Five Fights to Make in the Bantamweight Division

Five Fights to Make in the Bantamweight Division

March 10, 2024|

These last few weeks have been very active for the Bantamweight top fifteen, as we've seen six ranked Bantamweights, including the division's champion Sean O'Malley, fight within the last two weeks. Last night at UFC 299, which was held at the Kaseya Center in Miami, we saw O'Malley avenge the only loss of his professional career when he dominated rival Marlon Vera over the course of five rounds. We also saw the former division's champion Petr Yan snap a three fight skid after defeating Team Alpha Male prodigy Song Yadong. On the prelims, Kyler Phillips will be thrusted back into the UFC rankings come Tuesday after he defeated current number thirteen ranked Pedro Munhoz.

With the division open for some future fights, let's put together five fights that we need to see down the line.

Sean O'Malley vs Merab Dvalishvili

UFC president Dana White admitted in the post-fight press conference that he doesn't think Sean O'Malley should immediately challenge Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria for a chance at a second belt. And I agree with him here. Frankly, there's only one fight that needs to be made, and it's against Merab Dvalishvili. Merab is riding a ten-fight win streak, and deserves this opportunity more than anyone in the division. This is a very interesting matchup that we all want to see.


Marlon Vera vs Petr Yan

Surprisingly, these two have not fought each other, though have stayed at the top of the bantamweight division for quite some time. This could easily serve as a popular Fight Night main event if the UFC so chooses and the two are looking to get back into title contention with a win over one another.

Song Yadong vs Deiveson Figueiredo (with win over Cody Garbrandt)

Realistically, if Cody Garbrandt is able to defeat Deiveson Figueiredo, he probably would not fight his Team Alpha Male teammate Song Yadong. However, if Figueiredo comes out with the win, then a very compelling matchup between him and Song Yadong could be next. These two would likely need at least two wins to get into contention for a title shot.


Cory Sandhagen vs Umar Nurmagomedov

This fight is another very interesting style clash, with Cory Sandhagen already interested in fighting the Dagestani mixed martial artist, Umar Nurmagomedov. Sandhagen would have his opportunity to defeat the highly touted prospect, while Umar would have the chance to move way up the rankings. The winner would likely receive the next title shot.

Rob Font vs Kyler Phillips

Kyler Phillips will be back in the UFC's bantamweight rankings after securing a win over the veteran Pedro Munhoz, and I like him to face Rob Font next. Font is currently looking to fight for a win, and he should take the opportunity to welcome Kyler Phillips to the bantamweight top ten. Phillips is an extraordinary talent, and really has a bright future in the promotion. This would be a way to gain even more momentum against a contender in this division.

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