Who will be ending 2023 with UFC gold?

I have something a little different planned for today, instead of reporting news or giving my thoughts on an upcoming fight or event I thought I’d lock in some predictions. Something I’ve always enjoyed doing and a fun part of the sport although I’m usually wrong, in my defence it’s such a hard sport to predict and as a lot of fans will know MMA math doesn’t always add up. The way I’m going to do this is to list the current UFC champion from every division and say whether I think they will still be holding the belt at the year’s end, if not I will list who I think in my opinion will dethrone them and become the divisions new champion. I will start with the women’s strawweight division right the way through to heavyweight.

Women’s Strawweight

Current Champion – Zhang Weili 

Prediction – Zhang Weili 

With no fight booked at the time of writing, I believe Zhang Weili will have a maximum of one title defence this year. She has the skills to beat anyone in the division and is constantly evolving and becoming an all-around mixed martial artist. My prediction is she will still be the division’s queen by the end of 2023.

Women’s Flyweight 

Current Champion – Alexa Grasso

Prediction – Erin Blanchfield 

Coming off a highly impressive round 2 submission victory against former Strawweight champion Jéssica Andrade. The sky is the limit for 23-year-old Erin Blanchfield, if matchups work in her favour I see her getting a shot towards the back end of the year and being victorious against Alexa or Valentina, a big claim I know.

Women’s Bantamweight/Featherweight 

Current Champion – Amanda Nunes 

Prediction – Amanda Nunes 

The current queen of both divisions is the consensus greatest women’s mixed martial artist to ever grace the octagon. I see her winning the rubber match in her upcoming trilogy bout with Julianna Peña, and still sitting atop both divisions by the time 2023 comes to a close. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her walk away from the sport holding both titles.


Current Champion – Brandon Moreno

Prediction – Brandon Royval

Perhaps picking with my heart rather than my head on this one, I’m a big fan of Brandon Royval. Brandon Moreno has an upcoming title defence against Alexandre Pantoja, these two men are the only two losses on Royval’s UFC record and he looks to be next in line to face the winner for the flyweight strap, I’m picking him to avenge a loss and become champion.


Current Champion – Aljamain Sterling

Prediction – Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo is a man with a combat sports resume that stacks up against any man to have ever graced the octagon. He’s won an Olympic gold medal and was a two-weight world champion within the UFC at flyweight and bantamweight respectively. Triple C has an upcoming title bout against the champ Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288 and I’m picking him to get the job done.


Current Champion – Alexander Volkanovski

Prediction – Alexander Volkanovski

No surprises here, in my and many other people’s opinion the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet. I’m picking Volk to retain in an upcoming title bout against interim champion Yair Rodriguez rumoured to be taking place in July. The man could well be carrying two belts right now after losing a very competitive lightweight title fight against Islam Makhachev.


Current Champion – Islam Makhachev

Prediction – Alex Volkanovski

One I went back and forth on for a while, due to the lack of a clear number-one contender at lightweight and the aforementioned competitive bout between Islam and Volk. As previously mentioned I believe Volk retains his featherweight title against Yair, and then take that momentum into a lightweight title rematch against Islam. I’m backing Volk to go one step further and become double champ this time.


Current Champion – Leon Edwards

Prediction – Leon Edwards

Of course, I’m picking the current champ and fellow Brit Leon Edwards. Colby Covington looks to be next in line for a shot at the title, although Leon doesn’t seem to think he’s earned his shot. I’m picking Leon in that fight regardless, I was very impressed with Leon’s ability to nullify Usman’s wrestling game and see no reason why he can’t do the same to Colby.


Current Champion – Israel Adesanya 

Prediction – Israel Adesanya

One of if not the toughest ones to pick for me on this list, simply due to just how good Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker both are. I think Whittaker wins his upcoming number one contender bout, then gets his third attempt at Adesanya’s middleweight title towards the back end of the year. I’ve gone with Adesanya, I just think his confidence will be at an all-time high and his reign will continue.

Light Heavyweight

Current Champion – Jamahal Hill

Prediction – Jiri Prochazka

Another title I believe will change hands before the year draws to an end. This time landing in the hands of a man that never lost his title inside the octagon, but rather to a shoulder injury that forced him to vacate. Jiri Prochazka the former champion at light heavyweight is expected to return towards the end of the summer and I predict he comes back and regains his title against Jamahal Hill.


Current Champion – Jon Jones

Predictions – Jon Jones

The G.O.A.T of mixed martial arts in my opinion, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is the man I have as still being the baddest man on the planet when 2023 reaches its conclusion. The Stipe Miocic fight looks to be next for Jon, a fight I see him winning in a relatively easy fashion and then sticking around for potentially another one or two title defences. I’d personally love to see him fight Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich.

Enjoyed making these predictions today, all together I have five titles changing hands before now and the end of the year. I may have been a little ambitious on some of these predictions but I see a way in which all of these could potentially come to fruition. No matter what happens I look forward to watching the fights play out and keeping track of how many if any of these I manage to get on the money.









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