There is just over a quarter of the year remaining and whilst many of you might be keen to put this year and last behind you, there is still plenty to look forward to in the remainder of 2021. Chiefly UFC bouts that will see some of the most feared and revered fighters in the world come head to head with one another.
Thus far this year we have seen Beneil Dariush edge out Diego Ferreira in the tightest of encounters at UFC Vegas 18, Max Holloway bounce back at UFC Fight Island 7 against Calvin Katter and Santiago Panzinibbio and Miguel Baeza put on classic for the ages at UFC Vegas 28.
In this article though we are looking forward, to the remaining fights in 2021 that have fans salivating and UFC betting odds in flux. Without further ado, here are the pick of must-see fights for the rest of the year.
Dustin Poirier vs Charles Oliveira
At UFC 264 American fighter Dustin Poirier secured his second win against Conor McGregor, this time by virtue of a TKO. In the heat of battle, the Irishman took a step back in his stance and in the process broke his ankle.
The injury forced McGregor to withdraw from the fight and thus handed victory to the 32-year-old Poirier. Later this year the Louisiana born contender will take on another fighter who has benefitted from a TKO – Charles Oliveira.
The Brazilian won the UFC lightweight title belt thanks to a TKO against Michael Chandler but that doesn’t mean he isn’t worthy of the belt. He will be keen to demonstrate that as he takes on Poirier later this year, most likely in December.
(Oliveira’s resilience and determination could prove to be the key in his fight against Dustin Poirier later this year.)
Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington 2
On December 14, 2019 a fight between the reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former interim champion Colby Colvington headlined UFC 245 in Nevada. The fight turned out to be one of the most gripping and intense in UFC history.
Usman broke Covington’s jaw in the third round before going on to retain his title with a fifth-round TKO. Now the pair will meet again this time in New York at Madison Square Garden on November 6 at UFC 268.
The 33-year-old Covington from Clovis, California has been particularly outspoken ahead of this clash considering he got his jaw broken the last time the two fighters met. He has criticised Usman’s bouts since that first meeting and promised to knock him off his perch.
Meanwhile Usman has kept his cards close to his chest, preferring to let his performances in the octagon do the speaking for him. The Nigerian champion extended his winning streak in the UFC to 14 earlier this year with an emphatic second-round knockout against Jorge Masvidal in April.
Undoubtedly, he goes into this rematch with Colby Covington as the heavy favourite, not only to win, but to win in resounding fashion. If you’re a fan of the American fighter, you might want to start praying for his jaw ahead of this clash.
(Super slow motion footage of Kamaru Usman making light work of Colby Covington’s jaw.)
Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2
If you have been following UFC from the beginning your interest will be piqued by this intriguing rematch between two fighters who first fought one another way back in 2004. Whilst Usher, Maroon 5 and U2 were dominating the charts, Nick Diaz was beating Robbie Lawler with a big right hook at UFC 47.
Since then the two fighters have gone their separate ways with Diaz moving away from UFC twice and also struggling with problems in his personal life. Lawler also left the UFC but made more of his return, beating Johny Hendricks in 2014 to claim the welterweight title belt.
The rematch between these two experienced fighters will take place on September 25 at UFC 266 a staggering 6,384 days after their first encounter. It has been six years since Nick Diaz’s last UFC clash – a five-round loss to Anderson Silva – so this fight will be interesting to watch at the very least.
(Highlights from the last time these two fighters met, way back in 2004.)
In our opinion the fights covered above are the 3 biggest clashes remaining in the 2021 UFC calendar. If that still hasn’t satiated your need for octagon action though, you can also look forward to these two:
Thiago Santos vs Johnny Walker
On October 2 Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker will top the bill at UFC Vegas 38 for the chance to fight for the light heavyweight title. Walker goes into this one in good form whilst Santos will be confident in his abilities after narrowly losing out to Jon Jones in the UFC 239 title fight.
Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori
Later that month on October 23, UFC Vegas 41 will host a pivotal middleweight bout between Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori. Both have tasted defeat in championship fights before and victory in this one will give them a shot at redemption against Israel Adesanya.