Big names have dominated the UFC fight scene for some years, and while their highly anticipated battles always come with promises of an action-packed fight full of adrenalin and excitement, they often come with predictability. It is always refreshing to see new blood enter the sport, and the UFC has been playing a crucial role to ensure it continues to attract fresh talent into the arena.
2019 was a spectacular year which saw many new contenders rising through the ranks of the MMA. One of the main reasons was the immense support of the UFC, which is wooing in talent across weight classes and encouraging an increasing amount of people to the sport. As a result, standards are rising, and the fighting world is garnering more attention and money than ever before.
It’s a fine balancing act to keep long-term favourites and new talent entertaining audiences across all weight classes. But the UFC has managed to do just that. What’s more, fighters who are often glossed over, are taking the sport by surprise and winning over fans and betting enthusiasts alike thanks to the new opportunities which are eradicating the predictability of the fight.
Not so long-ago names like Shavkat Rakhmonov, Jiri Prochazka, Roman Bogatov, Jai Herbert and Nate Landwehr were unknowns. Now, they are major prospects and their odds shown in the betting online reflect that, they’ve all been signed by the UFC, along with the likes of Umar Nurmagomedov, Manel Kape and Modestas Bukauskas.
Personality and Performance
So, who is next in line to take the fighting world by storm and what are the skills required to make it? Those that survive tend to be the ones offering the whole package where technique, performance and personality matter. It’s about putting on a good show in and out of the cage.
- Chechen-born Swedish fighter Khamzat Chimaev “Borz” made his UFC debut in July 2020, and already he is garnering attention from fans for his activity both in and outside of the cage. His witty personality and undefeated matches have propelled him to instant stardom. Chimaev has an unbroken record. He has been victorious in all eight of his professional fights. The 26-year-old is a firm favourite with the betting public. It will be interesting how the bets play out in his next bout when he goes head to head with multi-time title challenger Demian Maia later this year.
- Irishman Sean O’Malley knows how to draw in the crowds. He has earned himself a bit of a reputation as a flashy man, but his highly technical skills more than make up for it. He has knocked out eight of his last 12 opponents and is fast gaining popularity in and off the octagon. He heavily engages with his fans thought regular podcasts and he never fails to put on a good show. As a firm favourite, betting fans should consider what round his next opponent will be knocked out in for better returns.
- US mixed martial arts middleweight Kevin Holland will take any given opportunity to get into the ring, even with a moment’s notice. The newbie to the fight scene is attracting the attention of many and betting fans are putting their money behind him. Super flexible and a hugely advantageous reach are key factor seeing Holland rise to fame.
- Canadian heavyweight Tanner Boser is fast gaining popularity. Following back-to-back wins, he will soon face off former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski, and if he wins it will be worth the gamble. He has already earned a name for himself as “The Bulldozer,” after knocking out Philipe Lins in a first-round in Las Vegas in July.
- Belal Muhammad is another one to watch. He came out of almost nowhere to knock out well-known welterweights. Skillful at what he does in the octagon, he is also very active on social media and not afraid to take an entertaining public jibe at his opponents. After an intense and close fight against Lyman Good earlier this year, where he emerged victorious, he is back on form with consecutive wins. The odds are working in his favour and Muhammad is considered one of the most promising entrants into the UFC.
If these fighters continue to do what they are doing, they could be on the UFC roster for some time and emerge as the next superstar in the world of fight. With organizations like the UFC boosting standards by the day and more and more talent coming into the foray, the fight arena is only going to get better and better-putting fans even further on the edge of their seats and not just for the fights themselves, but for the off-stage action, which is just as nail-biting as the sport itself.