While the Coronavirus pandemic laid some severe hits on the sports industry in general around the world, the UFC went on the offensive to make sure that sports betting fans around the world were not left without some of their favorite pro fighting action. While the UFC had to deal with the fact of maneuvering around the health and safety protocols to be able to put on stellar shows, even without fans, that did not stop Dana White’s company for still going for the knockout punch every time. With 2021 starting and some great fight cards already in helm, which UFC fights look like sure fire hits for 2021?
UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier 2
There are fighters who are admired for their in ring abilities, some others who are admired for their swag, others who are admired for their bravado and then there’s Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor is the most polarizing mma fighter in the world without a shadow of a doubt. When the Dublin native fights everything and everyone comes to a stop to take notice. While 2020 seemed like it was going to be yet another stellar year for the irish brawler the COVID-19 pandemic hit putting a stop to fight plans which included a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight championship. But now in 2021 it’s time to get back on the fight horse and kick the living daylights out of it.
McGregor is set to face Dustin Poirier in a rematch of their 2014 fight that saw the Irish beat Poirier via TKO after 1 minute and 46 seconds. While Poirier has fought many other top division contenders including Justin Gaethje, Dan Hooker and Max Holloway, McGregor went on to become the biggest name in UFC history, being the first fighter in UFC history to hold separate weight championship belts simultaneously. This fight does not only mean a rematch between two of the best lightweights in the world, it also means a potential if not secured spot for a title shot against Nurmagomedov in an upcoming future. While Poirier vs. Khabib would be a great fight to watch, McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov is where it is at for fans around the world.
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns
This welterweight championship bout between two former training partners was bound to happen originally in UFC 251 back in July 2020, but after Brazilian striker Gilbert Burns was diagnosed positive with COVID plans took a turn for the not happening. Instead of facing Burns, Nigerian UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman went on to defend his title winning by unanimous decision against Jorge Masdival, who was brought in to fight just six days before the event. Now in 2021 with both fighters in proper fighting conditions the table is set yet again for a fight that has all the fixings to be epic.
Both fighters have big wins under their belts with the Champion Usman having beaten Masdival as well as Colby Covington retaining his title in both fights. Burns on the other hand took home a couple of dominant wins over Demian Maia and former champion Tyrone Woodley. The octagon will be ready and waiting to see which of the former training partners goes home the UFC welterweight champion.
UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, not content with being the middleweight champ has decided to move up a weight class to challenge the light heavyweight title holder Jan Blachowicz. Adesanya could be looking into joining some of the best names in MMA history such as Randy Couture, BJ Penn, the previously mentioned Conor McGregor, Georges St Pierre, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo and Amanda Nuñez if he is to obtain the light heavyweight championship belt.
Adesanya will not be putting his title up for grabs though while still moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight crown. He comes into this fight after defending his title twice in 2020 against Yoel Romero who he beat by decision and against Paulo Costa who he beat by TKO. Blachowicz won the vacant light heavyweight title in September 2020 after knocking out Dominick Reyes in the second round of their UFC 253 fight and has won eight of his past nine fights including four finishes. Could 2021 be the year where Israel Adesanya becomes the new UFC double champion? It all points to it.