Top Five Fights to Look Forward to in 2021

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Jorge Masvidal punches Kamaru Usman of Nigeria in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
  1. Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington

Not since Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz has a big fight without a championship belt been so anticipated.  A pay-per-view megastar? Check. A history with genuine dislike for the other? Check. Both men at the top of their game with high stakes on the line? Check.

The storyline has everything.  Masvidal and Covington are former teammates and roommates who were previously close, to the point that Masvidal was in the corner of Covington the night he won the interim championship.  Today, the two are bitter rivals with frequent barbs being sent at each other in the media.  It has gotten to the point that Covington was asked to depart American Top Team due to the personal tension in the gym in Florida.

Most importantly, both of them are knocking on the door of title contention.  Covington reasserted himself as the top contender in the division with a throttling performance over Tyron Woodley in August.  Masvidal is coming off the biggest pay-per-view event of the year and proved that he can carry an event without the assistance of a champion opposing him.  The winner would be on a collision course to fight for the world title again with a lot of steam behind them in the back half of 2021.

The lead-up to the fight is expected to be amongst the best seen in recent years as the two are the frontrunners to usher in the return of The Ultimate Fighter as coaches.  If that comes to pass, the fight would have an entire season to buildup what will likely be an Independence Day weekend showdown.  If that’s not enough to build the crossover appeal of the fight, imagine a scenario where both men are likely to get personal shout-outs and calls from the current President of the United States.  The fight is that big.