April 21, 2020

Fight Fixin' - Post-Coronavirus Edition: UFC Featherweight Divisions

By Adam Martin

The UFC, like every other sports entity in the world, is currently in limbo while humankind waits out the coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus has destroyed the global economy and has also led to the cancellation of at least three and possibly more UFC cards. With MMA currently in a hiatus, we thought it would be a good time to look through each division and match-make future bouts for when the sport returns. In this edition of Fight Fixin', we take a look at the UFC men's and women's featherweight divisions. Note: Some fighters currently have fights booked, but we will ignore those matchups for this series.

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov

The UFC plans on having UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski fight Max Holloway in a rematch, but I'm not a fan of the fight. Volkanovski just dominated Holloway at UFC 245 back in December, and I don't think a few months will change anything as far as the matchup goes. Even though he was a long-time champion, I think Holloway needs to get another win if he wants to get another title shot, and Volkanovski should fight a fresh challenger. Zabit Magomedsharipov has been touted as a future champion for years, and it's time he gets the chance to fight for the belt. Volkanovski vs. Magomedsharipov would be an incredible fight between two fantastic featherweights, and it's the perfect co-main event of a PPV card or could headline a UFC on ESPN card.

Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez

Since I'm not giving Holloway the title shot, let him fight Yair Rodriguez in another dream matchup. Holloway and Rodriguez are two of the top strikers in the featherweight division, and both men are known for putting on shows for the fans. Rodriguez has been close to the top of the division for a few years now and he deserves the chance to prove he's an elite fighter. As for Holloway, he needs to bounce back after the loss to Volkanovski. This would be a perfect headliner for any Fight Night card or could be placed on the main card of any PPV, as it would surely be action-packed.

Chan Sung Jung vs. Brian Ortega

The UFC previously booked Chan Sung Jung against Brian Ortega at UFC Busan but the fight was scrapped due to an Ortega injury, with Jung eventually knocking out replacement Frankie Edgar. I still think that the UFC should book this fight though, as Jung and Ortega are still bitter rivals and two of the top five featherweights in the world. The two hate each other, and this would be a grudge match between a pair of fighters with bad feelings for one another. It's the perfect main event for any Fight Night card, with the winner inching one step closer to getting a title shot at 145 lbs.

Edson Barboza vs. Sodiq Yusuff

Former lightweight standout Edson Barboza's next fight will be at 145 lbs, and the perfect debut opponent for him is Sodiq Yusuff. Barboza has always been known as one of the top strikers in the sport and Yusuff is primarily a stand-up fighter himself. Barboza deserves the chance to fight a top-15 opponent in his featherweight debut, and Yusuff is exactly that. And for Yusuff, he gets the chance to fight a top veteran in Barboza who is highly respected. This would be a fantastic fight, and it makes sense as the opening fight on a PPV card, as it's guaranteed violence for the fans.

Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer

The UFC women's featherweight division is by far the most shallow weight class in the world's top MMA promotion. There are less than 10 fighters in the division, but there is a champion, and that's Amanda Nunes. The UFC planned on having her fight Felicia Spencer in her first featherweight title defense, and it's the fight that still makes sense whenever the UFC schedule resumes. Quite frankly, Spencer is the only woman in the division who looks like she can give Nunes any sort of run for her money, so she automatically gets the title shot. Like most Nunes title defenses, this makes sense as the co-main event for a PPV card, or a third title fight on a really stacked card.

What do you think of the above matchups in the UFC men's and women's featherweight division? Comment under this article, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MMAdamMartin.


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