On the heels of the Athletic reporting that UFC 251 was purchased buy approximately 1.3 million people, making it one of the biggest events in their history, Let’s take a look at the biggest UFC fights to make for the competitors from the landmark event.
Number 5: Dominick Cruz vs Jose Aldo
Both these guys are legends and future hall of famers who are seemingly passed their primes, but this would be an absolute dream match for longtime fans like myself. Aldo and Cruz were WEC champs who came over to the UFC after making names for themselves by beating up on Uriah Faber and sustained long title reigns in their respective divisions and were both in the P4P discussion for several years. They may not be around much longer so let’s pull the trigger on this legendary matchup.
Number 4: Rose Namajunas vs Weill Zhang
Thug Rose looked really good in wiping away her loss to Andrade by defeating her in the rematch. Zhang is the real deal and is coming off an absolute war against Joanna, and some would rather see that again. I’d much rather see Rose get a shot at the title she lost off a fluke slam and see if she has what it takes to be champion again.
Number 3: Petr Yan vs Aljimain Sterling
Bantamweight remains an insanely stacked division despite losing Henry Cejudo. I’m sure Cejudos fake retirement is ending any day now and even if it does, I’d make the Yan-Sterling fight. I think Sterling is a star in the making and poses a huge threat to Yan. If Yan is truly for real, we would find out against Sterling.
Number 2: Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns
This was the fight originally intended for UFC 251 and thankfully, or unthankfully depending on how you look at it, Burns fell ill with COVID-19, opening the doors for Jorge Masvidal to take the fight on 6 days notice and skyrocket interest for the show. Honestly if the original main event stayed in tact the PPV would have died a slow death. With that said, they should still make the fight. Maybe for an ESPN TV show or paired with a bigger title fight on a PPV. Some will argue that Leon Edwards deserves the shot, and he belongs in the discussion, but I’d go with Burns here.
Number 1: Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington
The two former training partners and have been working themselves in to a shoot over the last year angling for a big money fight. Masvidal and his natural charisma has been disinterested but Colby, with his overly scripted promos and his not-so-charming delivery sees this as a huge payday. Does it make sense for sports reasons? Actually yes, both are coming off of losses to Usman. Masvidal is now a proven draw and putting him up against a wrestler like Colby could be a huge financial risk for the company, but this is the biggest Masvidal fight to make outside of a Diaz rematch (who Jorge murdered and is much smaller) and Conor, who may retire for real after the beating Jorge would give him.