MMA has long boasted about its ability to make the fights that fans want to see. Unfortunately, those matchups are usually limited to competitors within the same organization. Though it’s been done, cross-promotion super-fights are extremely rare. Nevertheless, fans always welcome them with open arms.
If there were no hurdles between the top three MMA promotions in the world – UFC, ONE Championship, and Bellator – we could witness some astonishing matchups transpire in the cage.
With that in mind, here are five dream World Champion vs. World Champion super-fights that would delight any MMA fan.
#1 Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC) vs. Christian Lee (ONE)
Khabib Nurmagomedov against anyone would be fun to see, but a fight against ONE Championship Lightweight Champion Christian Lee would rank among the most interesting options.
At just 22 years old, Lee is a full decade younger than “The Eagle” and is the youngest male MMA World Champion in history. He also has a well-rounded skill set that he believes would pose problems for the Russian.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Khabib. Khabib’s previous opponents just didn’t have enough depth in their ground game,” Lee once told MMA Mania. “With my wrestling and jiu-jitsu background, I feel that I would be more than capable of giving him a great fight and getting my hand raised.”
That’s a bold statement, no doubt, but Lee has continued to prove naysayers wrong in every one of his performances. This matchup would be very interesting, and it’s one that both UFC and ONE fans would love to see.
#2 Deiveson Figueiredo (UFC) vs. Demetrious Johnson (ONE)
After a stellar 2020 for Deiveson Figueiredo, there’s really no reason to cast any doubts on the man. The reigning UFC Flyweight Champion produced three spectacular finishes and then fought to a draw with Brandon Moreno in a matchup that many called the greatest flyweight fight of all time.
If cross-promotion super-fights were a thing, there would be no better opponent for Figueiredo than ONE Championship’s top flyweight, the legendary Demetrious Johnson.
Figueiredo is the hottest flyweight in the world right now. But the title of “best flyweight” should still belong to “Mighty Mouse.” Johnson isn’t a champion in ONE just yet, as he’s slated for a Feb. 24 showdown with reigning flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes. But if DJ earns the belt, he would be the best opponent for Figueiredo if the Brazilian wants to be considered the world’s best in his weight class.
Figueiredo-Johnson is perhaps the most logical proposition on this list in terms of a fight that makes total sense. Sadly, fans can only dream.
#3 Douglas Lima (Bellator) vs. Kamaru Usman (UFC)
It’s the best welterweight in the UFC versus the best welterweight in Bellator – simple as that.
Bellator Welterweight Champion Lima has been at the top of the game for such a long time now that he’s considered one of the best fighters in the world. Meanwhile, UFC Welterweight Champion Usman has proven his dominance with an insane 16-fight winning streak.
There’s no doubt that both men come to fight, and this matchup would be pretty much guaranteed to feature an epic showcase of violence. Usman’s wrestling would be an advantage, but Lima has improved by leaps and bounds in that area over the past few years.
It would be interesting to see who imposes their will if these athletes ever throw down. Lima has a knack for bringing the fight to his opponents, so Usman’s hands would definitely be full against the Brazilian. Though Usman has been dominant, Lima could be the guy to knock him out.
#4 Gegard Mousasi (Bellator) vs Reinier De Ridder (ONE)
Reigning Bellator Middleweight Champion Mousasi has been one of the best in the world for some time now. Even when he left the UFC for Bellator, he was still at his peak. He’s now won 10 of his last 11 fights, with victories over some huge names.
De Ridder is the newly crowned ONE Championship Middleweight Champion. He defeated the highly regarded Aung La N Sang quite easily back in October to capture the belt. Undefeated at 13-0, De Ridder has also been able to impose his will nearly every time out with 12 finishes.
Aside from being a cross-promotion super-fight, this would be a battle between close friends and sparring partners. Mousasi and De Ridder know each other pretty well – both inside and outside of the cage.
#5 Zhang Weili (UFC) vs. Xiong Jing Nan (ONE)
China has emerged as a hotbed for MMA stars in recent years, with the rise of talents like UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili and ONE Championship Women’s Strawweight Champion Xiong Jing Nan.
In fact, many fans in China are divided over which local World Champion is better. Of course, the only way to settle that matter would be a cross-promotion super-fight.
Zhang hasn’t lost in seven years, and she has absolutely run through her division. Meanwhile, Xiong hasn’t fallen at strawweight since joining ONE Championship. Plus, both women enjoy massive fan bases in China.
Putting together a Zhang vs. Xiong showdown would no doubt be the biggest MMA fight in the country’s history. These two are evenly matched in terms of skill and style. Both women love to throw punches in bunches, and it would be an action-packed affair from the opening bell.