Six Upcoming UFC Fights That Should be Classics.


Already, by the end of February 2023, this is turning out to be a classic year in the world of UFC. A number of the fights so far have turned out to be among the greats with spectacle and surprises in equal measure.

For example, UFC 284 in Perth’s RAC Arena on Saturday February 11th saw Islam Makhachev defeat Alexander Volkanovski in a unanimous, if close, decision of 48-47, 48-47, 49-46. Defending his lightweight title for the first time, it promises to be the first of many meetings between the two.

In the women’s arena, the next Saturday at UFC Vegas 69 saw Jessica Andrade give in to a surprise submission in the second round to rival Erin Blanchfield. Observers agreed that the clinical way in which Blanchfield secured the submission proved that she is among the very best of the women fighting right now.

As well as Makhachev’s and Blanchfield’s future fights, there are plenty more that are coming up and which will be highly anticipated, including these six.

Leon Edwards v Kamaru Usman, UFC 286, March 18, 2023

It was a stunning fightback in August 2022 that saw Leon Edwards successfully take the welterweight crown from Kamaru Usman. Looking beaten and all out of ideas, the British fighter delivered a piledriver head-kick in the fifth that laid out the Nigerian.

(Leon Edwards headkick vs Usman)

It not only evened the score at 1-1 in fights following Edwards’ defeat the only previous time the pair met back in 2015, it also created Britain’s second-ever champion in the sport.

So, the rematch in London on March 18 should be one to savour. Looking at the MMA odds some three weeks before the pair are due to meet, Usman is the heavily-backed favorite at
-245 with Edwards at +205 to win.

Alex Pereira v Israel Adesanya, UFC 287, April 9, 2023

It was thought that this was a meeting that would come in the summer. But the good news for fight fans is that it’s going to be a Spring Surprise. At odds of -155 against Pereira’s of +135, Adesanya is the clear favorite. After all, he has been a true middleweight champion in the past and there is obviously a feeling he will be again.

But first he’s going to have to overcome the kickboxing champion Pereira and reverse the 0-3 record between the two – and rumours are that the fight is taking place sooner than he’s like it to be held.

Gilbert Burns v Jorge Masvidal, UFC 287, April 9, 2023

Another enticing encounter on the night’s card at UFC 287 will be the meeting between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal.

As the heavily-backed -450 favorite in this fight, it might have surprised some that Burns has been agitating for it to be a five-round encounter against the American fighter who’s at +360. After all, if he can’t finish the job in three it could count as a major disappointment for the Brazilian.

It seems like it’s all coming down to money with Masvidal opposed to the plan unless it’s reflected in his pay-check – and even he thinks that’s unlikely to happen.

Max Holloway v Arnold Allen, UFC Fight Night, April 16 2023

A week after the Burns/Masvidal encounter we’re due to see Max Holloway launch a comeback after his previous defeat by Alexander Volkanovski.

His match-up with Arnold Allen sees him backed to win at -150 compared with his opponent’s odds of +130. This reflects the fact that many see him as the No. 2 in the featherweight class and one who is only a fight or two away from a shot at the title.

Whatever the odds say, however, this isn’t going to be an easy victory as he will have to break Allen’s 10-fight winning streak.

Aljamain Sterling v Henry Cejudo, UFC 288 May 6 2023

The two are due to meet in a battle for the bantamweight title with Sterling the fancied victor at -120 over Cejudo at +100. Despite what the odds say, there will be certain questions hanging over Sterling after his forced victory in his previous fight against TJ Dillashaw.

In the encounter his shoulder allegedly dislocated three times, so fears are that this could prove to be an impairment. He’ll certainly receive no quarter from Cejudo, the Olympic gold medallist who will be looking for a big comeback after a two-year layoff.

Conor McGregor v Michael Chandler?

This is the one that has all fight fans licking their lips in anticipation. No date or venue has been set and both fighters are currently at odds of -110. So, let’s keep everything crossed that McGregor’s rehabilitation from the horrendous leg fracture he sustained at UFC 264 allows them to meet this year.

It’s a fight that could well put all the others listed here in the shade.