Opinion: UFC 'super-fights' we'd like to see in 2017

The success of UFC 205 has laid the ground work for future "super-fights"

Dominick Cruz

Image: Gregory Payan AP/Press Association Images

Conor McGregor's success in becoming the first fighter to hold two UFC titles simultaneously has opened up the possibility for other big inter-divisional fights in the future.

We look at some of the contenders for "super-fight" status in 2017:

Cruz-Johnson 2

The current flyweight champion, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and current bantamweight kingpin, Dominick "The Dominator" Cruz fought previously in 2011 when Cruz battled to a close but unanimous decision win. 

Cruz's size advantage allowed him to take Johnson down 10 times in five rounds as he defended his UFC title for a second time. 

Since the loss, Johnson went on to dominate the newly established flyweight division and has been its only champion since it was established in 2012. He is currently riding a 10-fight win-streak.

Cruz has been blighted with injury since the pair met and has only fought three times in the interim. His injury problems appear to be behind him now after beating TJ Dillashaw to reclaim the title he was stripped of by the UFC. He went on to defend it against his arch-rival Urijah Faber to win the rubber match in their trilogy.

Johnson is scheduled to defend his belt against the winner of the latest The Ultimate Fighter series on December 4th while Cruz is set to take on Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207. 

If both men win, another champion-versus-champion fight between the two could take place next year. 

McGregor-Welterweight Champion

The current "Champ-Champ," as he recently posted, appears to have set his sights on a hat-trick of titles at some stage in the future. Current welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley is due to rematch Stephen Thompson after the pair fought to a pulsating majority draw in the co-main event of UFC 205.

Demian Maia is also in the running for a title-shot after putting together a 6-fight win streak although there are rumours he has been offered a title-eliminator bout with former champion Robbie Lawler.

McGregor's next move is still unclear and, with a child on the way, he might be sidelined until the summer of 2017 unless he takes a fight at the start of the New Year. I've left the welterweight champion ambiguous here as there is every possibility the belt will have changed hands by the time McGregor calls his next shot, due to the high level of competition currently in that division.

 

Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson (left) and current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley fought out a majority draw at UFC 205. Could we see McGregor challenge for a third belt in 2017? Image: Julio Cortez AP/Press Association Images

Rousey-Cyborg

Despite Ronda Rousey being dethroned by Holly Holm in 2015, she is still a huge draw and will make her return at UFC 207 when she fights Amanda Nunes for the women's bantamweight title.

Rousey reigned supreme over the division, both in Strikeforce and then the UFC, winning 12 fights in a row before coming unstuck against former boxing champion Holm.

Cris "Cyborg" Justino is the current Invicta featherweight champion and has had two fights in the UFC at a catch-weight limit as she is unable to make 135 lbs.  

The Brazilian has been chasing Rousey for some time and a catch-weight bout is the only circumstance in which this fight could happen.