In terms of global outreach, popularity and revenue, the UFC is the premier MMA organisation in the world currently. With world class fighters stacked in each division, entertaining matchups are a very common occurrence. Despite fans of the UFC being provided with thrilling action week on week, cross-organisation fights could also provide great entertainment.
One Championship CEO and Founder Chatri Sityodtong once commented “As I have always replied when asked the question by fans and media, I definitely would welcome a ONE vs UFC mega event with World Champion vs World Champion, It would create epic global shockwaves around the world.”
Shared events could become a very real possibility in the future. One hindrance could be agreeing on a ruleset, as both organisations follow different codes. The benefits outweigh the negatives as the companies could generate great revenue and global coverage. Fighters would also gain more media coverage, could receive higher purses and test themselves against a bigger pool of fighters.
The fans would also benefit from events such as these, as they will witness more elite matchups across many different weight classes. Additionally, many fighters would be tempted take part. Below are three fights that would make sense to create if a “mega-event” was announced.
3. Deiveson Figueiredo vs Adriano Moraes (Flyweight)
Figueiredo and Moraes are as evenly matched as you could get and would be a matchup that catches the attention of many. Both fighters are current flyweight champions in their respective organisation, and neither fighter has lost within the previous two years. Figueiredo has recently hit his stride, and Moraes recently defeated all time UFC great Demetrious Johnson.
Whilst there is a rematch scheduled between Figueiredo and Moreno at UFC 263, there is always a possibility that this matchup occurs. The only other mitigating factor is the weight difference of 10 pounds. If a cross-event occurs, it would make total sense to create a catchweight bout to see who comes out on top.
2. Derrick Lewis vs Arjan Singh Bhullar (Heavyweight)
When it comes to heavyweights one thing is for certain, when they connect fighters drop. Both Lewis and Bhullar could create the perfect storm, and if they were to match up the possibility of making it to the final round would be slim. Both fighters in their previous five fights have won four times and lost once.
Whilst Bhullar is currently the One Championship heavyweight champion, Lewis has a victory over the current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. It would be interesting to see how he attempts to navigate around Bhullars’ technical style. Who would come out on top, brute force or a more technical approach, we can only hope to see a fight like this soon.
1. Israel Adesanya vs Reinier De Ridder (Middleweight)
The final fight includes both middleweight champions from each organisation. If Adesanya had defeated Jan Blachowicz, it would have meant both De Ridder and Adesanya would be multi-divisional champions. Both fighters have been cleaning up rosters, and with a combined record of 34 wins and just one loss, this fight should capture the imagination of any MMA supporter.
Stylistically each fighter has the weapons to counter the other. De Ridder enjoys most of his success by closing the distance and utilising his impeccable submission and ground game. Opposingly, Adesanya mostly maintains the perfect distance in order to utilise his world class striking. Would the “The Last StyleBender” be able to produce another highlight reel knockout, or could “The Dutch Knight” engulf Adesanya on the ground.
We can only hope that eventually cross-events occur, which would display the best talent each organisation has to offer. Whilst it seems a far-fetched concept now, this could be an option that promotes the sport of MMA and increases its global popularity further.