5 bold predictions for the UFC in 2024

The 12 months 2023 is now over for the UFC, however followers don’t want to attend lengthy for the promotion’s first occasion of 2024, which takes place in early January.

With the new 12 months nearly upon us, it’s nicely price trying ahead to 2024 in the UFC and questioning what sort of loopy issues might occur.

From title modifications to debuts and occasions in new locations, nearly something might occur in the world’s largest MMA promotion subsequent 12 months.

Here, then, are 5 bold predictions for the UFC in 2024.


#5. The UFC will lastly go to Africa for an occasion

Could Dricus du Plessis help the UFC break into Africa in 2024? [Image Credit: @dricusduplessis on Instagram]
Could Dricus du Plessis assist the UFC break into Africa in 2024? [Image Credit: @dricusduplessis on Instagram]

The UFC has actually gone international over the previous couple of many years. Refusing to only follow their US base, the promotion has now placed on occasions in main nations throughout the world, from Brazil and the UK to France and Australia.

However, whereas the octagon has visited 5 of the world’s six inhabited continents, it has but to go to Africa.

Many followers felt like this is able to change throughout the interval in which three fighters with African heritage – Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya, and Kamaru Usman – held titles in the promotion.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as Usman misplaced his title in 2022, adopted by Ngannou’s exit from UFC and Adesanya’s title loss in September.

Despite this, might 2024 be the 12 months that the octagon lastly heads to Africa? There’s positively a robust risk.

If South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis can win the middleweight title from Sean Strickland in January, there’s each likelihood that Adesanya might stand as his first challenger.

If that’s the case, then a title bout pitting two African fighters towards each other would clearly make sense to headline the first occasion on the continent.


#4. Islam Makhachev will surpass Khabib Nurmagomedov’s variety of profitable light-weight title defenses

(*5*)
Could Islam Makhachev surpass Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legacy in 2024? [Image Credit: @ufc on X]

The comparisons between legendary former UFC light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and his protégé Islam Makhachev, the present titleholder, are sometimes lazy and tiresome.

Despite each fighters hailing from Dagestan and coaching collectively, their kinds are literally very totally different once they step into the octagon.

However, their success in the octagon is certainly one similarity that they do share. Could 2024 be the 12 months that sees Makhachev surpass his mentor’s legacy, although?

Sure, due to his 2015 loss to Adriano Martins, the present champ won’t ever have the ability to hold up his gloves as an undefeated fighter like ‘The Eagle’ did in 2020.

Khabib’s abrupt retirement, although, meant that he solely made three profitable defenses of his title, beating Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.

Makhachev, on the different hand, already has two profitable defenses below his belt after his two wins over Alexander Volkanovski this 12 months. With seemingly no plans to retire any time quickly, it isn’t a stretch to consider that he might full two extra in 2024.

If he did that, not solely would he have crushed Khabib’s complete quantity, however he’d additionally change into the most achieved light-weight in octagon historical past from that metric. If he can try this, it’d be laborious to maintain him behind his mentor in the greater image.


#3. Tom Aspinall will probably be topped undisputed UFC heavyweight champion with out unifying the titles

Tom Aspinall will hope to become undisputed heavyweight champion in 2024 [Image Credit: @tomaspinallofficial on Instagram]
Tom Aspinall will hope to change into undisputed heavyweight champion in 2024 [Image Credit: @tomaspinallofficial on Instagram]

November’s UFC 295 noticed a brand new interim heavyweight champion topped when Tom Aspinall knocked out Sergei Pavlovich in the first spherical of their late-notice bout.

youtube-cover

The UK native was not anticipated to struggle for a title in 2023, as the occasion’s preliminary headliner was purported to see heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones defend towards former titleholder Stipe Miocic.

However, when Jones suffered an harm in the construct to the struggle, quite than have Miocic face a substitute for an interim title, the promotion shelved him solely.

