The UFC has had a year to remember in 2020 so far, coping with the pandemic superbly, but there is still more drama to come in the months ahead.
Stipe Miocic’s victory over Daniel Cormier last week has whet the appetite for more top class MMA action and Dana White has planned plenty of mouth-watering contests.
Sportsmail takes a look at the eye-catching match-ups to come this year…
UFC president Dana White (above) has planned some eye-catching contests in 2020
UFC on ESPN: Pedro Munhoz vs Frankie Edgar – August 22
We certainly don’t have to wait long until our next big UFC contest, as Pedro Munhoz takes on Frankie Edgar in a bantamweight clash in the Octagon this Saturday.
There is much intrigue about Edgar, who is making his bantamweight debut having previously been a lightweight champion in his career.
American fighter Frankie Edgar is making his debut in the bantamweight division in August
The American has a tough challenge ahead of him in Munhoz, who is ranked fifth at bantamweight level, but lost his last contest to Aljamain Sterling in June of last year.
That disappointment was the Brazilian’s fourth loss of his career, Edgar will be looking to make it five in Las Vegas this weekend.
Edgar faces Pedro Munhoz (above) who is ranked as fifth in the bantamweight division
UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa – September 26
The best two UFC middleweight fighters take on each other in a blockbuster UFC 253 contest set for September.
Both contenders are undefeated in their UFC careers so far, with challenger Costa having a 13-0 record after seven years in professional fighting.
Reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has a tough next opponent in September
The trash talk for this contest has already started too. When Costa goaded the reigning middleweight champion over his slim figure, Adesanya said: ‘He might need a filter because he says some real dumb s*** sometimes.
‘After I knock him out I’m just going to carry on with my day.’
Paulo Costa is ranked as the second-best fighter behind Adesanya in the middleweight class
UFC Fight Night: Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana – October 3
Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm is struggling for form at the moment, having lost five out of her last eight fights.
But after the 38-year-old beat Raquel Pennington in UFC 246 earlier this year, she has the perfect opportunity to make it two consecutive wins against rookie Irene Aldana.
Holm’s Mexican opponent is in good form herself, having won five out of her last six fights over the past two years and has a similar overall record to Holm in her career.
38-year-old Holly Holm is looking to end a dodgy run of form when she takes on Irene Aldana
UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje – October 24
It’s the fight currently on everyone’s lips.
Justin Gaethje pulled off a shock win over Tony Ferguson earlier this year to claim the interim UFC Lightweight Championship, but now has the chance to take on arguably the organisation’s most dominant fighter around at the moment.
Justin Gaethje (left) pulled off a shock win over Tony Ferguson earlier this year in UFC 249
Khabib Nurmagomedov is still unbeaten in his career, but has not taken on anyone in a year. His last UFC contest came in September of last year when he beat Dustin Poirier in UFC 242, having seen off bitter rival Conor McGregor the year before.
A win for the Russian would cement his spot as the best UFC fighter in the world today, but Gaethje, who has won his last four fights, has already pulled off one shock result this year – do not put it past him to grab another.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is Gaethje’s next opponent, with the Russian touted as one of the best
UFC 255: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt – November 21
UFC Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueriredo has a tricky contest against Cody Garbrandt in the first defence of his title.
Garbrandt has moved down a division after suffering three losses in his last four fights at bantamweight level, where he was previously undefeated before losing to TJ Dillashaw for the first time in 2017.
Figueriredo won the UFC Flyweight Championship after beating Joseph Benavidez twice this year, but Garbrandt will bring a whole new challenge altogether in UFC 255.
Deiveson Figueiredo became the UFC Flyweight Championship holder earlier this year
Figueiredo faces a difficult challenge in Cody Garbrandt who has dropped down a division