After a quite spectacular year of MMA action in the UFC with some highlight reel knockouts, incredible fights and historic moments, it’s time to look ahead to the New Year. We have compiled a list of five fights we are desperate to see in the UFC in 2023. If some of these fights were made, we could have some ‘Fight of the Year’ contenders by the end of next year.
The list includes some huge names in the sport of MMA and some potentially enormous fights like the trilogy between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman, as well as a fight that has already been booked for the New Year with Alexander Volkanovski stepping up to lightweight to take on the champion, Islam Makhachev.
5 UFC Fights We Wish To See In 2023
Without further ado, here are the five mouth-watering UFC fights we want to see in 2023, as listed by The Sports Daily MMA experts…
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
The first fight we are desperate to see in 2023 in the UFC is the ‘champ vs champ’ fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev. The good news is, this fight has already been booked and is set to headline the huge UFC 284 card on February 11th at The RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
All being well, this fight will be the first mega-fight of the year in the UFC. Volkanovski is the current UFC Featherweight Champion, with Makhachev recently beating Charles Oliveira to become the UFC Lightweight Champion.
Alexander ‘The Great’ is daring to be great and is looking to join an elite list of fighters who have won belts in two different weight divisions. He would also become only the second man to hold two belts simultaneously, after Conor McGregor.
Fingers crossed this fight lives up to expectation and delivers a sensational night of mixed martial arts action to kickstart 2023.
Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler
Next up on our list of fights we want to see in the UFC is a fight between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. This fight would be simply incredible.
Despite not fighting in a UFC octagon since July 2021, ‘The Notorious’ is still the most talked about fighter in mixed martial arts. He still draws a huge crowd and a fight with Chandler would likely break all sorts of records at the gate and on pay-per-view. First and foremost though, McGregor needs to get back to fighting and get himself active.
This fight is probably the most unlikely on this list to actually happen, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a magnificent fight. Chandler himself is never in a dull fight and carries insane knockout power. His KO of Tony Ferguson earlier this year is one of the best knockouts you are ever likely to see in an octagon ever.
Fingers crossed McGregor gets back to taking the sport of MMA seriously and we get this mega-fight between two of the hardest hitting lightweights on the UFC roster.
Leon Edwards vs Jorge Masvidal
Three piece and a soda! Next up on our list of fights we really want to see in 2023 in the UFC is a clash between the current UFC Welterweight Champion, Leon Edwards, and the BMF Champion, Jorge Masvidal.
This fight has some history too it, with the infamous three piece and a soda incident at UFC Fight Night a few years ago when Masvidal knocked out Darren Till with Edwards and ‘Street Jesus’ getting into a scuffle backstage.
Now that Edwards is the champ and Masvidal has huge drawing power, this fight looks like a real possibility for Edwards’ first defense. It is likely that the UFC head to the UK in April/May for a stadium fight, and this would be the ideal headliner.
Masvidal is a massive name in the sport and brings a serious amount of eyeballs to his fights. Similarly, ‘Rocky’ became a superstar after his unbelievable knockout over Kamaru Usman earlier this year to become the UFC champ. There is a narrative and the fight itself is a cracker, so fingers crossed we see this match-up in the first half of 2023.
Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou
Next up on our list is a dream heavyweight match-up between arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time in Jon Jones, versus the absolute wrecking machine that is Francis Ngannou.
This fight is so appealing and just has to happen next year. Francis Ngannou has gone through the entire heavyweight division and doesn’t seem to have many challenges left. Apart from Jon Jones. ‘Bones’ hasn’t competed in the UFC since February 2020 when he defended his UFC Light-Heavyweight Title against Dominick Reyes.
Jones has been hitting the gym and has gained a serious amount of muscle in the past 34 months since his last UFC fight. He relinquished his 205-pound title back in 2020 after that successful defense with the intention of moving up to heavyweight and becoming a two-weight UFC champion.
Jones has never actually lost inside the octagon. The solo loss on his record was a disqualification due to Jones illegally striking his opponent with a downward elbow. Apart from that, his resumé is impeccable. A fight with Ngannou is so appealing and would be such an intriguing match-up.
One of the most ferocious punchers in UFC history against arguably the best mixed martial artist of all time. What a fight it is in prospect so fingers crossed we get it in 2023.
Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman 3
Last but by no means least on our list of fights that we desire to see in 2023 is the trilogy fight between Kamaru Usman and the new UFC Welterweight Champion, Leon Edwards.
This fight was arguably one of the best fights of 2022, resulting in one of the most spectacular moments in UFC history. The rematch was very one sided in favor of Usman, before Edwards landed the most sensational left head kick right on the chin of the pound-for-pound great. An absolutely incredible ending to a quite magnificent fight.
The first fight was way back in December 2015 with Usman winning a unanimous decision. Edwards’ revenge was seven years in the making and boy did he take full advantage. The potential of a trilogy fight between these two is a mouth-watering prospect. It’s 1-1 right now. The third fight would be a ‘winner takes all’ type of fight whilst also putting an end to a fascinating welterweight rivalry.
Lets hope Edwards come through in his first title defense whilst Usman recovers and gets back in the gym. Then, in late 2023 we see these MMA superstars collide for the third time in one of the most highly anticipated trilogy fights in recent memory.