Aspinall is at the moment pushing desperately for a unification struggle with Jones, or if he can’t get that, a conflict with Miocic to determine who faces ‘Bones’ subsequent.

Will he get what he needs in 2024, although? It feels unlikely.

Dana White has continually referred to Jones vs. Miocic as a “legacy struggle,” and each fighters have brazenly mentioned hanging up their gloves afterward, no matter the consequence.

With Aspinall nonetheless a rising star quite than a giant title with informal followers, each Jones and Miocic might really feel that there merely isn’t sufficient cash in a struggle with him.

Therefore, it feels extra possible that the Liverpool native will discover his standing upgraded to that of an undisputed champion with out even needing a unification bout – simply as Robert Whittaker did at middleweight in 2018.


#2. Conor McGregor won’t struggle in the UFC in 2024

Have fans already seen the last of Conor McGregor in the octagon? [Image Credit: @thenotoriousmma on Instagram]
Have followers already seen the final of Conor McGregor in the octagon? [Image Credit: @thenotoriousmma on Instagram]

2023 was purported to be the 12 months that former light-weight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor made his large return to the UFC.

‘The Notorious’ final fought in 2021 when he suffered a devastating leg break in his third struggle with Dustin Poirier.

That harm understandably left him sidelined all through 2022, however it was extensively anticipated that he’d step again into the octagon this 12 months.

Those possibilities solely appeared to extend when the promotion introduced he’d be teaching TUF 31 towards Michael Chandler, with a struggle between the two deliberate afterward.

However, regardless of TUF ending in August, McGregor vs. Chandler was pushed again time after time, largely as a consequence of points with the Irishman returning to the UFC’s obligatory drug testing program.

Eventually, a 2023 return grew to become a 2024 one, however with the first three pay-per-view headliners of the new 12 months introduced – and no suggestion but that his struggle with Chandler might headline UFC 300 – McGregor’s long-awaited` return appears additional away than ever.

In actuality, it feels extra possible that followers have already seen the final of ‘The Notorious’ in the octagon. At the age of 35, he isn’t getting any youthful, and coming off such a foul harm, a return to type appears uncertain regardless.

Instead, it wouldn’t be a shock to see McGregor announce his retirement from MMA altogether in 2024.


#1. There will probably be a minimum of one UFC/WWE crossover in 2024

It's easy to imagine Israel Adesanya succeeding in WWE [Image Credit: @stylebender on Instagram]
It’s simple to think about Israel Adesanya succeeding in WWE [Image Credit: @stylebender on Instagram]

Perhaps the largest information merchandise of 2023 got here in September, when it was announced that Endeavor, who purchased out the UFC in 2016, could be merging the promotion with pro-wrestling powerhouse WWE, forming a brand new firm named TKO.

Since then, followers haven’t heard an excessive amount of about the merger, which has seemingly taken place in the corporate-based background of the promotions quite than at entrance and heart.

However, might 2024 be the 12 months that modifications, and will that imply some type of UFC/WWE crossover? Absolutely.

It isn’t possible that we’ll see any joint occasions any time quickly, as such a factor would in all probability be too jarring and tough from a logistic perspective.

We have, although, seen quite a few fighters cross over into the WWE ring earlier than – and vice versa – with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, and CM Punk all prominently that includes for each promotions.

Are there some present stars who might make a crossover work? The UFC positively has loads of fighters who’ve the charisma to succeed in WWE, and it’s simple to think about Conor McGregor or Israel Adesanya in the squared circle.

WWE, in the meantime, has a lot of athletes with a high-level wrestling background, together with Chad Gable, Otis, and the Creed Brothers. While they’d clearly want MMA-specific coaching, octagon success for them wouldn’t be not possible.

Therefore, whereas the merger has so far been a quiet one, that would positively change with a crossover or two in 2024.

Quick Links

More from Sportskeeda

Edited by Jigyanshushri Mahanta


Leave a Comment