The UFC is never short of title challengers, with Dana White constantly scouting the globe for fresh talent on Dana White’s Looking For A Fight, Tuesday Night Contender Series and The Ultimate Fighter, we are lucky enough to know the future of MMA is in safe hands. In this list, we’re going to look at the top five potential UFC champions.
5. Tai Tuivasa
Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa has surprised many since making his UFC debut last year. The 25-year-old has an undefeated professional record of 7-0 with all seven of his wins coming by way of knockout in the first round. “Bam Bam” is expected to face his toughest opponent yet when he faces former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 225 in June. The Australian will be hoping to keep up his destructive record by punching a hole through the former champion and climb the rankings on his journey to the top of the heavyweight division.
4. Israel Adesanya
28-year-old Israel “Stylebender” Adesanya has also impressed in his recent fights inside MMA’s greatest proving ground. With a great reputation in kickboxing, it must have been a surprise to many when the “Stylebender” chose to switch his focus to mixed martial arts. This decision has treated Adesanya well though. He has earned an undefeated record of 13-0. The Nigerian made his UFC debut in February of this year when he stamped his authority in the middleweight division with a very impressive TKO victory over Rob Wilkinson. Adesanya then fought Marvin Vettori just two weeks ago at UFC On Fox Glendale. He has wasted no time in getting back inside octagon again as he is scheduled to be the main event for The Ultimate Fighter Finale in July where he’ll occupy his first main event.
3. Darren Till
Englands own, Darren Till, has continued to defy expectations on his road to the top of the welterweight division. Till has excited many and his coaches believe he is the best in the business. “The Gorilla” is a master in Muay thai and has all the weapons in his arsenal to make life very difficult for anyone who dares to stand toe to toe with him inside the octagon. He also holds an undefeated record of 16 wins and one draw, and in Till‘s latest fight, he completely pasted UFC fan favourite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the first round. Till faces his toughest test to date though at UFC Liverpool at the end of May in Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. If Till gets the victory he desires, he could well be in line to get a shot at champion Tyrone Woodley‘s strap.
2. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Another tough Russian out of Dagestan, Zabit Magomedsharipov has a professional record of 15-1. He is a very exciting fighter to watch, throwing fancy strikes from all different angles, and is never in one spot for more than a fraction of a second. Pairing this up with his Russian grade wrestling, it makes Zabit one of the toughest featherweights on the planet. It’s going to be very exciting watching him climb the rankings from the #14 ranked position he occupies at this current time. Zabit proved once again how much of great fighter he is when he fought Kyle Bochniak at UFC 223. He outclassed the brawler in every aspect of MMA and is looking forward to fighting higher ranked opponents in the future.
1. Paulo Costa
27-year-old Paulo Costa as the real deal at middleweight. He is the size of a light heavyweight with insane punching power, incredible wrestling, and a shifty ground game. Costa has finished every pro fight he has ever been in and holds an impressive 11-0 record – 10 knockouts and one submission. Since making his UFC debut back in March of 2017, Costa has put away Garreth McLennan, Oluwale Bamgbose and former welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks, and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Costa is scheduled to fight Uriah Hall at UFC 226 in July, and I’m sure he will emerge victoriously and be the new middleweight champion by 2020!