At the end of last year, I made predictions for the UFC champions at the end of this year. Some of the predictions were good, yet some were pretty poor. Just like I did last year, I’ll start from the men’s flyweight division and finish with the middleweights in part one and in part two I’ll start with the Light Heavyweights and finish with the women’s featherweights.
Flyweight Prediction – Deiveson Figueiredo Champion – Brandon Moreno
I genuinely thought Deiveson would hold the belt for a few years and be a dominant champion but that wasn’t the case. Due to being hospitalised on the day of the fight, I thought he’d come out and dominate the rematch. However, Moreno proved me wrong and submitted the Brazilian in three rounds. These two will have their trilogy fight at the start of next year and it’s the most excited I’ve been for a trilogy ever. Both fights have produced fireworks and I can’t wait to see who’ll come out on top in January.
Bantamweight Prediction – Henry Cejudo Champion – Aljamain Sterling
This one was completely incorrect. When Henry Cejudo retired at UFC 249, I thought it was a way for him to get a pay rise of some sorts. Also the constant teasing of a return made me think he was going to make a return to the octagon in 2021. The current champion Aljamain Sterling, won the belt in controversial manner against Petr Yan at UFC 259 and he unfortunately had to pull out of the rematch due to an injury. Aljo was my third option to be champ at the end of the year behind Cejudo and Yan, but I definitely was nowhere near with this prediction.
Featherweight Prediction – Alexander Volkanovski Champion – Alexander Volkanovski
The first correct prediction of the year. When making my predictions, I gathered that after his win against the Korean Zombie, Brian Ortega was next in line for a championship shot. I was confident Volk would retain the championship, which he did, and I was pretty sure that Alex would only fight once this year, simply because he normally fights once a year. This meant I didn’t have to factor a Holloway Volkanovski trilogy fight, making this prediction pretty easy in the grand scheme of things.
Lightweight Prediction – Justin Gaethje Champion – Charles Oliveira
There were multiple options for the champion at the end of last year. Justin, Charles, Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler were all contenders to become Lightweight champion. I thought Charles would have to fight twice to become the king of the lightweights and Justin would only have to beat the winner of Poirier vs McGregor which I backed him to do. Thus I went with Justin Gaethje. I’m not too upset with this one.
Welterweight Prediction – Kamaru Usman Champion – Kamaru Usman
Another correct prediction with the welterweights. I knew Usman would beat Burns, however the biggest question was if he’d beat Colby Covington in their rematch. I didn’t factor the rematch with Masvidal that Usman, I thought Jorge would have to fight again to earn it, however Usman still retained so it didn’t matter. If Usman can get a few more defences, I’m confident he could go down as the welterweight GOAT. However, Khamzat is coming quickly and is looking damn-near unstoppable.
Middleweight – Israel Adesanya Champion – Israel Adesanya
I knew he was levels above everyone in this division so this one the easiest of the bunch, I was confident if they gave him, Vettori, Whittaker or anyone else, he’d be the champ at the end of the year. His competition is coming though, Khamzat could move up if he wanted to and Alex Pereira looked good in his debut. I also think Whittaker will be much better in the rematch and I expect him to provide Izzy with a few more problems than their first fight in 2019.
3/6 isn’t too bad if you ask me for part one. The ones I possibly should’ve got Moreno but I don’t think I would’ve picked Oliveira or Sterling.