Following the sale of the UFC for over $4bn, more and more fighters are asking for so-called ‘money fights’. UFC featherweight champion, Conor McGregor, is the biggest draw in the UFC and will headline the flagship UFC 205 card at Madison Square Garden. After his two ‘superfights’ against Nate Diaz, McGregor will look to become a dual-weight champion by defeating Eddie Alvarez.
The money that McGregor is making has led to other fighters wanting ‘money fights’ rather than looking to fight the number one contender in their division or another viable match up.
We take a look at five ‘superfights’ we could potentially see in the UFC…
Demetrious Johnson vs Dominick Cruz 2
Although Dominick Cruz currently holds a victory over Demetrious Johnson, the UFC flyweight champion has matured into the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Johnson has been dominant in the flyweight division which has forced the UFC to create an Ultimate Fighter season to find someone capable of dethroning ‘Mighty Mouse’.
On the other hand, Cruz has made the bantamweight division his own after regaining his title from TJ Dillashaw and defended his crown against old foe Urijah Faber at UFC 199. With Johnson set to face the Ultimate Fighter winner, ‘The Dominator’ could be set for a title rematch against Dillashaw who is the current number one contender or against up-coming star Cody Garbrandt.
The fight would bring in a lot of money for both fighters and Johnson has made it clear he wants to avenge his loss to Cruz. Johnson vs Cruz 2 would be one of the most entertaining superfights in the UFC with the top two pound-for-pound fighters meeting in the Octagon once again.
GSP vs Anderson Silva
For weeks now, UFC legend, Georges St-Pierre, has flirted with the idea of returning the UFC. Constant rumours have circulated that GSP is looking for his next fight and reports suggest that he demanded almost $10m to fight McGregor at MSG. Fights with Tyron Woodley and Michael Bisping has also been mooted but there would not be a bigger fight to make than with Anderson Silva.
Although ‘the Spider’ is not in his prime, a fight with GSP would be a huge draw for fans and would result in a large fight purse. The two were rumoured to fight a number of years ago before GSP’s retirement meant the bout would seemingly never happen.
With St-Pierre wanting to return and fight on the UFC 206 in Toronto, Silva vs GSP could be back on the cards. However, UFC president, Dana White, has quashed rumours by stating he doesn’t believe GSP will ever return to the sport.
Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2
Another fighter set to return to the UFC is Nick Diaz. Following a failed drugs test at UFC 183, Diaz was banned for five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission before his ban was reduced and eventually lifted in August 2015. Despite having fines still to pay, Diaz is set to return to the Octagon and was lined up to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 205.
Rumours of a tie with Woodley was also rumoured with ‘the Chosen One’ seeking a money fight after winning the UFC welterweight championship at UFC 201 before agreeing to fight Stephen Thompson at 205. This means Diaz is in search of a new opponent and who wouldn’t want to see a rematch with Robbie Lawler?
Lawler pulled out of his fight against Cerrone for personal reasons but would love to get the chance to avenge his loss against Diaz. ‘Ruthless’ has matured into a well-rounded athlete since his loss against Diaz and could see the rematch as a perfect route back into the Octagon.
Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic
Hopefully, the wait is nearly over and Jon Jones will return to the UFC sooner rather than later. After beating Ovince Saint Preux, he was set for a title rematch against Daniel Cormier before another setback in failed drugs test. Jones and White have hinted that ‘Bones’ will be back fighting again soon but with Anthony Johnson set to fight DC for the title, Jones could make a move to heavyweight.
Stipe Miocic is the current heavyweight champion after successfully defending his crown against Alastair Overeem at UFC 203. A fight against Jones at heavyweight would be an extremely entertaining prospect but the American seems to have fights lined up against either Cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum.
Whether Jones would make the move to test himself at heavyweight remains to be seen as he was technically never beaten to lose the light heavyweight title to Cormier.
Ronda Rousey vs Cris Cyborg
Probably the most highly anticipated women’s fight in the UFC is a superfight between two of the sport’s most dominant athletes in Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg. Rousey was dominant in the women’s bantamweight division before her loss to Hollie Holm and has since taken a break from the UFC.
Cris Cyborg has also enjoyed a strong start to life in the UFC despite disputes over her weight. Unable to make the 135lb weight limit, Cyborg has fought twice at catchweight, claiming victories over Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg.
Rousey vs Cyborg would be a huge draw for the company and White has speculated that Rousey could return to action before the end of the year. With only one main UFC card scheduled before the end of 2016, UFC 207 could be the perfect occasion to see two of the best women athletes compete.
Which UFC superfight would you like to see most? Comment below!