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Five UFC Fights That We Need To See In 2023
It's been a long week without any UFC action, but dont worry UFC fans: I’m here to bring the heat. While we can't bet on any UFC fights for another few weeks, we can at least fantasize over what fights we are just DYING to see in 2023.
All of these fights are entirely hypothetical, so there are no odds released on any of them yet. However, if you want to get accustomed to any of these online sportsbooks before these fights become official, I highly encourage you to do so. Sportsbooks are sure to be offering tons of free bets as the holiday season rolls through, so check it out today!
So, here are the five fights that we just HAVE to see in 2023.
Conor McGregor vs Paddy Pimblett
We’re starting off with what could be the biggest fight, in terms of pay-per-view buys, in UFC history. Paddy is the hottest fighter in the World right now, and thanks to some out-of-the-octagon feuding with Ariel Helwani, he has found himself in the perfect sweet spot of being loved and hated by casuals and hardcore fans alike. Combine that with McGregor, who I feel like I don’t have to say much about, and you have yourself an incredible pay-per-view.
While I think McGregor would absolutely smoke that scouser sausage, I think it’s a great fight for the UFC to make. Their Paddy clock may be running out soon, so it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. Also, if this is McGregor’s first fight back in the UFC, then that alone will sell a million pay-per-views.
Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones
This is starting to feel as fabled as Tony Ferguson vs Khabib. This fight has been talked about since Jon Jones announced his jump up to Heavyweight, but with Ngannou’s injuries and contract negotiations ongoing since he defended his belt against Cyril Gane, we’re not sure we’ll ever see this fight. Also, Jones is probably waiting out for a title shot, so we won’t see him until Ngannou–or whoever is champion–is ready to roll.
In terms of who I think would win this fight, it’s a toss-up. Jones is obviously incredibly talented, but Ngannou…Ngannou is a different animal. The way he was able to turn that fight against Gane around with his wrestling, I’m not sure I’d be able to go against Ngannou in any fight.
Ilia Topuria vs Max Holloway
This would be a huge jump up for Topuria, but I truly think he’s ready. Topuria has looked incredible since he started fighting in the UFC–which, sure, isn’t the best analysis considering he is undefeated, but it’s hard to say anything more about him–that’s how good he’s looked. He made Ryan Hall look like a legless worm rolling around on the ground, and he made Bryce Mitchell look like he’s never wrestled once in his life.
A matchup between him and Holloway would be interesting because we haven’t really seen Holloway tested on the ground in a while. Also, Topuria’s striking is so technical that it would match up greatly with Holloway’s style. This is a fight that could easily main event a fight night or could even co-main a pay-per-view, so let’s get it booked.
Marlon Vera vs Sean O’Malley 2
As badly as I want to see Sean O’Malley with the strap, I feel like this fight between him and Chito has to happen again before any belts are given out to anyone. In their first fight, Vera won via TKO, but O’Malley fell with an injury early in the first round of the fight, so he does not even recognize it as a loss.
Since their first fight, Vera is 4-1, with his only loss coming in the fight directly after the O’Malley fight, in a bout against Jose Aldo. Since then, Chito has won fights against Davey Grant, Frankie Edgar, Rob Font, and Dominick Cruz. O’Malley has a record of 4-0-1 since his loss to Vera, with wins over Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, Raulian Paiva, and Petr Yan. The one no-contest came against Pedro Munhoz due to an eye poke.
Vera’s resume is obviously more impressive, but he is still ranked lower in the Bantamweight Rankings. So, let's run this one back and make it a number one contender fight, shall we?
Colby Covington vs Khamzat Chimaev
Imagine what the hype would be for this fight. The only problem with it is, I’m not sure Chimaev wants to make Welterweight anymore. If he stays at Middleweight, then let's make his fight against Whittaker or Paulo Costa. But a Chimaev/Covington fight would break the internet.