8 Fighters not in the UFC who should be

8 Fighters not in the UFC who should be

Aj McKee (Bellator 18-0): Bellator’s new Featherweight champion is quickly establishing himself as one of the top fighters in the world. In July of 2021, he needed only 1 round and less than 2 minutes to KO and secure his title. He has most recently seen his star level rise as he keeps dominating his opponents and has been linked in feuds with Nate Diaz and UFC featherweight champ Volkanovski. AJ has 3 fights left on his contract and while nothing is ever certain the UFC is the only company that has the kind of roster that truly challenges this undefeated fighter.

Kayla Harrison (PFL 12-0): The 2X Olympic Judo gold medalist has not disappointed since turning pro in 2018. Since joining the PFL Kayla has ragdolled her opposition en route to winning the women’s PFL lightweight tournament twice and becoming one of the most coveted free agents in MMA. She is currently in contract negotiations with both the UFC and PFL. But it’s in the UFC that we could see her matched up with names like Amanda Nunes, Juliana Pena, and Holly Holm. Not since Ronda has a judoka had this much of an impact on MMA and could easily fight for gold right away if and when she makes her UFC debut.

Ray Cooper III (PFL 23-7-1): 2-time champ and winner of the million-dollar PFL tournament Ray Cooper has been lighting it up since 2019 and is riding a 6 fight win streak. As a fighter, Ray used to be thought of as another scrappy striker, but now we have seen him evolve into a methodical athlete that uses his frame and strength to take the fight where he wants it to, this was evident by his UD victory over Rory McDonald and 3rd round stoppage of Magomed. A Welterweight fight vs Masvidal or Luque would make for a fight of the year.

Vadim Nemkov (Bellator 15-2): Fedor’s protege has not disappointed as a fighter. A man who has not lost since 2016 Vadim has held the title of champion while taking out names like Ryan Bader, Phil Davis (twice), Liam McGeary and others. Of his 15 fights, only 2 have gone the distance, while Vadim will likely face new LHW contender Corey Anderson and possibly rematch Bader but a fight in the UFC vs the only man to stop him in Jiri Prochazka or even Aleksandar Rakic is the fight the fans want to see.

Yaroslav Amosov (Bellator 26-0): When people see a record this good the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s padded beyond belief. But since joining Bellator in 2018 “Dynamo” has scored wins over top talent like Gerald Harris, Erick Silva, Ed Ruth and most recently he took out veteran and former champion Douglas Lima to win the WW strap. A fight with another grappling standout like Colby Covington would make sense.

Gegard Mousasi (Bellator 48-7-2): A legendary career that has spanned close to 20 years and counting “The dream-catcher” has seen and done it all. He’s fought for major companies like Pride, DREAM, UFC and now Bellator as their MW champion. Since his departure from the UFC (left on a 5 fight win streak), Gegard has been living up to his monicker as he has taken out names like Rory McDonald, Machida, Douglas Lima and Alexander Shlemenko. A return to the UFC would be most welcomed as we could see an explosive reunion VS the upper echelon of the MW division which is littered with amazing strikers like Izzy, Whittaker, Costa and Vettori.

Patricio Pitbull (Bellator 32-5): The former Bellator kingpin is back on the prowl looking to avenge his title loss against AJ. The Brazilian fighter has been the most consistent fighter in Bellator history as he is rapidly approaching 12 years of fighting for the organization. As a fighter, not many can match the intensity and ferociousness that is in EVERY single one of his fights(23 fights won by stoppage). It really is a shame that we never got to see Pitbull compete in the UFC during his prime or title reign, but even at this stage in his career, it’s safe to say that fans would welcome a fight against Max Holloway, Yair Rodrigues, or the Korean Zombie.

Corey Anderson (Bellator 16-5): Corey was once labelled another “good wrestler with ok striking” during his time in the UFC. Boy oh boy were those people wrong. Since joining Bellator Corey has developed some hands of steel as he is 3-0 all by TKO and continues to have some of the nastiest GNP in his division and was even able to KO HW champ Ryan Bader in under a minute. Many fans feel Corey should still be in the UFC as he has wins over current and former champs Jan Blachowicz, Glover Teixeira and talented fighter Johhny Walker. Seeing Corey rematch Jan to see the winner of the trilogy or even a fight against former contender Dominick Reyes would get fans excited.

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