The UFC is set to embark on a busy final quarter of the year, with the company staging some truly mouth-watering bouts before the end of 2020.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s eagerly anticipated comeback against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 is the standout fight, but there are also numerous other contests that promise to deliver plenty of fireworks.
Read on as we take a look at some of the best upcoming fights to look out for in the UFC during the rest of the year.
Unbeaten Pair Headline UFC 253
The UFC returns to Fight Island on September 26 with a huge clash between two unbeaten fighters for the middleweight title.
There has been plenty of hype surrounding Israel Adesanya over the past couple of years, with the regining champion producing some sensational performances.
He heads into the fight with a perfect 19-0 record, but will face his most dangerous opponent to date in the shape of Paulo Costa.
The Brazilian has won 11 of his 13 contests by knockout and will fancy his chances of maintaining his unbeaten record against Adesanya.
Prediction: If Adesanya can avoid being tagged early he should have the measure of Costa from a skill perspective.
Reyes Out to Make Amends Against Blachowicz
Dominick Reyes will have a point to prove when he faces Jan Blachowicz for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 253.
Reyes was controversially beaten by Jon Jones back in February, but he now has the chance for redemption against the Polish fighter.
Jones subsequently vacated the belt as he targets a move up to heavyweight and Reyes will be eager to prove he is the main man in the division below.
Blachowicz has reeled off three straight wins since being beaten by Thiago Santos in February 2019, but could struggle to match Reyes in this one.
Prediction: Many experts thought Reyes was robbed against Jones and he can set the record straight by winning the title this time around.
Nurmagomedov Faces a Tough Test
Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title clash with Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24 could be THE bout of 2020, with both fighters taking impressive records into the contest.
The Russian star is yet to be beaten in 28 fights, while Gaethje’s victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 took his record to 22-2.
Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought since his submission victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, although he is unlikely to be found wanting in the fitness stakes.
Gaethje was a deserving winner against Ferguson, but he could have his work cut out to repeat the trick against Nurmagomedov.
Prediction: The reigning champion has swept all before him in the UFC and is strongly fancied to defeat Gaethje.
Flyweights in Focus at UFC 255
The UFC has booked a pair of eye-catching flyweight championship fights for its UFC 255 pay-per-view event on November 21.
Reigning champion Deiveson Figueiredo will bid to move his record to 20-1 as he takes on former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt.
The Brazilian is widely viewed as one of the hardest hitters in the division and should possess too much firepower for his opponent.
Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will also be a big favourite as she defends her title against Jennifer Maia.
Prediction: Figueiredo and Shevchenko will be short odds to win their respective contests, but should have little trouble retaining their titles.
UFC Pay-Per-View Schedule
UFC 253 – September 26
UFC 254 – October 24
UFC 255 – November 21
UFC 256 – December 12