The UFC lies somewhere in a grey area between “legitimate competition” and “violent entertainment.” We don’t mean that the fights aren’t legit — of course they are. We mean that the UFC doesn’t always put on the fight that makes the most sense, often leaving legitimate title contenders on the sideline while they pursue fights that will attract a larger pay-per-view audience. Look no further than 2016’s Nate Diaz-Conor McGregor fights (while the featherweight title sat idle on McGregor’s bookshelf) or the fact that a returning Georges St-Pierre cut in line ahead of Yoel Romero to get the next crack at Michael Bisping’s middleweight championship.
The UFC is well within their right to make whichever fight they want. It’s their business, after all, and the new owners who paid over $4 billion for the company are keen on earning back some of that investment. With that in mind, we thought of ten potential fights that could do big money. Some are more realistic than others, and a couple involve fighters moving up or down a weight class, but in theory, they are all 100 percent possible.
10. Cody Garbrandt vs. Demetrious Johnson
We would have put Garbrandt up against T.J. Dillashaw, but that fight is already on the horizon (possibly at UFC 213 in July, although it hasn’t officially been announced yet). Instead, we’re requesting that Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson abandom the flyweight division that he absolutely ruled over for years and take a crack at bantamweight. After all, what’s left for D.J. to prove at 125-pounds? He’s literally beaten everyone in the division, defending the title a UFC record ten straight times.
Meanwhile, Garbrandt is a perfect 11-0 and recently handed Dominick Cruz his first loss in almost ten years, winning the bantamweight title in the process. If he retains the belt against Dillashaw this summer, a champion vs. champion fight would draw a huge audience.(AP Photo/John Locher)