UFC: Champions Under Attack
Wednesday April 27, 2016— There is a time in history that sees many enemies striking a king at once. It is rare that a king faces multiple threats at once, but when such event occurs there is a huge storm. This storm is one of confusion, chaos and of many short reigns. Currently there are many divisions in UFC which are going through this period so it is safe to say that no champion is safe.
It seems that all of a sudden there are many worthy contenders to a single championship. With UFC 200 closing in and almost all the championship being defended by July there will be many new champions and many new contenders. This race will continue throughout 2016. Well it doesn’t seem like something new, right? Wrong. This year is the year of many legendary fighters making a comeback, these fighters will be stronger and deadlier than ever before.
The wounded lions will want their jungle back and UFC 200 will mark the beginning of a revolution. Unlike the past this one will have former champions demanding their rightful throne back. Let’s take a look at some of the divisions which see way more worthy contenders to the championship than necessary.
Champion: Dominick Cruz
Though not one of the hottest division, bantamweight has managed to gain huge attention because of Cruz-Faber rivalry. These two are set to lock horns for the third time at UFC 199: Rockhold vs Weidman 2. It is a known fact that these two have an uncanny hatred for each other, apart from that Cruz’s only career defeat comes at the hands of “The California Kid”. But Faber is not the last of all worries of “The Dominator”. Someone who is close to a title shot is the undefeated Aljamain Sterling. He stands with a stunning record of 12-0 (UFC 4-0), this brute has finished off his last 3 opponents. If he manages another victory, he will be the next one to face Cruz. Dominick is one of the champions who is known for sports injuries, now he is not in condition to get one as he has many hungry wolves who want his title. To keep the belt around his waist Cruz will have to face many immediate threats and make sure he does not get injured.
Champion: Conor McGregor
Connor McGregor has managed to gain a lot of attention because of his trash talk and super knockouts. He is one the most popular fighters in all of MMA. But greatness brings envy and envy makes sure that a person faces many challengers. McGregor’s experiment against Nate Diaz broke the myth that he was invincible and hence has had many people running for the title. With an interim title bout set at UFC 200 between Jose and Frankie Edgar. Conor now has Jose and Frankie both at him and apart from that many other featherweight fighters have gone on to criticize him for not defending his title. Even though Conor is not fighting at UFC 200 it looks like McGregor is going to have a busy year.
Champion: Joanna Jędrzejczyk
Joanna has been in many people’s eyes. She is already engaged in a high-profile feud with Claudia Gadelha. The two are set to clash at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 23 finale also the two are coaching against each other. Apart from that Rose Namajunas recently defeated Tecia Torres, hence marking her as the top contender to face Joanna. Joanna is now expected to defend her title against Rose very soon. As if this was not enough Carla Esparza has returned and is already chasing Joanna. Joanna is indeed going through her toughest faze of her MMA career.
Champion: Fabricio Werdum
Werdum won the interim title by knocking out Mark Hunt at UFC 180. Later at UFC 188 he would go on to win the championship by making Cain Velasquez submit to his grab. He has been on a winning streak of 6 matches and has a deadly ground game. But “Vai Cavalo” has got under quite some pressure. He is expected to face Stipe Miocic at UFC 198, and Cain is returning at UFC 200. It won’t take Velasquez a long time to get back in the title picture, with Cain’s history it is known that he will never give up. He is very strong both physically and mentally. Stipe too is a dangerous man to mess around with. He is one of the fastest fighters in UFC heavyweight division. With a stunning record of 14 -2, Miocic has established himself as one of the chiselled striker of the division. Fabricio is definitely in a tough situation. But this is his prime he can either prove himself as a great fighter or just go down as one of the many heavyweights. Let’s see if Fabricio manages to keep the belt around his waist or not.
Champion: Miesha Tate
Since the day Ronda Rousey lost the bantamweight championship to Holly Holm the division has entered a huge turmoil. Everyone expected Holly to keep the championship for a long time, but she lost the championship to “Cupcake” in her very first title defence. With Miesha holding the title the division lost all its control and order. The division which was once ruled by the iron fist of Rousey is now seeing a mutiny. Many contenders have risen to face Miesha. The list includes Julianna Pena, Cat Zingano, Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. With Nunes getting her shot at UFC 200, Tate will have quite a busy year as the division sees more contenders to the title than ever before. As if this was just not enough “Cris Cyborg” is making her UFC debut and if she manages to get in the bantamweight division, only god can save “Cupcake”. Best of luck to Tate.
Champion: Daniel Cormier
A champion who is definitely not enjoying his reign is Daniel Cormier. He is right now in a hotspot. Daniel was expected to go one on one against Jon Jones once again at UFC 197 for the light heavyweight championship. But it turned out that Daniel broke his leg and could not compete. Instead Jon got an interim title bout and won. Now DC is in huge trouble as he needs to face his worst foe in a rematch, apart from that he is being criticized by many media outlets as they think he got himself injured deliberately. Let’s see if DC has what it takes to be a champion.
This a time of a mega revolution, a revolution which will see the rise of many great fighters. We will see who wins this game of belts and manages to go down in the history as a true champion.
By: Paarth Pande
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