Conor McGregor will be seeking redemption for his only loss in his UFC career as he squares off against Nate Diaz at welterweight to headline UFC 202. While the rivalry between the two is exciting, there is no need for them to fight at 170 again.
Conor is a featherweight and Nate is a lightweight. This fight is happening because Conor wants to recreate the fight he lost so that he can truly make up for breaking his 15-fight win streak and 7-0 UFC record. Having at least one of these fighters in their actual weight class would make this fight a lot more enjoyable for me.
Having fighters move between weight classes is exciting. It's one of the reasons that Donald Cerrone is loved so much. However, when the match-up isn't right, they are just unnecessary.
Here are some fights between people in separate weight classes that I would actually want to see.
Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson 2 at Bantamweight
This is a fight that will need to happen before either of these men retire.
The pair already fought at 135 pounds in 2011 for the bantamweight belt, which Cruz won in a unanimous decision. Following this fight the UFC created the flyweight division, and Johnson dropped weight and he has yet to lose at 125 pounds.
These two are considered amongst the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but something seems off at the top of the list. Despite Cruz beating Johnson in their only fight and not losing since that fight, he is still one slot behind Johnson on the pound-for-pound list at No. 3.
This fight would serve as Johnson seeking redemption for his last loss while trying to become a two-division champ, and Cruz's chance to show why he is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
Donald Cerrone vs. Neil Magny at Welterweight
If Cerrone keeps moving between the weight divisions, this will no longer be considered an inter-weight fight, but it is still one I want to see. Cerrone is known for his willingness to fight anyone and as often as possible. He has already fought five times in the last 18 months and used his post-fight interview at UFC Ottawa to ask for a fight during International Fight Week leading up to UFC 200.
Magny is also known for his activeness in the UFC. Since the start of 2014 he has been inside the Octagon 11 times and went 10-1 in that time span. He thrives on short training camps and fighting every couple of months. He is on a relatively long lay off for him — 3 months — so throwing him back into the mix against Cowboy would be a fight that is sure to draw eyes.
Matt Brown vs. Uriah Hall at Middleweight
Brown is a man that may be going through an identity crisis at the moment. He has lost three of his last four fights, including being outclassed by Damian Maia at UFC 198. While he does have impressive wins against much of the 170-pound division, he can't seem to catch a win against the best in the division. It might be time to shake things up.
Hall is a fighter that is not afraid to speak his mind and exude confidence, even if he has to eat a slice of humble pie every now and then. Hall can look either spectacular and pick up amazing knockouts, or he just gets outworked inside the Octagon. Both of these men are coming off one-sided losses and can use a bit of fun to try and restart their UFC career.
Thomas Almeida vs. Cub Swanson at Bantamweight
Full disclosure, I love watching Almeida fight. I think he is an exciting striker and the fact that we share a birthday only makes me support him more. But he got completely worked against Cody Garbrandt. While it is definitely not time to give up on the bantamweight division, it may be time for the Brazilian to cut loose and grow from a fight.
Swanson is someone who always delivers a great fight inside of the Octagon. So much so that he has earned six Fight of the Night awards in the UFC. He has been impressive at featherweight, but always seems to fall short whenever he comes across someone in the top five, falling to Ricardo Lamas, Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. A drop to 135 would give him a chance to be a bigger fighter and give him a fresh start in the UFC.
Anthony Pettis vs. Max Holloway at Featherweight
Pettis is in free fall right now. After being one of the most exciting champions in the UFC, he has suffered three straight losses at lightweight. While his next fight is at 145 pounds and against Charles Oliveira, an even more intriguing match-up can be found in Max Holloway
Holloway has been on a roll inside the UFC, picking up nine straight wins. In fact, the last time he lost it was to current featherweight champion McGregor. He is someone who deserves a rematch against "Mystic Mac" and could be a true champion of the UFC. But that chance won't come anytime soon.
Aldo and Edgar are fighting for the interim championship at UFC 200 and the winner of that bout will have to face McGregor to unify the belt. It will probably be at least a year before Holloway has a chance at becoming a champion. In the meantime, he should still be taking fights that will only build his fan base and a match against Pettis will do just that. This would be an all-out brawl between the two and a strong contender for Fight of the Night.
(Image via MMAWeekly.com)