A prediction of who will be the champion of every weight class of the UFC at the end of 2024.
The year 2023 brought us some of the most memorable moments in MMA history with some of the most incredible upsets and the continuing of some of the UFC’s strongest champions. Many of the divisions in the UFC have some extremely heavy competition for the belt this year and none of the current champions will have an easy ride to retaining their championship. The predictions provided are from me and are brilliant podcast team Taylor, Jon and Nathan. You can see the explanations for their choices on our Youtube.com @CombatSportsUK https://youtu.be/rTTuAq2LRbw. So lets get into the predictions!
Women’s strawweight is the most tightly contested women’s division and it is filled with high value talent. Talents such as Carla Esparza, Zhang Weili, Tatiana Suarez, Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade. With such a great load of talent it is hard to create a set in stone decision. Taylor believes that Tatiana Suarez will become the women’s strawweight champion for the first time.Jon believes that the current champ Zhang Weili will stay the strawweight champion. Nathan agrees with Taylor that Tatiana Suarez will become champ. I believe that Zhang Weili will stay champ with another two title defences under her belt.
Women’s flyweight isn’t as competitive as strawweight but the division still contains the women’s pound for pound champion Alexa Grasso. Other competition for the belt is Valentina Shevchenko, Erin Blanchfield and Manion Fiorot who is currently on a three fight winning streak. Both Taylor and Jon believe that Emily Blanchfield will claim the title. Nathan however, believes that Zhang Weili will move up and grab that belt too. I believe that Alexa Grasso will continue as the flyweight champ.
Women’s Bantamweight is currently missing a champion. There hasn’t really been a clear best since the GOAT Amanda Nunes retired last July after her demolition of Julianna Pena. This makes this division very difficult to predict. Both Taylor and Nathan agree that Irene Aldana will claim the title as the division’s most inform fighter. However, Jon believes that Valentina Shevchenko will move up to claim the bantamweight championship. I personally believe that Julianna Pena will claim the title near the end of the year.
Men’s flyweight has finally opened up to some tough competition after many years of Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo dominance. With a large amount of talent has opened up the division however currently the top dog Alexandre Pantoja is looking tough to beat. Both Taylor and Jon have gone for some underdog choices. Taylor thinks that Muhammad Mokaev will claim the title and Jon believes that Manel Kape will do it. Nathan however has chose a more popular option of Brandon Moreno. I believe that Alexandre Pantoja will stay the dominant Flyweight champ.
In my opinion, the best division in the UFC. All of the top 8 fighters in this division are all capable of being champion so trying to pick one is very hard. Taylor believes that the cardio king Merab Dvalishili will be champ. Jon believes that the ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley will be the champ and Nathan believes that former double champ Henry Cejudo will reclaim the bantamweight throne. I agree with Jon that the ‘Suga Show’ will stay as the champion.
The featherweight division has been dominated by Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski for two years now. However, after his two losses to Islam Makhachev, the division is filled with a new flame to try and dethrone the featherweight goat. Both Taylor and Jon believes that Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway will reclaim the featherweight title while Nathan has gone for the outfield shot of England’s Arnold Allen will become champ. I believe that Ilia Topuria will not only become champ, but he will also knockout Volkanovski.
The lightweight division could possibly entering a new age of dominance under Islam Makhachev. However the division is not short of talent with the greatest submission artist in the UFC Charles Oliveira and one of the hardest pound for pound strikers Justin Gaethje. Taylor and Nathan think that the dominance of Islam Makhachev will continue throughout 2024 but Jon believes that Justin Gaethje will claim the Lightweight title. I believe that the championship will be reclaimed by Charles Oliveira.
Men’s Welterweight, Leon Edwards
After his dominant performances in 2023, everyone is now chasing the tail of Leon Edwards. There is a lot of people chasing as well such as Belal Muhammad and Shavkat Rakhmonov. Both Taylor and Jon believe that the undefeated beast Shavkat Rakhmonov will continue to be the most terrifying fighter in the welterweight division. However, Nathan believes Leon Edwards will continue to be the dominant Welterweight champion. I also believe that the English champ ‘Rocky Edwards’ will stay as champion.
Men’s Middleweight, Khamzat Chimaev
The middleweight division is in a mess as the dominant champion Israel Adesanya has been beaten and has also ‘taken a break’ from fighting. This has opened up the division with Dricus Du Plessis, Jared Cannonier, Khamzat Chimaev, Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker all looking to claim the title. Both Taylor and Jon believe that Israel Adesanya will return to his throne at the top of the middleweight division. Nathan however, believes that Dricus Du Plessis will claim the title whether that is from Sean Strickland in January or some other time in 2024. I have gone for a more shocking prediction. I believe that Khamzat Chimaev will end the year as middleweight champion
Men’s Light Heavyweight, Alex Pereira
My personal favourite division. The lightweight division is filled with hilarious characters and champion material. Currently, Alex Pereira is at the top and has become a champion in two divisions after only seven fights. However the division isn’t short of dangerous opponents. Taylor believes that Magomed Ankalaev will beat Jonny Walker and then beat the champ to end the year as the light heavyweight champion. Jon believes that Jiri Prochazka will bounce back from his loss from Alex Pereira and reclaim his title. Nathan believes that Jamal Hill will return from his injury to reclaim the title that he had to vacate. I personally believe that Alex Pereira pass all the challenges that he faces this year.
Men’s Heavyweight, Tom Aspinall
The heavyweight division is in a stalemate right now as Dana White has decided to set up the interim champion belt which the new danger man in the division, Tom Aspinall, has claimed but the actual champ, Jon Jones, only wants to fight a 41 year old Stipe Miocic who hasn’t fought since 2021. Jon believes that Jon ‘bones’ Jones will still be champion by the end of the year. However, both Taylor and Nathan believe that the current interim champion Tom Aspinall will become the undisputed champion. I also agree with Tom Aspinall becoming the champion of the heavyweight division.
Women’s Pound For Pound
Currently, Alexa Grasso is the women’s pound for pound greatest fighter with Zhang Weili just behind. Taylor believes that his predicted flyweight champion Erin Blanchfield will be the top of the pound for pound rankings. Jon believes that Valentina Shevchenko will reach the top of the rankings after he predicts Shevchenko will claim the women’s bantamweight division. Nathan believes that his predicted flyweight champion Zhang Weili will overtake Grasso as the pound for pound number one. I agree with Nathan that Zhang Weili will reach the top of the pound for pound rankings but as the strawweight champ rather than the flyweight champion.
Men’s Pound for Pound
The men’s pound for pound rankings in 2023 were dominated by the three champs of Alexander Volkanovski, Islam Makhachev and Jon Jones with Makhachev at the top. Both Taylor and Nathan believe that the Dagestan beast Islam Makhachev will stay the dominant lightweight and pound for pound champion. However, Jon believes that the MMA GOAT Jon Jones will return to his position at the top of the UFC pound for pound rankings. I personally believe that after an incredible 2024 and dominant wins against a new revitalised division, Leon Edwards will sit at the top of the division after Jon Jones, Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski all lose their titles.
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