Landscape of the UFC by Division

Flyweight


The strangest division right now is Flyweight. Henry "Do you know he has a gold medal?" Cejudo is the Champ of the 125ers, and 135ers, and actively fights to keep this division alive amidst a ton of rumors that it will be closing soon. Even stranger is Cejudo just fought at 135 and is now trying to get a fight at 145. So what happens to a division when the Champ doesn't even wanna be a part of it? You schedule a title eliminator fight. Jussier Formiga, who is the number 1 ranked Flyweight behind Cejudo is scheduled to fight Joseph Benavidez, the number 2 ranked Flyweight, on June 29th. Whether or not Cejudo defends his Flyweight belt when he gets back from injury is the real question as to what happens to this division.


Bantamweight


My guess is that Cejudo will be stripped of one of his titles, more specifically I would guess it's this one. With Moraes (1) coming off a loss to Cejudo, it would make sense that the only 2 Bantamweights in the top 5 who are coming off a win, Aljamain Sterling (2) and Petr Yan (4) fight. Either this fight or the one I previously mentioned in Flyweight will be an interim, or full blown title fight. More likely this one since the other is already scheduled. The only unknown in this division is when and how Dominick Cruz comes back, but he is nursing another injury, unfortunately, because I believe he is the GOAT 135 lb. fighter.


Featherweight


Max Holloway, the Champion, is already set to defend his title on July 27th against Frankie Edgar (4). This will be the third time they are set to fight in the last year and a half with injuries from both fighters derailing the previous attempts. Meanwhile Alexander Volkanovski (1) waits patiently for the winner. Also interesting is Brian Ortega (2) has a fight scheduled with Zabit Magomedsharipov (6) on the same night, July 27th. If Zabit wins, I could see a scenario where he would fight Volkanovski for a title eliminator if Max or Frankie is sidelined for a small period of time after their fight.


Lightweight


Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is scheduled to fight Interim Champ Dustin Poirer on September 7th at UFC 242. The only other title contender in this division is Tony Ferguson (2). Conor doesn't actually fight anymore, Cerrone just lost, Iaquinta just lost, Barboza just lost and Gaethje has no fights scheduled. This is a stacked division and anyone in the top 10 could win the title at some point but after the dust has finally settled this past year from Conor holding the belt hostage, the only people left standing are Khabib, Tony and Dustin. Whoever wins between Khabib and Dustin will have to fight Tony and we will finally have a real Champ at 155 again. Not that Khabib doesn't deserve to be the Champion, but there are most certainly doubts as to who is the best fighter in this group.


Welterweight


Kamaru Usman, the 170 pound Champion, is sidelined with an injury. He stated he would be ready to fight by November and will fight whoever Dana White says to fight. Just last night, the interim Welterweight Champion, Colby Covington agreed to a bout against former Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler on August 3rd when the UFC returns to New Jersey. What's odd about this that Robbie Lawler is coming off a, albeit controversial, loss against Ben Askren. Askren (4) is set to fight Jorge Masvidal (5) on July 6th at UFC 239. How I see this playing out is if Colby wins and retains his interim title, then it would make sense for him to fight Usman when he returns. Tyron Woodley is still out with a hand injury and was scheduled for a fight with Lawler June 29th so he remains a mystery since he won't fight Askren, his teammate. So, if Masvidal wins I could see a Masvidal versus Woodley matchup for a title contender but Welterweight is pretty muddled and confusing at the moment. Hopefully by the end of the summer we will have a more clear picture on the landscape of title contenders.


Middleweight


Middleweight might be as clean as it gets when it comes to contenders and Champs. Robert "Bobby Knuckles" Whittaker fights the only contender and Interim Champ Israel Adesanya on Oct. 5th at UFC 243 in Australia. Nothing else is scheduled and no one else deserves a title eliminator, let alone a title shot. Also I love this fight and if you've read anything I've ever written then you know who I've been hyping up for the last year since he joined the UFC.


Light Heavyweight


Another clean division as far as landscape goes is the Jon Jones division. He is scheduled to fight number 2 ranked Thiago Santos on July 6th at UFC 239. There are definitely a few up and coming prospects in the Jon Jones division that will get a title shot if they win another fight or two which include: Dominick Reyes (5), Corey Anderson (8) and Johnny Walker (12). Not to mention there is always Daniel Cormier and whether or not he chooses to come down and fight Jones for the trilogy, but I personally don't think that happens.


Heavyweight


Daniel Cormier, the Champ, has a rematch with former Champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on August 17th. DC knocked out Miocic in the first round last summer and Miocic hasn't fought since. Other notable fights in this division are Junior Dos Santos (3) versus Francis Ngannou (2) on June 29th and Curtis Blaydes (4) versus Shamil Abdurakhimov (10) on UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on September 7th. DC recently stated that this would probably be his last fight, so if he beats Stipe, the only person I see him fighting, is Jon Jones. I would guess that fight happens at Heavyweight, but who knows.


Women's Strawweight


Champion Jessica Andrade is set to fight challenger Weili Zhang (6) on Aug 31st for an ESPN+ card. Tatiana Suarez (2), who is the clear number one contender for this division, is sidelined with an injury and will almost definitely get the next title shot. Former Champ Rose Namajunas (1) stated she was interested in a rematch with the Andrade but was resting up and will be tentatively ready to fight by the end of the year. A title eliminator between Suarez and Namajunas makes a ton of sense later this year and I hope to see that scheduled.


Women's Flyweight


Valentina Shevchenko is the Champion of this division and that's all you need to know. She has a fight scheduled against number 3 ranked Liz Carmouche on August 10th for UFC Fight Night but I do not see her losing anytime soon. UFC is doing these women Champs dirty with these non-ppv events. This division is pretty new still and everyone in it is several fights from having a real claim to a title shot. Up and comers to keep an eye on would be, Andrea Lee (10), Montana De La Rosa (11) and Katlyn Chookagian (2).


Women's Bantamweight


Savage killer Amanda Nunes has both the Bantamweight and Featherweight titles after mauling everyone in the WMMA scene. She has a rematch scheduled with Holly Holm (2) on July 6th at UFC 239. Similar to Flyweight, there are a few exciting prospects that are a fight or two away from contender status which include, Aspen Ladd (4), Ketlen Vieira (3), and Yana Kunitskaya (7).


Women's Featherweight


The only 2 people in this division are Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg. Nunes knocked out Cyborg in the first round last year and they have both expressed interest in fighting again but nothing is planned for the time being. The UFC might bring in another lamb for Cyborg to slaughter while Nunes is defending her Bantamweight belt but there isn't much substance for this division. Oh I forgot Cyborg is scheduled to fight Felicia Spencer at UFC 240 July 27th. Felicia is 1-0 in the UFC.



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