Current UFC Champions & 2020 Predictions for E …

  • Learn who the current champions are in all the UFC weight classes.
  • When are they next scheduled to fight; who is their no. 1 challenger?
  • Will the champions remain champions come 2020?

Below, find the current champions in every UFC weight class, from flyweight to heavyweight and all three women’s divisions.

Our MMA experts have looked at the situation in each division and assessed the likelihood that the champions will still hold their belts when the year is out.

Editor’s note: Last updated on Feb. 14, 2019. If you’re wondering why we chose Jon Jones for the featured image, above, it’s because he has the best odds to stay champion and we don’t want to have to change the picture.

Flyweight

Current Champion: Henry Cejudo

Record 14-2
Age 32
Champion since Aug. 4, 2018
Number of title defenses 1
Last fight TKO vs TJ Dillashaw (Jan 19, 2019)
#1 Contender Joseph Benavidez
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Cejudo is still champion in 2020 1/3

Cejudo has become the class of this division, recently demolishing the considerably bigger TJ Dillashaw in just 32 seconds. He’s developed a strong stand-up game to go with his Olympic-level wrestling. He is likely to reign as long as the flyweight division exists, which, unfortunately for “The Messenger,” may not be very long.

Bantamweight

Current Champion: TJ Dillashaw

Record 16-4
Age 33
Champion since Nov. 4, 2018
Number of title defenses 1
Last fight (at bantamweight) TKO vs Cody Garbrandt (Aug. 4, 2018)
#1 Contender Marlon Moraes
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Dillashaw is still champion in 2020 1/1

While his foray into the flyweight division ended in disaster, Dillashaw remains an elite fighter with a versatile skill set. He’ll be the favorite in his next fight, whether it’s against Moraes or Cejudo moving up to 135. There’s a decent chance he fights once more before the year is out.

Featherweight

Current Champion: Max Holloway

Record 20-3
Age 27
Champion since Dec. 10, 2016
Number of title defenses 3
Last fight TKO vs Brian Ortega (Dec. 8, 2018)
#1 Contender Jose Aldo
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Holloway is still champion in 2020 3/5

Holloway has pretty much cleared out the 145-pound division. Aldo and Brian Ortega are the 2nd and 3rd-ranked fighters, and he’s 3-0 against them combined. He hasn’t lost since falling to Conor McGregor back in 2013, riding a 13-fight win streak.

A rematch with McGregor could be his next bout, but it’s unclear whether that would be at featherweight. Dana White has said he’d like Holloway to move up to 155. That is why Holloway’s odds to still be featherweight champ in 2020 are only 4/5: there’s a realistic chance he leaves the division. Cutting to 145 has always been tough for the Hawaiian.

Lightweight

Current Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov

Record 27-0
Age 30
Champion since Apr. 7, 2018
Number of title defenses 1
Last fight Submission vs Conor McGregor (Oct. 6, 2018)
#1 Contender Tony Ferguson
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Nurmagomedov is still champion in 2020 1/2

Khabib is suspended for nine months, backdated to Oct. 6, 2018, when you know what happened. He is only going to fight once in 2019, at the most. That’s likely to be against Tony Ferguson, who will give the Eagle a considerably tougher fight than McGregor did.

Welterweight

Current Champion: Tyron Woodley

Record 19-3-1
Age 36
Champion since Jul. 30, 2016
Number of title defenses 4
Last fight Submission vs Darren Till (Sep. 8, 2018)
#1 Contender Kamaru Usman
Next scheduled fight UFC 235 (Mar. 2, 2019)
Odds Woodley is still champion in 2020 4/3

Woodley returned from a year-plus layoff with a hugely impressive win over Darren Till in September. That win had the effect of stripping Colby Covington of the Interim Welterweight Title (Covington was unable to fight due to nasal surgery). Now Covington has been passed over and Kamaru Usman will get the next shot at Woodley in March.

If Woodley gets past Usman (he’s currently a -185 favorite), it’s likely that he’ll fight Covington before the year is out. Unless Covington keeps calling Dana White a piece of s***. With two tough fights likely to take place this calendar year, the odds are against the 36-year-old being the champ come 2020.

Middleweight

Current Champion: Robert Whittaker

Record 20-4
Age 28
Champion since Jul. 8, 2017
Number of title defenses 1
Last fight Split decision vs Yoel Romero (Jun. 9, 2018)
#1 Contender Israel Adesanya
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Whittaker is still champion in 2020 2/3

Whittaker had to pull out of his title defense against Gastelum at UFC 234 due to a collapsed bowel. If that sounds horrendous to you, you’re not wrong. It’s a serious ailment which will keep the middleweight champion out of action until at least the summer.

Undefeated since 2014 (nine straight wins), Whittaker is a great fighter, but not indomitable at 185. He nearly lost to Romero last time out and, in reality, has benefited from a weak division. Israel Adesanya may be about to change all of that. The undefeated (16-0) Nigerian is one of the most dangerous and accomplished strikers in the sport and, at 6’4, would present all sorts of issues for Whittaker.

Let’s hope that fight gets made, to Gastelum’s chagrin.

Light Heavyweight

Current Champion: Jon Jones

Record 23-1-1
Age 31
Champion since Dec. 29, 2018 (or Mar. 19, 2011, depending on how you look at it)
Number of title defenses 1 (or 10)
Last fight TKO vs Alexander Gustafsson (Dec. 29, 2018)
#1 Contender Anthony Smith
Next scheduled fight UFC 235 (Mar. 2, 2019)
Odds Jones is still champion in 2020 1/5

Jones may be the biggest lock to remain champion at his current weight class. There is no one at 205 who can hold a candle to Bones. He’s never actually lost a fight in the Octagon, only succumbing to disqualification, PEDs, and his own out-of-ring behaviour.

Jones may be the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in history and he’s a -1400 favorite to beat Anthony Smith at UFC 235.

Think of it this way: Daniel Cormier is unquestionably the second-best light heavyweight in the world; he was unbeatable when Jones was away from the sport. But Jones has already dominated him twice and, when Jones returned, Cormier fled the division rather than fight him a third time.

Heavyweight

Current Champion: Daniel Cormier

Record 22-1-1
Age 39
Champion since Jul. 7, 2018
Number of title defenses 1
Last fight Submission vs Derrick Lewis (Nov. 3, 2018)
#1 Contender Stipe Miocic
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Cormier is still champion in 2020 4/1

Cormier is a 4/1 longshot to remain heavyweight champion in 2020 only because he’s announced his plans to retire this year. He was originally going to retire in March when he turned 40, but he wants to fight at least once more and that’s not happening before March 20, so he’s pushed back his retirement date.

Here’s hoping we get a rematch with Miocic before he does hang up his gloves for good. Cormier finished the longtime heavyweight champ in less than a round when they met in July. Miocic, who holds the record for the longest heavyweight title reign of all time, deserves a shot to get his belt back.

Women’s Strawweight

Current Champion: Rose Namajunas

Record 8-3
Age 26
Champion since Nov. 4, 2017
Number of title defenses 1
Last fight Apr. 7, 2018
#1 Contender Jessica Andrade
Next scheduled fight UFC 237 (May 11, 2019)
Odds Namajunas is still champion in 2020 2/1

Women’s Flyweight

Current Champion: Valentina Shevchenko

Record 16-3
Age 30
Champion since Dec. 8, 2018
Number of title defenses 0
Last fight Unanimous decision vs Joanna Jędrzejczyk (Dec. 8, 2018)
#1 Contender Jessica Eye
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Shevchenko is still champion in 2020 4/5

Women’s Bantamweight

Current Champion: Amanda Nunes

Record 17-4
Age 30
Champion since Dec. 29, 2018
Number of title defenses 0
Last fight KO vs Kris Cyborg (Dec. 29, 2019)
#1 Contender Holly Holm
Next scheduled fight TBD
Odds Nunes is still champion in 2020 2/3

 

The post Current UFC Champions & 2020 Predictions for Every Weight Class appeared first on My Top Sportsbooks.

Original source: https://www.mytopsportsbooks.com/free-picks/ufc/2020-ufc-champions-predictions-every-weight-class/

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