The Most Anticipated UFC Matchups of 2017

January 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Special Forces

The Most Anticipated UFC Matchups of 2017

Unlike boxing and other combat sports, mixed martial arts has a large built-in fan base that will regularly watch most of the big events. The combination of the dedicated fans and the intense training schedule for the fighters often leads to fights getting announced only a few months before they set to take place. There may not be a long list of events scheduled for 2017 at the moment, but there are already a few huge fights planned that every MMA fan must watch. These are the three most anticipated matchups in the first few months of 2017.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Julianna Pena

Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena may not be known by casual MMA fans, but they are two of the most talented female fighters in the world. Shevchenko and Pena are currently ranked as the top two contenders for Amanda Nunes’ UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Julianna Pena has not lost a fight since February 2013, which has helped her shoot up the rankings. Valentina Shevchenko is coming off an impressive victory over Holly Holm in her last fight, and she is also one of the few women that was able to go the distance with Nunes. This should be an extremely exciting fight because both women will be hungry to prove they are one of the best in the world. The winner of the fight will also likely earn a title shot against Nunes very soon. Shevchenko and Pena will face off against each other during the UFC on FOX23 event on January 28th.

Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randami

While neither Holly Holm or Germaine de Randamie are at the top of their game right now, their upcoming contest has to make the list for its historical significance to the UFC. The winner of their fight at the UFC 208 pay-per-view event on February 11th will be named the first ever UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion. The new weight class should help the careers of both Holm and de Randamie because they were forced to cut a lot of weight during training to fight as a bantamweight. While de Randamie has won three of her first four fights in the UFC, she has yet to beat a top contender. Holly Holm has lost her last two fights, but she has a much more impressive career than her opponent, as she pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history when she defeated Ronda Rousey.

Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson

Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson had one of the best MMA fights of 2016 at UFC 205 in November. The top two welterweights fought to a majority draw, so they will get another chance to decide a winner when they headline the UFC 209 pay-per-view event on March 4th. This may be the most highly anticipated UFC fight of the year because Woodley and Thompson are two of the best pound-for-pound strikers in the world. They did not hold anything back a few months ago, so there is no reason to think they will do anything different in March. They have been overshadowed by bigger names in the past, but Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson are going to prove to MMA fans around the world why they should be among the top draws in the UFC right now.


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