to leave an interview he was doing and hit Leon. Also, these two are top 5 in the Welterweight division and are very talented. I see this fight headlining in the future after Leon Edwards fights Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal fights Kamaru Usman.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik versus Francis Ngannou
This bout can be marketed as ‘The Two Most Dangerous Heavyweight Strikers in MMA’ because both fighters have HUGE knockout power. The bout has been booked twice to no avail yet; however, with persistence, this bout will materialize and bring in a lot of money to headline a fight night or be featured on a Pay-Per-View.
Nate Diaz versus Conor McGregor III
The last time these two fought, the record was broken for most PPV buys. The sequel fight was one of the best fights in the history of the sport. If these two fighters compete against each other again to complete the trilogy, I trust the PPV buys will be very high again. To be honest, I think matchups with either Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov are the only fights to get Nate Diaz motivated enough to get back in the octagon. From Conor McGregor’s perspective, I believe he wants to fight Diaz once more to get the better of the trilogy. Both fighters have also entertained the trilogy in the past. I believe holding this bout at Lightweight makes the most sense.
Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson
There are two sides to every coin. I understand that there’s been 5 attempts to book this fight and none of them have to fruition. However, just think about the numbers in terms of sales that would materialize if these two were to fight each other with no issues in the lead up to the octagon appearances. There’s no other fight quite like this one and the fact that there’s been so much build up for so long, speaks to me that a bout with these two that happens brings in some big money.