UFC president Dana White accomplished some huge things during 2020 despite the global pandemic, and the top executive for the world’s leading MMA promotional company is planning for his company to do the same thing during 2021. During a recent podcast interview, White touted his general idea about the next 12 months.
“We got nothing but big fights all this year so hopefully we can get a couple of these key ones buttoned up and done and start looking forward to them,” White told “The Schmo”.
White revealed on that podcast new information about one of the biggest fights he’s working on for 2021, and Heavy compiled other examples of big fights on the way featuring top UFC champions and other rising stars.
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Jorge Masvidal vs. Colby Covington: ‘Fight We Want’
One of the biggest fights White said the UFC is working on putting together right now is between popular welterweight contenders Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.
Masvidal is one of the company’s top pay-per-view attractions, and Covington is one of the most polarizing figures in sports.
While Covington recently claimed Masvidal doesn’t actually want the fight to happen, White corrected “Chaos” when chatting with “The Schmo” to say his company is actually in the process of putting that fight together right now.
“I don’t think Masvidal said ‘I don’t like that fight stylistically’,” White told “The Schmo”. “We’re working on that fight. It’s the fight we want, too, and hopefully we’ll get that done this year, too.”
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Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz
Per that same ESPN report, Adesanya is set to challenge light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz on March 6.
It’s an important champion vs. champion matchup that could lead to an even bigger superfight.
Recently, White told BT Sport the superfight he most wants to make in 2021 is between Adesanya and longtime pound-for-pound king Jon Jones.
But Jones vacated his 205-pound title during 2020 to move up to heavyweight, and he plans to stay there for the rest of his career, so Adesanya has to come climbing up the scale from the 185-pound ranks if he hopes to land that fight.
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2
Speaking of the heavyweight division, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic established himself as the most accomplished UFC heavyweight champion in history during 2020 when he defeated Daniel Cormier in the final fight of their epic trilogy.
Now, Miocic is set to welcome Francis Ngannou back to the cage for a rematch. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, that fight is being targeted for March.
Ngannou has been on a terrifying knockout streak. The 34-year-old has won his last three fights over top contenders via first-round knockout.
So Miocic vs. Ngannou 2 is the biggest and best fight that can be made at heavyweight, and the winner might already have his next fight lined up in 2021.
Jon Jones vs. UFC Heavyweight Champ
UFC superstar Jones could be waiting for the winner of Miocic vs. Ngannou 2.
While Miocic defeated Ngannou via unanimous decision two years ago, Jones told Heavy last week he believes Ngannou could be ready to walk away with UFC gold this time around.
Regardless, Jones is one of the most accomplished, decorated, and overall best UFC fighters in history. In facing the winner of Miocic vs. Ngannou 2, Jones would be attempting to become one of the few fighters in company history to win UFC gold in more than one division.
Jones vs. the winner of Miocic-Ngannou 2 could happen as soon as this summer.
Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier
McGregor defeated Poirier at featherweight in less than two minutes back in 2014, but both fighters are now listed near the top of the UFC’s lightweight rankings.
In fact, McGregor vs. Poirier, combined with the planned fight on the undercard between Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker, could be setting up the winners of those bouts to face each other next.
Assuming current UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov remains retired, that could mean McGregor’s path toward recapturing UFC gold again at 155 pounds is something that will require the former “champ champ” to face a string of top contenders.
UFC Newest Superstars Keep Rising
During an appearance on the “Shout!” podcast, White explained how excited he was about three of the UFC’s newest superstars.
Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland, and Joaquin Buckley all enjoyed stellar campaigns during 2020, and each fighter could be poised for another big run in 2021.
While Chimaev’s rescheduled bout against top welterweight contender Leon Edwards had to be postponed again due to Chimaev recovering from COVID-19 per ESPN, Holland seems to already be headed into a massive middleweight showdown against veteran contender Derek Brunson next.
Per ESPN, Holland vs. Brunson will take place on March 20.
Meanwhile, Buckley is set to fight on January 16 per MMA Junkie against Alessio Di Chirico.
Those are just a few big fights already on the way for 2021. More are sure to follow.
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