2014 brought was surely a year to remember in UFC. It brought us many exciting matchups from the unforgettable Aldo – Mendes II championship rematch that went the distance to T.J. Dillashaw’s upset of Renan Barao. Here’s a look at the top fight in each weight division that we want to see happen in 2015:
Heavyweight: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 4
Junior dos Santos (17-3) is undefeated in UFC fights not against the current title-holder, Cain Velasquez (13-1). He doesn’t have much to prove to put him in the position of “next-in-line” to face off against the champ for a fourth time. Velasquez will be defending his title against Fabricio Wedrum later this summer, and assuming he wins that match, it would be extremely likely dos Santos is who he will face off with later in the year. If the cards play out right, that’s a bout all of us would be excited to see!
Light Heavyweight: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson
Okay, now this is an obvious one. Who doesn’t want to see the seeming indestructible Jon “Bones” Jones face off against the extremely powerful Anthony Johnson? Jones (21-1) is looking to add to his eight title defenses, and Johnson is certainly looking like the man to give him a run for his money. If Jones does end up fighting Johnson and defeating him, don’t be surprised to see “Bones” leap up to the Heavyweight division and test his luck there. If Anthony Johnson has anything to say about it however, Jones will be more focused on reclaiming his title than anything else after this match is over. We definitely have a great fight to look forward to here!
Middleweight: Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold
Now I could have put Weidman vs. Belfort in this slot, but there’s just something about this Machida and Rockhold matchup that excites me, and a lot of other UFC fans. Lyoto Machida (22-5) is eager to get another shot at the champ, Weidman, after coming up short in their last bout, but needs at least one more big win to secure that opportunity. Rockhold (13-2) on the other hand, is on fire after a loss to Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut, and is surely hungrier than ever to earn his first UFC title shot. This is a matchup I’ll really be looking forward to!
Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks 3
Robbie Lawler (25-10) and Johny Hendricks (16-3) are no strangers to each other in the Octagon. The two have squared off twice before, Hendricks winning the first bout by a unanimous decision, and Lawler taking the second split decision. Now, Lawler has the title, and Hendricks wants it back. This rubber match will surely be a great one. Expect both fighters to be well prepared and extremely focused on coming out on top!
Lightweight: Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos
This highly anticipated event will take place March 14, headlining the UFC 185 event in Dallas. Pettis (18-2) will be looking for his second title defense after defeating Gilbert Melendez with a vicious Guillotine choke. Dos Anjos (23-7) has won eight out of his last nine fights, and looked especially impressive in his last two victories over Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. This is going to be a true dogfight between two of the best fighters in the lightweight division!
Featherweight: Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor
Jose Aldo (25-1) and Conor McGregor (17-2) will be facing off in one of the most hyped events in UFC history. UFC 189 in Las Vegas will surely be one of the most talked about fights as the rabble-rousing Irishman looks to upset one of the best fighters UFC has ever seen. Aldo, undefeated since November 2005, looks to up his title defense count to 10 after an impressive unanimous decision victory over Chad Mendes last October. McGregor earned his shot at the champ after a vicious knockout of Dennis Siver, after which he jumped over the Octagon walls and confronted Aldo, who was watching the fight ringside. This matchup will certainly be an entertaining one!
Bantamweight: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz
T.J. Dillashaw (11-2) has secured his place atop UFC’s Bantamweight division after taking the belt from Renan Barao last May, and defending his title against Joe Soto later in August. Both victories came by way of knockout. Dillashaw will face Baroa again this April, and assuming Dillashaw wins, the fight we are really looking forward to next is a matchup with former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Cruz (20-1) is coming off of two ACL injuries, but should be able to return to championship-caliber form. This battle of champions would surely be a great matchup, and show who really deserves to be at the top of this division!
Flyweight: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
These two have fought once before back in January 2013, resulting in an exciting victory for Demetrious Johnson, and seem very likely to meet in the Octagon again this year. John Dodson (16-6) has looked deserving of a rematch with Johnson in his last two fights, while Johnson (21-2-1) has been simply dominant in his recent bouts. The two stack up as the clear top two in the division, and we’d all love to see how they stack up against each other this year!