Champaign Central Chronicle

The Student News Site of Champaign Central High School

Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

2024 UFC Predictions

2024 UFC Predictions

Another year means another year of the Ultimate Fighting Championship otherwise known as the UFC which also means new and old fighters being crowned as champions. Last year fans saw a total of 5 different champions from all the divisions at the end of 2023, the life of a champion is hard though as there are plenty of high level fighters constantly coming for their title. 


This article will go from the lightest divisions to the heaviest divisions predicting who will end up as the UFC champion for their division. Currently, Starting with the Women’s Strawweight division, which maxes out at 115 lbs, the champion is currently Zhang Weili, but by the end of the year, it should be Tatiana Suarez. Suarez had to take a long break from fighting due to injury, but ever since her return she’s looked unstoppable with her amazing wrestling and knockout power and will definitely bring a tough test to Weili. 


Story continues below advertisement

In the Men’s Flyweight Division, which maxes out at 125 lbs, the champion is Alexandre Pantoja, and with how shallow the top of the flyweight is, it’s hard to think that Pantoja won’t be thethe champion. The number 1 ranked flyweight, Brandon Moreno,  and number 3 ranked flyweight, Kai Kara-France, are the only 2 that could maybe step up to Pantoja right now, but it only seems like only 1, if either, will be able to fight him this year leaving Pantoja to be most likely champion at the end of the year.


Avid UFC fan, Asher Kotowski agrees with this suggesting the outcome of a potential rematch between Pantoja and Moreno saying, “Pantoja has had a long career in the UFC and has beat Moreno like two times I think so if they somehow fight again I think that Pantoja will win.”


Next in the Women’s Flyweight division, which maxes out at 125 lbs, the champion is Alexa Grasso, but by the end of the year it could very well be number 2 ranked fighter Erin Blanchfield. The top of the Women’s Flyweight division will be very fun to watch this year with 4 notable and entertaining fighters who could all be champions. In the end I believe that it will be Blanchfield thanks to her elite striking to end up on top, but it could very well be Grasso, former champion Valentina Shevchenko or Manon Fiorot. 


Another UFC fan, Isaiah Yoakum says, “Grasso will still be the champion if she’s able to beat Shevchenko again although I’m not sure if she’ll be able to.”


Now for the Men’s Bantamweight division, which maxes out at 135 lbs, the champion is Sean O’Malley, but the title should go to Merab Dvalishvili by the end of the year. O’Malley is a very good striker with surprise power, but the pace the Dvalishvili goes at in his fights combined with his high level of striking and wrestling should be able to beat O’Malley. When asked who would win, O’Malley or Dvalisvili, Kotowski said, “Merab, he’s just a bad matchup for anyone.” 


Onto the last Women’s Division, the Women’s Bantamweight Division which maxes out at 135 lbs. The champion is Raquel Pennington who filled the void left by former champion Amanda Nunes after she retired who many believe is the best woman fighter ever. Pennington shouldn’t hold this title long as the best woman fighter from the Professional Fighter League (PFL), Kayla Harrison, has recently signed with the UFC and will compete at the 135 lbs. Harrison is much better than Pennington, especially in the ground game, and should beat her by the end of the year being the champion going into 2025. 


In the Men’s Featherweight division (145 lbs) the champion is Alexander Volkanovski. Volkanovski has the longest title reign among every current champion and will continue his reign going into 2025. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a tough road ahead of him though, he’ll face undefeated and number 1 ranked fighter Ilia Topuria on Febuary 17th and we’ll see the outcome of that fight and how it may shake up the division.


But in the end Volkanovski should be able to beat Topuria thanks to his striking and perseverance and there aren’t many other fighters in the featherweight division that can stand up to Volkanovski. Yoakum agrees saying that, “Volkanovski is just way too good of a fighter to think he’ll lose to a guy like Topuria, although Topuria is a really good fighter, he just hasn’t faced a fighter like Volkanovski yet.”


Moving onto the Men’s Lightweight division (155 lbs) the 3champion is Islam Makhachev who is the current best male fighter in the UFC. Makhachev should carry his title into next year even though there are plenty of scary fighters in the lightweight division who have been champion or interim champion in their careers. It’s just hard to think that any of them can stack up to Makhachev’s overpowering wrestling and knockout power. 


In the Men’s Welterweight division (170 lbs) the champion is Leon Edwards, but the title should go to undefeated fighter, Shavkat Rakhmonov, by the end of the year. Edwards is a very good striker, but Rakhmonov has very good striking with huge power plus a very good ground game. Overall Rakhmonov has the capabilities to be one of the best fighters ever and it looks like this year will be his time to take the belt. Yoakum added that, “The welterweight division is kind of dead right now so it’s really Shavkat’s time to take it.”


In the Men’s Middleweight division (185 lbs) the champion at the start of the year was Sean Strickland, but on January 20th he lost to the new champion Dricus Du Plessis. Du Plessis should keep his championship at the end of the year just by how weak the Middleweight division is right now. 


Going to the Men’s Light Heavyweight division (205 lbs) the champion is former middleweight champion Alex Pereira, but the champion could shift to Magomed Ankalaev. Pereira is a top 3 striker in the UFC right now, but if he has one weakness it’s his defensive wrestling and Ankalaev excels in that category. Kotowski disagrees with this saying that Pereira will keep his title because, “he’s too motivated.” 


Finally in the Men’s Heavyweight division (285 lbs) the champion is Jon Jones, but the title should be current interim champion, Tom Aspinall’s at the end of the year. A lot of controversy surrounds Jones especially with him “waiting” for former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic to fight him, even though Miocic hasn’t fought in almost 3 years while Aspinall is ready and waiting for Jones to fight him. 


If Jones is forced to fight Aspinall, Jones’ age will catch up to him and either Aspinall’s great striking and power, or great wrestling will be able to overpower Jones. Kotowski agrees with this saying that Jones is, “old and lame.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Champaign Central Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *