The 2015 calendar year has wrapped up for the UFC, and at the beginning of the year, I made 10 predictions. Here is how they turned out… 1.) Khabib Nurmagomedov becomes UFC Lightweight Champion. This could have easily been reality, but injuries kept the undefeated Dagestani fighter sidelined all year. Hope I didn’t jinx him… 0-1. 2.) Hendry Cejudo makes weight at 125 pounds, wins a couple of fights and gets a title shot. He has not officially gotten the title shot yet, but he is certainly next in line and warrants the next shot at Demetrious Johnson and his 125-pound gold. I’m gonna count this one as a W. Don’t be hatin’. 1-1. 3.) CM Punk fights an unknown opponent he is the betting favorite over and he wins. Dude isn’t even close to being ready for a fight, especially after suffering a shoulder injury in 2015. Dana White guarantees 2016 will be the year, though, so we’ll see. I was going to keep this as a prediction for 2016, as well, but nah. Even though it will most likely happen, I’m not gonna do it. 1-2. 4.) Ben Saunders makes a Robbie Lawler-esque comeback in the UFC’s welterweight division and gets his name mentioned in title talks. “Killa B” fought just once in 2015, taking a close split decision win over Kenny Robertson. Injuries kept him sidelined for the better half of the year. I was pretty off on this one. He’s a talented dude, but my expectations got a little too high for a second there. 1-3. 5.) Bantamweights Michael McDonald and Johnny Eduardo return to action, perhaps against each other. Eduardo already returned to action earlier this month and was submitted by rear naked choke in the second round of action against the undefeated Aljamain Sterling. McDonald is also set to return to action, and although his fight is scheduled for two days after this year (Jan 2nd), I am still calling this a W. Haters, you know the drill. 2-3. 6.) Hector Lombard fights for the title, becomes new UFC Welterweight Champion. Another prediction that could have very easily been true, but a drug test failure kept it from being reality. 2-4. 7.) Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler both see a slight fall in the rankings. Nope. Off, again. 2-5. 8.) Conor McGregor defeats Dennis Siver, then Jose Aldo, and then makes a successful title defense. Nailed it. More or less. It was Siver, Mendes and Aldo, but I pretty much predicted the three wins and made it happen. By fight time at UFC 194 earlier this month, I was leaning towards Aldo, but my initial prediction remained true. The successful title defense was his interim belt, but whatever. 3-5. 9.) Nick Diaz has rematches with both Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler. Maybe this is more of a wish than a prediction. Drug test failure for marijuana has kept Diaz out of competition, so sadly, neither fight had a remote shot of happening. 3-6 10.) Ronda Rousey defeats Cat Zingano, Holly Holm, Bethe Correia and any other opponents to remain undefeated and continue her dominance. Eh… 3-7. In conclusion, I was correct with 30% of my predictions for the year. 2015 took us through a fun ride in the world of the UFC, though they included some bitter moments, like the promotion parting ways with event coordinator Burt Watson and cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran. The year of action and entertainment is now in our rear view, and I look forward to what 2016 has in store.
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