- The UFC could book these five fights, where four title fights are possible.
- The heavyweight division could see a potential title unification fight between reigning champion Jon Jones and interim champion Tom Aspinall.
- Israel Adesanya could return and face the undefeated phenom Khamzat Chimaev.
2023 saw a slew of new champions in the UFC as the championship belts changed hands throughout the calendar year. It was a product of the superb matchmaking of the Las Vegas-based promotion that brought great excitement to fans.
As the new year unfolds, there are still plenty of massive fights to make in 2024. These matchups also allow fans to bet on their favorite athletes via the UFC odds.
From gigantic showdowns, championship matchups, and big money fights, there is no shortage of wars inside the Octagon for this year. Check out the top five fights the UFC should book in 2024.
Jon Jones vs. Tom Aspinall
After the UFC heavyweight title showdown between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic was scrapped at UFC 295 in November due to the injury that Jones suffered in training, the UFC booked an interim fight between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich.
"I want to fight Jon Jones. I know there is a lot of up and coming contenders at the moment but I want to fight Jon Jones."
— UFC News (@UFCNews) November 12, 2023
Aspinall maximized the opportunity and knocked Pavlovich out in the opening round to capture the interim belt. This victory by Aspinall almost guaranteed that he would be next in line for a shot against Jones because of the inevitable unification fight. It will be a marquee matchup in 2024 because of the elite skill set of both fighters.
Islam Makhachev vs. Justin Gaethje
Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has successfully defended his title in 2023 by beating Alexander Volkanovski twice in February and October. With his recent form, he looks unstoppable because his striking keeps improving in every fight.
But Justin Gaethje has a solid case to be the next challenger for his throne because of back-to-back wins over Rafael Fiziev and Dustin Poirier to win the BMF title and sit in the second spot of the rankings. A fight between the two 155-pound superstars will surely be a blockbuster because of the nonstop action and excitement they bring.
Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill
Alex Pereira had a successful transition from the middleweight to the light heavyweight division after beating Jan Blachowicz and Jiří Procházka on his way to becoming the undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion and become the latest member of the elite club of fighters who won two division titles in the UFC.
Dana White says Jamahal Hill is next for Alex Pereira after #UFC295 and if Israel Adesanya wants it again, he would have to commit to moving up.
"If he wins (a fight at 205 pounds), then give him a shot at Pereira." pic.twitter.com/5vcmuMD7mU
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) November 12, 2023
However, before Pereira won the belt, it was held by Jamahal Hill, who defeated Glover Teixeira at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, he was forced to relinquish the championship due to his injury. Once Hill is fully healthy, a clash with Pereira will likely happen, and we need to see it in 2024.
Israel Adesanya vs. Khamzat Chimaev
After Israel Adesanya lost his UFC middleweight title to Sean Strickland in September, he said he’s taking a break from fighting. It was a badly needed interval for him because he was active as a champion by facing every challenger that the promotion pitted him against. But a specific fight could lure him back in 2024.
Khamzat Chimaev had an excellent start to his middleweight campaign by beating former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to push himself up to the top 10 rankings of the 185-pound division. Rumors have been circulating that Adesanya’s return could be against Chimaev. If this match comes to fruition, it has the potential to be a pay-per-view hit.
Leon Edwards vs. Islam Makhachev
Leon Edwards is fresh off the second title defense of his belt against bitter rival Colby Covington in December at UFC 296 with a dominant unanimous decision. With a current shortage of challengers in the 170-pound division, Edwards could demand a champion-versus-champion showdown for his next fight.
— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) December 17, 2023
Edwards’ potential next opponent could be against UFC lightweight champion Makhachev and welcome him into the weight class. Both Edwards and Makhachev have been open to the idea, and it’s now up to the UFC if they would book this fight. It could be a potential headliner for the upcoming UFC 300 card in April 2024.
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