The UFC’s final pay-per-view of the year is coming up in mid-December. Following what’s expected to be a huge card at Madison Square Garden in November, what’s left for the UFC 245 main event?
The final UFC pay-per-view of 2019 is beginning to take shape. We’ve had a couple of fights already announced for the event, which takes place on December 14 in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena.
One of those fights features featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Arguably the greatest female MMA fighter of all time, Nunes is looking to add to her impressive resumé at UFC 245 by tallying her second career win over Germaine de Randamie. The challenger is a former featherweight champion herself, but has already suffered one defeat at the hands of the champion, a first round TKO victory for Nunes in November of 2013.
While Nunes-de Randamie is a high-profile bout, it looks as though the promotion is still looking for a main event. Given the major main events taking place throughout the final months of the year, what’s left for UFC 245?
We’ve already taken a look at who could be headlining UFC 244 the month before, and it looks like the duo of pay-per-views will be battling for their main events from a similar group of fighters.
While we’ll be treated to one women’s title-fight at UFC 245, the promotion booking another for the event would be a surprise. Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has fought, and won, three times since last December. She needs a new contender, and will likely have one after Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia fight at UFC 244. Even if the winner of that bout were able and willing to fight at UFC 245, and Shevchenko agreed, it wouldn’t jump Nunes-GDR for the main event slot.
The same can be said of the winner of UFC Shenzen’s main event between champion Jessica Andrade and Weili Zhang. With a few months between fights another fight for the champ wouldn’t be crazy. But, the strawweight title going from ESPN+ headliner to UFC 245 headliner would be.
Flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo returning in 2019 would be kind of crazy too. The double-champ had shoulder surgery following his victory over Marlon Moraes this summer, and is slated to return in early 2020.
Don’t count on the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier’s main event at UFC 242 to return this December. The same can be said for Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya’s middleweight title-fight at UFC 243. The duo of international PPVs taking place just a couple of months before the end of the year means that, especially given the other options available, neither title-holder will likely be pushed to return so quickly.
We don’t expect Stipe Miocic to fight again by the end of the year, either. The former, and new, heavyweight champ battled all-time great Daniel Cormier to regain his belt after 14 months off at UFC 241. Now, he’s healing up, waiting on Cormier to decide his future, and weighing his options. Miocic main eventing at UFC 245 would mean a lot of other options fell through and the promotion was desperate. As of now, that’s not the case.
It’s also being reported that Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington’s match-up is slated for UFC 244. Right now, we don’t know whether it would be the main event or not. Much like the Nunes-GDR bout, Usman-Covington likely fits as high-quality depth for the main card of their respective PPVs. But, should other plans fall through, either could fill in as the headliner without much issue.
It’s looking like Max Holloway’s next featherweight title defense could be the main event of UFC 245. His challenger, Alexander Volkanovski, was hoping to get the bout at UFC 243. But, with Holloway’s late-July title defense against Frankie Edgar, a December date makes more sense. There are rumors of the contracts already being signed. But, as is always the case, nothing is official until the promotion says so.
Jon Jones has been talking about a return by the end of the year, too. He’d fit atop one of the promotion’s biggest events of the year. A matchup with Jan Blachowicz makes the most sense, given Daniel Cormier’s recent loss and Thiago Santos’s injuries. Whether it’s at Madison Square Garden in November, or Las Vegas in December, don’t be surprised to see Jones return to the Octagon for his fourth fight in 12 months later this year.
Madison Square Garden in November?
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 24, 2019
Outside of their current champions, there are a few fighters who (even without a belt!), belong in the main event slot of any UFC card they’re on.
We’re all waiting for the Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal fight. Both fighters put on impressive performances in their most recent bouts, and have found themselves at the top of the welterweight division. Yeah, Diaz-Masvidal main eventing ahead of a Usman-Covington title-fight would be kind of weird, were both bouts on the same card. But, in our hearts, we know the true main event out of those two fights.
There’s also that Conor McGregor guy. Coming off of a poor showing against some old dude in a pub, the former two-division champion sounds set to return sooner rather than later. Whether he’s fighting Tony Ferguson, Diaz, Masvidal, or someone else, keeping McGregor out of a PPV main event in his next bout would be a mistake, and won’t happen.
Let us know who you think will feature in the main event of UFC 245, and who you want to see headlining the last pay-per-view of the year! You can check out our look at potential main events for UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden as well. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below!