The second pay-per-view of March, UFC 260, saw several fights fall through due to COVID-19, but delivered regardless (which seems to be a common theme in the COVID era of the UFC). UFC 260 saw the crowning of a new heavyweight champion, the predator, Francis Ngannou. On top of this, only one fight on the main card went the distance so it’s safe to say that it was an entertaining night. With a big month of mixed martial arts ahead, here are the fights that I think should be made.
Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones
The new heavyweight champion of the world, Francis Ngannou, put on the best performance of his career at UFC 260 where he defeated the most decorated heavyweight champion in UFC history, Stipe Miocic. Going into the fight many questioned Ngannou’s anti-wrestling abilities and in a shocking turn of events, Ngannou not only stuffed Stipe’s takedowns, but also took his back. Not only did his grappling improve since their first fight, but his striking did as well, as we saw a much a more patient Ngannou mixing in a powerful head kick to his boxing style. I can’t imagine there are many heavyweights in the world who want to fight the predator that showed up at UFC 260, but I can think of one name. The greatest light heavyweight of all time, Jon Jones, recently vacated his belt and announced that he would be moving up to heavyweight and who better to challenge Ngannou than Jones. Jones and Ngannou have been asking to fight each other since the summer of 2020 and there is no better time to book this fight than now. While many fans believe Stipe deserves an immediate rematch, he will likely need several months to return to full health. Francis took very little damage and Jon appears to be in great shape, so both men appear to be ready for a fight soon. I hope this fight doesn’t get away from us and that it is booked as soon as possible.
Vicente Luque vs Michael Chiesa/Nate Diaz
If welterweights weren’t paying attention to Vicente Luque before UFC 260, now is the time to start. The co-main event was my personal favorite fight of the night as Woodley and Luque threw bombs without holding back until Luque finished Woodley with a D’arce choke. Luque has been on my radar for a long time now, fighting out of Sanford MMA with elite training partners such as Gilbert Burns and Michael Chandler. Following his performance on Saturday night, Luque called out Stockton’s own, Nate Diaz. This was a great callout in my opinion, and I would easily pay to watch this fight by itself. The matchup offers Diaz a chance in the top ten of his preferred weight class and offers the exposure Luque needs to become a star. However, as we all know, the Diaz brothers aren’t the most consistent fighters so in case this fight doesn’t come to fruition another opponent I would like to see Vicente Luque fight is Michael Chiesa. Chiesa put on a grappling masterclass in January against Neil Magny and is currently the number sixth ranked welterweight in the UFC. This matchup excites me as while Luque is primarily a striker he is no slouch on the ground and would definitely be a challenge for the Maverick. Either way, things are looking up for Luque and I’m excited to see what his future holds.
Sean O’Malley vs Raphael Assuncao
Many fans were interested to see how Sean O’Malley would return after losing his first fight in his professional career. Sean answered their questions with a finish over the Brazilian Thomas Almeida. O’Malley’s legs withstood the calf kicks of Almeida which many people speculated would not be the case. So, with these questions answered, what’s next for the Suga Show? I think Sean deserves a top fifteen opponent and I really would like to see him fight a wrestler, such as Merab Dvalishvili. However, Merab is already booked to fight in May so I think an interesting opponent for Sean would be Raphael Assuncao. Assuncao was once scheduled to fight for the bantamweight title but he never got the opportunity. While he is currently on a three-fight losing skid, he is still a killer and would be a great test for O’Malley. If O’Malley were to win this fight, he would more than likely land in the top ten of the division, which has been expected of him for some time now.
Miranda Maverick vs Alex Grasso
Miranda Maverick had a lot of noise surrounding her name going into UFC 260, as a top prospect coming out of Invicta Fighting Championships. She met expectations with a convincing victory over the submission threat Gillian Robertson. Robertson threatened Maverick in the second round, but Maverick was able to weather the storm and out strike her opponent. With two impressive victories in the UFC now, I think Maverick is ready for a challenge and a top ten opponent. With many women in the flyweight top ten already booked, a fight I would like to see would is Miranda Maverick vs Alex Grasso. Grasso is coming off of a statement victory over Maycee Barber and is currently the tenth ranked flyweight in the UFC. This fight interests me for many reasons as it is a big step up for Maverick and Grasso and Maverick are both excellent strikers. I hope this fight is what the UFC goes with and that it is booked as soon as possible.
Jamie Mullarkey vs Matt Frevola
Jamie Mullarkey had quite the night on Saturday as he earned his first victory in the octagon and did it in spectacular fashion with a devastating knockout. Prior to Saturday night, Mullarkey was 0-2 in the UFC and more than likely fighting for his future in the promotion. This is no longer the case and I think Mullarkey is ready for a step up in competition. I would like to see him fight the Contender Series alum, Matt Frevola. Frevola has been in the UFC for 4 years now and in that time, he has put on some solid performances; however, he is currently coming off of a loss to Arman Tsarukyan. This fight makes sense to me as both fighters are in similar positions in the lightweight division. With Mullarkey only having one UFC win and Frevola coming off of a loss, this is fight is a good opportunity for both men.
With all that being said, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months for fans of MMA, and I’m very interested to see what the UFC matchmakers choose to do. Let me know what fights you would like to see, and I hope everyone has a great week.
Till next time