2018 has been a great year for the UFC. Yet 2019, which will see the promotion debut on ESPN, could be even greater.
While nothing is certain yet, the promotion could make some very big moves in the New Year. Here are a few things we can see happening in 2019.
UFC introduces 165-pound division
Dana White has been hesitant when it comes to the UFC opening up a 165-pound division. However, many fighters have been clamoring for this nw division, and in 2019 the UFC could introduce the 165-pound division and push the welterweight limit up to 175 pounds.
This just makes way too much sense given how many fighters are too big for lightweight and too small for welterweight. The UFC would also have another belt, which means another option for pay-per-view main events. At the same time, they could help clear up the lightweight and welterweight logjam by creating another division but still keeping lightweight and welterweight strong.
Georges St-Pierre returns to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov
At this stage, nobody knows if Georges St-Pierre will ever return to the Octagon. Having not fought since he defeated Michael Bisping in late 2017, the Canadian now says he’ll only return for fights that will positively impact his legacy. Well, what fight is a bigger legacy fight than one with the undefeated lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov?
St-Pierre would have a shot to be the first man to ever defeat Nurmagomedov and cement himself as the greatest fighter ever. This fight wouldn’t have to be for the lightweight title. It could just as easily be a catchweight fight, if only to show who the better fighter is. The fight would be a huge draw, and most likely break a million PPV buys.
Jon Jones becomes a two division champ.
The UFC is in an age of champ-champs. First, it was Conor McGregor, then it was Daniel Cormier and now bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw has a chance to be a two-division champion when he takes on flyweight champ Henry Cejudo on January 19.
It’s conceivable that, in 2019, Jon Jones could also become a two-division champ by earning the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.
For this to happen, Jones will have to defeat Gustafsson at the chaos-riddled UFC 232 card, then capture the heavyweight title in the New Year — whether it’s from the reigning champ Cormier or somebody else. This will be no easy task, but if anybody can do it, it’s him.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/23/2018.