There have been no shortage of title fights in the first few months of the UFC’s 2021 pay-per-view calendar. Following a busy run, which title bouts could feature in the main event of UFC 262 in May?
The sixth UFC pay-per-view of 2021 kicks off a summer that has a lot to live up to. The beginning of the year has already featured Poirier-McGregor 2, Adesanya-Blachowicz, Miocic-Ngannou 2, and more. After the impressive run of major fights, the promotion is looking at a reduced number of available options for UFC 262 in mid-May.
Currently without a location, UFC 262 is slated for May 15, sandwiched between two UFC Fight Night events in a busy month with four events.
While we don’t yet know which fighters will be competing in the main event, a few bouts are reportedly on the docket for UFC 262. Flyweight action from both men and women will be on the card, as Katlyn Chookagian takes on Viviane Araujo and Alex Perez fights Matt Schnell. A fight between Andrea Lee and Antonina Shevchenko has also been scheduled
Those sound fun, but given the current available options, which belt could we see fought for in the main event of May’s UFC pay-per-view?
We’re getting treated to five title fights in March, with champions of seven divisions represented. A turnaround in mid-May wouldn’t be unheard of, but it’s unlikely that any of the champions from UFC 259 or UFC 260 will be looking to defend their belt just a couple of months later.
So, that means we can rule out Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya, and the winners of Amanda Nunes–Megan Anderson and Petr Yan–Aljamain Sterling. Same goes for the victors later that month between heavyweight champ Stipie Miocic and Francis Ngannou, and 145-pound title-holder Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.
That’s a lot.
We can also count out Valentina Shevchenko’s next flyweight title-defense, which will come against Jessica Andrade at UFC 261.
The Bullet is back!
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 24, 2021
The highly anticipated flyweight title rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno won’t be at UFC 262 in May, either. That’s because the duo will be fighting at UFC 263 in June.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 25, 2021
While we’re waiting for the winner of Miocic-Ngannou 2, we’ll also be waiting for Jon Jones. His heavyweight debut will be for the division’s championship, according to UFC President Dana White. He could main event a pay-per-view in a non-title bout, but the promotion looks set on building up to a Jones heavyweight title fight later this year. He last fought in February of 2020, and vacated the light heavyweight championship several months later in August.
Turning around in a few months would’ve been a big ask, and given the reports about Kamaru Usman’s potential spot on The Ultimate Fighter 29 coming up this year, we can confidently rule him out for UFC 262 in mid-May. As of now, it’s looking like Jorge Masvidal will be opposing the welterweight champ, while the promotion targets an August date for their rematch.
Ariel Helwani says, as of the taping of his #HelwaniShow today, UFC is moving in the direction of Usman/Masvidal 2 (probably in August). They are also moving in the direction of them being the TUF 29 coaches.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) February 17, 2021