The MMA world undoubtedly changed in 2012 in the form of network deals, league acquisitions and rising stars. UFC’s move to FOX, the demise of Strikeforce, and the rise of Ronda Rousey were some of the huge stories that no one could have foreseen.
As we look towards an action-packed 2013, TapouT makes 5 bold predictions on headlines MMA fans will see this year.
Gilbert Melendez Unifies UFC and Strikeforce Titles
Admittedly we are bias, as Gilbert Melendez is a TapouT athlete and close friend. That being said, look for ‘El Nino’ to get an immediate title shot upon entering the UFC, and dethroning (some pun intended) current lightweight champ Benson Henderson.
Georges St. Pierre’s Legendary Reign is Derailed…By a Big Rigg
This is the first of several predictions that foreshadow a passing of the guard. For several years, the UFC has been defined by an elite few; Athletes who have transcended the cage and tasted mainstream success. Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre epitomizes this athlete. Growing somewhat complacent with his legacy and focusing on greener pastures, ‘Rush’ will lose his belt to Johny Hendricks, evoking flashes of St. Pierre vs. Serra 1.
The New Pound for Pound King is…a Queen?
Silva, GSP and Jones have occupied the top of the elusive P4P list for the past several years. In 2013, however, listen for Ronda Rousey’s name to be mentioned among the pound for pound greats, as she continues collecting arms in the first round.
Anderson Silva Passes the Torch
After defeating The Rock at the Royal Rumble, look for CM Punk to cut down to middleweight and finish Silva with a GTS in the 3rd round. And if you’re not buying that, Jon Jones will defeat Anderson Silva at Cowboys Stadium in front of a record-breaking crowd. Heave our warning and stay at middleweight Anderson! Much love to our pal CM Punk.
There’s an Octagon in the Garden!
UFC President Dana White has already gone on record and discussed reserving Madison Square Garden for the UFC’s 20th anniversary show in November. Pending a vote on the assembly floor, MMA may FINALLY be legalized in the Big Apple. When this happens, New York native Jon Jones will headline and defend his title.
If you know your MMA then you realize that these are of course long shots, but don’t be surprised if a few of our predictions come to fruition. Even if we get a couple right, we’ll have done better than those Mayans in 2012.
Have your own predictions? Follow @TapouT and share your ideas with #2013Headlines!