It’s been a roller coaster year in professional mixed martial arts, specifically for the sport’s premier organization, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Legends were made, and some were dethroned; we witnessed 11 “And new” announcements from Bruce Buffer as Dana White wrapped more gold around the waist of newly crowned champions than Christmas presents I wrapped for my girlfriend. And, of course, my MMA expert picks delivered countless winners, but that’s not why we’re here today.
A new year of MMA action is around the corner, and with that said, we’re already speculating on the next 12 months of Otagon brutality and what it could entail.
Join me, Manyun, as I dive deeper into what will happen in the UFC in 2024.
UFC 300 Will Be a Sectacle
When the UFC reaches another century milestone in Pay-Per-View events, we’re guaranteed a treat, and UFC 300, scheduled for April 13, 2024, will be no exception.
UFC President Dana White has already announced three huge fights:
- Jiri Prochazka vs Aleksandar Rakic (Light Heavyweight Bout)
- Calvin Kattar vs Aljamain Sterling (Featherweight Bout)
- Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage (Middleweight Bout)
Nickal, who has achieved two consecutive first-round victories, will participate in his third Octagon match against Brundage.
UFC 300 has begun to take shape 🤩
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) December 22, 2023
Former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will transition to the featherweight division to compete against the No. 7-ranked challenger, Kattar.
After a prolonged absence due to a knee injury, Rakic is returning in a highly anticipated bout against the previous champion, Prochazka.
Typically, the aforementioned fighters would headline a Fight Night or PPV event, but with such a special occasion as UFC 300, they’re tipped to be preliminary bouts, which proves just how stacked this card will be!
Naturally, MMA rumors regarding other potential UFC 300 bouts have been rife, some of which include:
- Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler
- Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan
- Nate Diaz vs Dustin Poirier
- Tom Aspinall vs Alex Pereira
- Israel Adesanya vs Khamzat Chimaev
- Alexa Grasso vs Zhang Weili
We already know the best place to bet on UFC, but do you think UFC 300 will be the most talent-stacked schedule in MMA history? I certainly do!
Conor McGregor Will Fight in 2024
On the topic of UFC 300, could the highly anticipated return of the sport’s greatest star, Conor McGregor, occur at this prestigious event?
Conor McGregor on #UFC300 talks
“The UFC…give me something. I was supposed to be back in April, it was supposed to be December…”
“no one in the history of the fight game’s ever been treated the way I’m getting treated at this minute…”
“They fucking should open the… pic.twitter.com/JSTq4nlYHB
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) December 24, 2023
There have been preliminary indications that McGregor would have a UFC comeback fight against Michael Chandler.
This speculation arose after their coaching stint together on “The Ultimate Fighter 31” in early 2023. In late October, McGregor informed reporters that the UFC had set April 2024 as the desired date for his return fight.
He expressed frustration with the lengthy inactivity following his loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021. However, in November, McGregor’s coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh, revealed that the promotion had once again postponed McGregor’s comeback, now aiming for a fight in the summer.
McGregor formally resumed participation in the UFC’s drug-testing program with USADA on October 8. USADA regulations imply that he will regain his eligibility to fight on April 8th, 2024, which is conveniently five days before UFC 300.
Whether McGregor returns at UFC 300, it’s almost guaranteed that the biggest star in MMA history will return in 2024. Whatever event it might be, it will unquestionably evolve into the biggest-selling pay-per-view of the year.
A UFC/WWE Crossover Will Happen
Possibly, the most noteworthy development of 2023 occurred in September when the announcement was made that TKO, a new organization, would be formed by merging the UFC with pro wrestling superpower WWE. Endeavour had previously acquired the UFC in 2016.
Subsequently, the merger has remained largely concealed from the public, appearing primarily in the background of promotional materials pertaining to the corporation rather than being prominently featured.
Could anything change in 2024 and lead to a crossover between UFC and WWE? Without a doubt.
#OnThisDay in 2008, Brock Lesnar stopped Randy Couture to become UFC heavyweight champion in just his fourth professional bout 😳🏆
— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) November 15, 2023
However, numerous combatants have previously entered and exited the WWE ring, including Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, and CM Punk, who have all appeared conspicuously for both organizations.
Consequently, although the merger has been relatively peaceful thus far, that may alter in 2024 with the occurrence of one or two crossovers.
Islam Makhachev Will Break Khabib’s Record
The comparisons between the esteemed former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and his protege Islam Makhachev, the reigning titleholder, are frequently characterizedby a lack of effort and wearisome repetition.
Although both fighters are from Dagestan and train together, their techniques diverge significantly when they enter the Octagon.Nevertheless, their triumphs are certainly a commonality they possess. Is it possible that in 2024, Makhachev will exceed his mentor’s legacy?
Khabib made three successful title defenses due to his unannounced retirement; he defeated McGregor, Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.
Need Islam Makhachev fight announcement 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OOXZ22BijQ
— General⚡Usman (@UsmanTime) December 27, 2023
In contrast, Makhachev has already recorded two triumphant defenses this year, including victories over Alexander Volkanovski. Given his apparent lack of imminent retirement intentions, it is not implausible that he might accomplish two more title defenses in 2024.
By doing so, he would not only surpass Khabib’s overall record but also attain the distinction of being the most distinguished lightweight in octagon history according to that criterion. Should he achieve that, retaining him behind his mentor in the grand scheme of things would be difficult.
UFC 2024 Q&A with Manyun
Who is the favorite to win the Ankalaev vs. Walker 2 fight?
Magomed Ankalaev is a heavy-betting favorite to defeat Johnny Walker in their 2024 light heavyweight rematch.
Who is the favorite fighter of the year?
Various MMA media publications have awarded Islam Makhachev or Sean Strickland as the “MMA Fighter of the Year” for 2023.