Best UFC Fighters to Look out for in 2018
Conor McGregor dominated the headlines in 2017, but not always for his exploits inside the Octagon, and with his money-spinning, boxing match against Floyd Mayweather now consigned to history, the Dubliner can get back to doing what he does best.
The current lightweight champion is third in the sport’s pound-for-pound rankings and will want to see his name at the top of that list as well.
The 29-year-old hinted that he might fight again before the end of the year, but it is much more likely that the Irishman, who has become the biggest draw in the sport, will return in 2018.
Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is the current top dog on the pound-for-pound list after taking care of Ray Borg by submission on October 7 and the 31-year-old Kentucky-born fighter looks set for a big 2018.
“Mighty Mouse” has not been beaten in more than six years, and the fact he is arguably the quickest and most technically skilled fighter in MMA, has helped overcome a lack of inches to propel him to the top of the sport.
Stipe Miocic may be 35, but, having won the heavyweight crown by beating Fabrício Werdum in May 2016, he has gone on to defend his crown twice.
At UFC 211 on May 13 this year he repelled another Brazilian, as Junior dos Santos was unable to deal with his punches in Dallas, and Miocic is now seventh in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Number two-ranked middleweight Michael Bisping lost his belt in November, as Canada’s Georges St-Pierre pulled off a technical submission in New York, but the 38-year-old Englishman has wasted little time in getting back in the octagon.He will take on Kelvin Gastelum on November 25, and is giving up 12 years to the American, who needs a win to get his career back on track.
Robert Whittaker became interim middleweight champion by landing a unanimous decision against Cuba’s Yoel Romero on July 8 in Las Vegas.
The Australian/New Zealander has missed the remainder of the 2017 however due to a knee injury, but the “Reaper” is surely one to keep an eye on for the coming 12 months as he looks to reassert himself on the division.
In the bantamweight division, T J Dillashaw reigns supreme and his loss to Dominick Cruz now seems a long time ago.
Three straight wins culminating in the second-round knockout of Cody Garbrandt on November 4 in New York saw the 31-year-old Californian take the title with a Performance of the Night display.
San Diego fighter Cruz is Still ranked number two and may be looking for a rematch next year and, if you like to bet on MMA, why not check out Bethut.co.uk for all the best sites available.
There is plenty of top-class UFC action to look forward to next year, but it is surely the return of McGregor that fans eagerly await.
He did himself proud against Mayweather, and has already spoken about a possible third fight with Nate Diaz – that would be worth watching as their record stands at 1-1.