Top mixed martial arts promotions UFC will end their 2016 with a wild one on December 30. UFC 207 will feature MMA’s brightest female star, Ronda Rousey and her return to the octagon to face current champion, Amanda Nunes. Of course, it would not be the UFC without the card getting packed with more star power as the co-main event has long time bantamweight king Dominick Cruz squaring off with heavy hitting Cody Garbrandt. The UFC 207 card will cap off the organizations 2016 and already a lot of fight fans are making their wish lists for 2017. According to Sherdog, here are some of the biggest MMA fights that should happen this 2017 in the UFC.
Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
While a lot of people are looking for a McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy, true MMA purists are hoping to test the brash Conor McGregor against an equally vocal Khabib Nurmagomedov this 2017. Conor McGregor captured the UFC lightweight title with the demolition of Eddie Alvarez last November and the Irishman looks to be at his best at lightweight. The third scrap between Conor and Nate Diaz may give fans another redo of their classic rematch, but the truth is McGregor might be too much for Nate at this weight. Conor McGregor will have more stamina in the tank which is something that became an issue in both Diaz fights.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has superb mat skills and if he can take Conor Mcgregor down then the fight will more than likely go his way. On the flip side, McGregor has shown an ever-improving takedown defense and if the fight stays up it is probably going to be him with arms raised in victory for this UFC bout. There are a lot of things going for Conor in this fight. First is that McGregor can finally silence naysayers who say that he has never faced a great wrestler. Another plus is that a win against someone of Khabib’s caliber ultimately cements McGregor’s legacy in the fight game. For Khabib, a dominating win on 2017 would derail the McGregor hype train and will most likely lead to a much more lucrative rematch with the Notorious.
Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson
If Anthony Johnson grabs the light heavyweight crown from Daniel Cormier at some point next year then the UFC should be quick to match him up with Jones. Fans have been clamoring for Jones to be tested by someone with the punching power of Johnson. This fight will have plenty of questions coming in like whether or not Jones’ all-around brilliance and wrestling will be enough to keep a power punching machine like Rumble at bay for five whole rounds. On the other hand, will Anthony Johnson have enough stamina to sustain his punch output to someone as methodical and hard to reach as Jones?
According to the Washington Post, Jon Jones can compete again on July 2017. If the stars align, then Rumble vs. Jones may finally cease to be a fantasy match up.
Cain Velasquez vs. Stipe Miocic
The heavyweight picture is getting a bit stale and this match would definitely put the division back on the UFC map. If Cain can avenge his loss against Fabricio Werdum then a heavyweight championship match against Stipe Miocic is definitely intriguing. Cain will need all of his wrestling skills to beat a relentless striker in Miocic while Stipe will need to knock Velasquez out fast.
The UFC needs a high profile match for the division and this scrap between Cain Velasquez and Stipe Miocic seems like the best possible match there is in heavyweight land.
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