2016 was full of intriguing stories. None was bigger than WME-IMG purchasing the UFC for $4 billion from the Fertitta brothers. We saw the first ever two division champion in Conor McGregor. USADA made their presence known by dishing out suspensions to multiple fighters ruining more than a few fight cards, and MMA fans were treated to excellent fights in many different promotions throughout the course of the year.
2016 had its fair share of tragedy as well. The deaths of Josh Samman, Kimbo Slice, Kevin Randleman, Jordan Parsons and Ryan Jimmo shook the MMA community.
So now, as we look ahead, here are my predictions for 2017.
Dan Henderson fights in Bellator MMA.
Bjorn Rebney and the MMAAA sever ties together.
GSP does not fight for any promotion.
Nick Diaz does not fight.
CM Punk has his second fight in UFC.
Rafael Dos Anjos does not win a fight.
Daniel Cormier retires.
Mark Hunt retires.
Bobby Lashley does not fight a top 10 heavyweight.
Miesha Tate does not come out of retirement.
Tom Duquesnoy signs with UFC.
Paddy Pimblett signs with UFC.
Justin Gaethje signs with UFC.
Skip Bayless appears on a UFC on FOX show, and gets destroyed by the media the next day.
The following fighters will be holding titles going into 2018:
UFC Flyweight – Demetrious Johnson
UFC Bantamweight – TJ Dillashaw
UFC Featherweight – Max Holloway
UFC Lightweight – Tony Ferguson
UFC Welterweight – Tyron Woodley
UFC Middleweight – Yoel Romero
UFC Light Heavyweight – Jon Jones
UFC Heavyweight – Stipe Miocic
UFC Women’s Strawweight – Joanna Jedrzejczyk
UFC Women’s Bantamweight – Julianna Pena
UFC Women’s Featherweight – Holly Holm
Bellator Bantamweight – Eduardo Dantas
Bellator Lighweight – Michael Chandler
Bellator Welterweight – Rory MacDonald
Bellator Middleweight – Rafael Carvalho
Bellator Light Heavyweight – Phil Davis
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