Predicting the UFC champions at the end of 2020

Predicting the UFC champions at the end of 2020

2019 was an amazing year for the UFC. Henry Cejudo became a champ-champ, Nate Diaz returned, Israel Adesanya and Jorge Masvidal became stars, and the promotion saw a total of seven title changes. Now we turn to not only a new year, but a new decade. As we turn to 2020, lets predict who will be the champions in each weight class at this time next year.

Flyweight

Current Champion: Henry Cejudo 

Possible Contenders: Joseph Benavidez, Jussier Formiga, Deiveson Figueirdo, Alexandre Pantoja

Next Year’s Champion: Joseph Benavidez

Outlook: Well it appears this division will see another year. Cejudo relinquished his belt and on Feb. 29, Benavidez will fight Figueirdo for the vacant title. It’s hard not to bet on Benavidez considering he’s 9-1 in his last 10 fights. It’s time for the Benavidez era.


Bantamweight

Current Champion: Henry Cejudo

Possible Contenders: Aljamain Sterling, Peter Yan, Marlon Moraes, Jose Aldo

Next Year’s Champion: Aljamain Sterling

Outlook: This division is deep and there should be a lot of great matchups at 135 pounds in 2020. There’s also a lot of questions at the moment. Like how long will it take for Cejudo to fight? Who exactly will he fight? I think Sterling is a problem for a lot of fighters given his length so therefore I’m going to predict him to be the champ at this time next year. 


Featherweight

Current Champion: Alexander Volkanovski

Possible Contenders: Max Holloway, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Chan Sung Jung, Yair Rodriguez

Next Year’s Champion: Zabit Magomedsharipov

Outlook: Did anyone see Volkanovski’s upset over Holloway coming? Now the question is, can he beat him again in the rematch? Answer is no. Holloway will win the rematch and then give up his belt to move up to lightweight. When he gives up his title it will set up Volkanovski and Magomedsharipov for the vacant title with Magomedsharipov getting the win.


Lightweight

Current Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov

Possible Contenders: Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier

Next Year’s Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov

Outlook: Lightweight is murderer’s row. There are so many possibly outcomes, but I can’t bet against Nurmagomedov. I really think Ferguson has what it takes to hand Nurmagomedov his first loss. If he does we’ll definitely have a new champ at the end of 2020 because Conor McGregor is going to get a championship fight whether he deserves it or not. Given too many unknowns in the division, I’m taking the safe bet and picking Nurmagomedov.


Welterweight

Current Champion: Kamaru Usman

Possible Contenders: Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, Leon Edwards, Tyron Woodley 

Next Year’s Champion: Kamaru Usman

Outlook: Usman looks like he’s not going anywhere. Someone is really going to need to put on one hell of a performance to beat Usman. Is it possible that he loses his belt in 2020? Absolutely. However, after seeing Usman smash Woodley and out last Covington in a dog fight, I’m not betting against him anytime soon.


Middleweight

Current Champion: Israel Adesanya 

Possible Contenders: Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Darren Till

Next Year’s Champion: Israel Adesanya

Outlook: The UFC has their next star and he is now the middleweight champion. Adesanya had arguably the best 2019 out of anyone on the UFC roster. I think there’s a lot of interesting fights out there for Adesanya including a possible super fight with at light heavyweight with Jon Jones. As far as middleweight goes, Adesanya has all the tools go on a long run so I’m predicting he defends his throne in 2020.


Light Heavyweight

Current Champion: Jon Jones

Possible Contenders: Dominick Reyes, Thiago Santos, Jan Blachowicz, Corey Anderson, Israel Adesanya

Next Year’s Champion: Jon Jones

Outlook: They don’t call Jones the GOAT for nothing. If he loses, it’s going to be a major upset. Just line them up and Jones will win. 


Heavyweight

Current Champion: Stipe Miocic

Possible Contenders: Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Francis Ngannou, Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Next Year’s Champion: Jon Jones

Outlook: Jon Jones has been hinting at a move to heavyweight. The UFC will make a lot of money with Jones moving up. Again, Jones is the GOAT, so let’s get ready to welcome Jones as the newest champ-champ.


Women’s Strawweight

Current Champion: Weili Zhang

Possible Contenders: Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade, Tatiana Suarez, Rose Namajunas

Next Year’s Champion: Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Outlook: Jedrzejczyk is the best strawweight of all time. There’s only been one person in the whole division to beat her. Everyone was counting her out until she absolutely steamrolled Michele Waterson in October. Everyone get ready to bow down to Jedrzejczyk again in 2020. 


Women’s Flyweight

Current Champion: Valentina Shevchenko

Possible Contenders: Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica Eye, Joanne Calderwood, Maycee Barber

Next Year’s Champion: Valentina Shevchenko

Outlook: Shevchenko is scary good. Does anyone think she’s going to lose to anyone whose name isn’t Amanda Nunes? Shevchenko probably isn’t going anywhere in 2020. I’m on the Maycee Barber bandwagon, but will she get a title shot in 2020? 


Women’s Bantamweight

Current Champion: Amanda Nunes

Possible Contenders: Holly Holm, Aspen Ladd, Julianne Peña, Valentina Shevchenko

Next Year’s Champion: Amanda Nunes

Outlook: Nunes is best women’s fighter ever. Nobody is beating her anytime soon.


Women’s Featherweight

Current Champion: Amanda Nunes

Possible Contenders: Felicia Spencer, Holly Holm, Megan Anderson

Next Year’s Champion: Amanda Nunes

Outlook: There’s not even enough women in this division to have rankings so what does that tell you? Nunes stays champ-champ in 2020.

 

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