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UFC on Tap: McGregor-Chandler Among Upcoming Blockbusters

Jones-Miocic, Other Best Fights for 2023

A quarter into 2023, UFC has already put together some memorable events. Jon Jones returned and submitted Ciryl Gane to capture the heavyweight title while not one, not two, but three Mexican fighters became champions. And UFC is just getting started with several big fights scheduled (or to be scheduled), led by Conor McGregor versus Michael Chandler and Jones vs Stipe Miocic. Stay tuned to UFC news to get more details on these fights.

MMA figher Connor Mcgregor
MMA figher Connor Mcgregor | John gurzinski / afp

(via @TheNotoriousMMA) pic.twitter.com/vIn850F58V

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 19, 2023

When is McGregor vs Chandler and Jones vs Miocic?

McGregor and Chandler are coaching against each other on the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter. The reality TV series is filming and will be broadcast on May 30. As for their fight, it is still to be determined. But seeing Dana White offer Jones and Miocic the main event for UFC 290 during International Fight Week, McGregor-Chandler may go down on UFC 291 or later.

Usually, TUF coaches fight during the show’s finale, which typically takes place on a Fight Night or pay-per-view event directly after the final episode. TUF 31 is set to conclude on Aug. 15. UFC 291 may then be scheduled on Saturday, Aug. 19, or a week later on Aug. 26.

McGregor has not fought since he broke his leg in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier in July 2021. It would be over two years since he last stepped inside the Octagon. The early UFC odds have their fight lined as a pick’em (both fighters at -110).

Speaking of lengthy layoffs, it has also been a while since Miocic last fought. He got knocked out by Francis Ngannou in March 2021 and has not fought since. Thus, most UFC picks and bets are against him as a +260 underdog. Jones is a -330 favorite.

These two fights are likely to be the biggest the UFC will offer this year. But there are several others already scheduled and still to be made that could be just as big.

Best Upcoming Fights and Potential Fights

Pereira vs Adesanya 2, UFC 287 (April 8)

Like Leon Edwards-Kamaru Usman, this is a hotly anticipated rematch that still favors the loser of the last fight: Adesanya. The former middleweight champion is around -150 in the sportsbook as he looks to snap a three-fight skid against Pereira (two losses came in kickboxing).

Sterling vs Cejudo, UFC 288 (May 6)

Over to the next PPV, Sterling will defend his bantamweight belt against another former champion, Henry Cejudo. The odds are tight here with Sterling currently pegged as a -120 favorite. But this could swing closer to the fight. Cejudo has not fought since May 2020 so it will be a layoff of nearly three years for the former two-division champion.

Volkanovski vs Rodriguez, TBD

The rematch with Islam Makhachev will have to wait. For now, the featherweight king must unite the titles in a “champion vs champion” fight with Rodriguez. The early UFC fight odds heavily favor Volkanovski at around -430. But Rodriguez is a dangerous underdog and is 3-2 as one in the UFC.

Hill vs Prochazka, TBD

This potential matchup has “Fight of the Year” written all over it. The new 205-pound champ, Hill, wants to defend his belt against the former champ, Prochazka. The Muay Thai fighter is recovering from a knee injury and should be ready by the summer. Hill is currently slightly favored on the early UFC lines.

Alexa Grasso vs Valentina Shevchenko 2, TBD

No UFC prediction saw Grasso upset Shevchenko as a 6-1 underdog. But she did and their rematch will now be one of the most exciting bouts of 2023 when it happens. Just like Edwards and Pereira, Grasso will once again be the underdog as she looks to turn Shevchenko back for a second time.

Honorable Mentions

  • Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington, TBD
  • Max Holloway vs Arnold Allen, UFC Fight Night (April 15)
  • Charles Oliveira vs Beneil Dariush, UFC 288 (May 6)
  • Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje 2, TBD
  • Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja 3, TBD
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