Welcome to the first instalment of our new series, MMA Thread Crystal Ball. In a sport that’s so hard to predict, the best thing we can do to answer the questions MMA fans want to know – Check the old Crystal Ball.
It only seemed appropriate that we start with what we love most, great fights. Specifically, what will be the fight of the year 2017?
A good place to begin is with rematches of fights that were great the first time round. The first fight that comes to mind is Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 3. The first two contests were both excellent, especially the second as we were able to enjoy both fighters in their glory for a full 5 rounds.
It is absolutely possible this one will take place in 2017. It seems likely that both men would need a win before then, but it wouldn’t be the strangest matchmaking if the UFC had this as Conor’s first title defence. Just don’t tell Nurmagomedov or El Cucuy.
Let’s get this out of the way. Please don’t listen to Dana White when he says Diaz is too big to be competing with Conor again. To save you some time, dear reader, let’s just call this a lie (or promoter’s artistic license, perhaps?) and move on. Everyone in MMA knows it, so let’s just put it out there.
So will this fight happen? We hope so! Will it be the fight of the year? Things are still a bit blurry. Let’s keep looking.
A fight we’re almost guaranteed in 2017 is Jose Aldo vs Max Holloway. Jose Aldo’s record speaks for itself, he is the undisputed greatest Featherweight of all time, and he’s coming off a dominant win over fellow future Hall of Famer, Frankie Edgar.
Holloway is on one of the best win streaks in the sport with 10 victories in a row. The last being over former Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis. In fact, the Hawaiian hasn’t lost since dropping a decision to Conor McGregor. Both men have great striking and superb all round skills.
This will be a contest to decide who will be the undisputed Featherweight Champion, with Aldo being the Champion at the moment, and Holloway holding the Interim belt. These are two fighters truly at the top of their game, and it’s hard to imagine it being anything other than a treat for the fans.
Is it the fight of the year 2017? Let’s keep looking, just to be sure.
The third option is based less on fireworks between two fighters, and more about the likelihood of one man to always be involved in an incredible war.
F*****g Robbie, he’s a gladiator, I mean that dude…he’s so rare in that regard. What you see is what you get. That guy he is all bite down on the mouthpiece and move forward. He’s got excellent technique and he’s f*****g tough as nails.
Joe Rogan (The Joe Rogan Experience)
So what’s next for Lawler? We’d be happy with anyone. We’d watch him fight pretty much anyone or anything, come to think of it. Just for the fun of it, though, how about Georges St-Pierre? How about two of the greatest Welterweights of all time mix it up?
It’s common knowledge in the MMA stratosphere that the UFC have already offered GSP a fight with Lawler. Unfortunately ‘Rush‘ turned the fight down due to a contractual dispute. We can live in hope that once Georges is happy with his contract, a fight with Lawler will be back on the cards.
We’re in for that! But, is it the fight of the year 2017?
The image has become clear, ladies and gentleman, and it is a third war between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor. How could it not be? The sad reality is, fights with a huge build up and high stacks can often disappoint. Every time Conor steps into the Octagon, there’s a tremendous amount of attention paid to him and his opponent.
Regardless of what you think about The Notorious One, his fights consistently deliver something special. Bring in a dance partner like Nate Diaz, then you have what has got to be the most exciting match that can be made in combat sports today, despite the fact it would be the third time.
So there we have it. Sometimes the most obvious answer turns out to be the right one. Do you have your own Crystal Ball? What do you see? Let us know what you think will be 2017’s fight of the year in the comments and on our MMA Thread Facebook Group.