UFC 2016: Light Heavyweight preview and predictions
By Niall Clarke
- UFC Light Heavyweight division preview and predictions
- Daniel Cormier is the current champion
- Jon Jones set to return in 2016
The Light Heavyweight division is historically known as the one of the most popular divisions in the UFC, often featuring some of its biggest stars. What will be in store for the 205lbers in 2016?
The Light Heavyweight division is now more interesting than it has ever been. With the pending return of Jon Jones, the 205lbs class is set for an explosive 2016.
The former champion will be making his return to the octagon after serving a suspension for a hit and run incident earlier in the year. The consensus pound for pound number one fighter still remains ‘unbeaten’ with his only loss coming by disqualification and he wants his belt back.
Current champion Daniel Cormier won the belt against Anthony Johnson in May and defended the title against Alexander Gustafsson later in the year, but many people believe that he is not the undisputed champion until he defeats Jones.
With the 28 year old expected to return in 2016, it only makes sense for the rematch to take place. The first fight had a ton of heat surrounding it and Jones came through a unanimous decision victor- imagine the hype behind the rematch.
It could take place on the UFC 200 card, or it could be the first MMA main event to take place in New York. The UFC plan to bring the event to Madison Square Garden but there is one problem, MMA is not legalised in the big apple. The UFC hope that the publicity surrounding this rematch may prompt a change, and we certainly hope it does.
Whether the event takes place in New York or not, a rejuvenated Jones will etch out a close decision win to reclaim his title.
The champion will then turn to other contenders. Johnson will face Ryan Bader in January in a contenders bout, but if Gustafsson can get a win then the UFC might be tempted to go for that rematch. The Swede gave Jones his toughest ever fight but the champion pulled through via a controversial unanimous decision. Will we be treated to a rematch of one of the greatest ever UFC title fights?
If Johnson beats Bader it will be hard to deny him another shot, so i predict Jones to face Rumble whilst Gustafsson has a tune up fight before a rematch is confirmed for either late 2016 or early 2017.
Jones will win in dominant fashion before confirming a move up to Heavyweight as heavily rumoured. ‘Bones’ has spent a lot of his time off bulking up and is now bigger than ever. With the desire to conquer the Heavyweight division, Jones will definitely make the move, it is just a question of when.
Elsewhere the division could see the arrival of Anderson Silva for a few super-fights as he sees out the remainder of his contract. It may not be 2016 where we see his return to 205, but a confirmation of the move might be announced. Just thinking of the possible matches in the division is almost mouth-watering.
All in all it is set to be a busy year at 205. With the return of Jones and other possibilities, it is set to be an exciting 12 months for the Light Heavyweight division.
The build up to 2016 concludes later with the Heavyweight division
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