Top 5 Future Stars Of The UFC

Introduction

Like with any sports industry, there are commentators, fans, and gamblers looking for the next big thing in the UFC. Where big egos collide in the octagon, there’s no shortage of fighters who are up-and-coming and hungry to see their name in lights.

Here we have five fighters who have recently made a splash and may become even bigger stars in the future. By watching these, you may be able to turn a profit betting on UFC fights, or maybe you’re just after bragging rights for calling the next hotshot in mixed martial arts.

1. Ciryl Gane

At UFC 256, Ciryl Gane proved to himself and the world that he could take on the bigger names in the industry. Having only started fighting in the UFC 18 months ago at that point, Gane was up against former heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos.

After beating Santos with a second-round TKO, Gane went on to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov in UFC Fight Night events, winning each by a unanimous decision. From there he bested Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 to become the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Now, Gane is ready to face down Francis Ngannou at UFC 270, 2022. If this goes ahead and Gane wins, he’ll be solidified as a titleholder and set up for a hyped-up streak of defensive challenges.

2. Bryce Mitchell 

Bryce Mitchell’s entry into the UFC was publicized through The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated, the 27th season of the UFC’s reality TV show. As Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier coached fighters to face off against one another, Mitchell was a featherweight on Cormier’s team. He reached the semi-finals in the show but then, at the TUF 27 Finale event, Mitchell defeated fellow contestant Tyler Diamond in a bronze medal match.

The next year, Mitchell beat Bobby Moffett by UD and then Matt Sayles by a rare first-round twister submission, the second in UFC history. That alone got eyes on Mitchell, who then went on to out-grapple black belt Charles Rosa. His last fight was in 2020, where he beat Andre Fili by a unanimous decision.

Having taken a year away, Mitchell is ready to return to the octagon. If that undefeated record continues and he gets a shot at the featherweight title, he’s going to turn some heads.

3. Cory Sandhagen

Cory Sandhagen’s performances are enough to earn him a place on this list. Having joined the UFC in 2018, Sandhagen entered explosively with two punching TKOs against Austin Arnett and Iuri Alcantara.

In 2019, he then showed his prowess against Mario Bautista, John Lineker, and Raphael Assuncao. This set his UFC record at 5-0 for wins and losses, but that came to an end in 2020 from a submission delivered by Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250. He recovered from this loss with two Performance of the Night winners against Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar.

More recently, Sandhagen lost against T.J. Dillashaw and Petr Yan. They’re some of the best in the division, so hopefully, he’ll learn from those losses and return to a winning streak in 2022.

4. Amanda Ribas

In the world of women’s MMA, Amanda Ribas looks like she could become the next big name in the UFC’s strawweight division. She started out in 2014, where she won the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation women’s flyweight champion title.

After a mistake with a dietary supplement that was flagged as doping, Ribas was shelved until 2019 where she debuted with a rear-naked choke submission against Emily Whitmire. Then she beat Mackenzie Dern and Randa Markos via UD in 2020, before continuing to score submission against Paige VanZant. Her winning streak was then ended by Marina Rodriguez and Covid-19 complications delayed further fights. She most recently fought at UFC 267, where she returned in form by beating Virna Jandiroba with a UD.

5. Joaquin Buckley

Joaquin Buckley is a middleweight fighter who’s famous for one moment in his career. Last year, in October, Buckley landed a crazy jumping spinning kick against Impa Kasanganay. That one kick changed Buckley’s life and he’s run with the popularity since.

That kick overshadowed his next fight at UFC 255, where he took Jordan Wright down with a few hooks only 18 into round two, for a Performance of the Night award. Ironically, his next loss would come from a head kick delivered by Alessio di Chirico, but Buckley is back with a win against Antonio Arroyo and is ready to face Abdul Razak Alhassan in 2022.

Severe MMA Staff