Five UFC Fighters who could become champion in 2024

Published on 14 January 2024 at 20:00

The UFC witnessed 11 new champions in 2023 as well as some new contenders who are looking to become the King or Queen of their weight division. Here are five top contenders who look like favourites to become champion in 2024.


Dricus Du Plessis (UFC Middleweight)

Dricus Du Plessis is the #2 Middleweight contender and has had an incredible run in the UFC. He is undefeated in the organisation with six wins, five of them coming by finish as the South African has knocked out four his opponents and submitted one of them.

His last three fights have shown that he is the real deal; defeating Darren Till by Rear-Naked Choke at UFC 282, stopping Derek Brunson in the second round by TKO at UFC 285, and knocking out Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 to earn himself a title shot.

'Stilknocks' looked as if he was going to face Israel Adesanya after winning against Robert Whittaker as the two fighters went face-to-face during the post-fight interview. However, at UFC 293, Adesanya lost the Middleweight title to Sean Strickland which would completely shake up the division.

The South African fighter has 20 wins his MMA career with 19 of them ending by knockout or submission as there will be no surprise if Du Plessis wins UFC Gold with a stoppage.

Dricus is set to face Sean Strickland for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 297, so the possibility of becoming the king of the 185-pound division is very high as the champion looks to make his first title defence against a tough challenger.


Tatiana Suarez (UFC Strawweight)

Tatiana Suarez is the #3 Strawweight contender and undefeated in her MMA career. Eight of her 11 fights have come in the UFC which includes her two last victories in The Ultimate Fighter 23 Semi-Final and Finale.

Her last two fights in the UFC have proven why Suarez is soon to be one of the best Strawweight fighters with two second-round submission wins. One against Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 70 and the other against former UFC Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, at UFC Nashville.

'TSP' had spent four years absent from fighting after suffering a neck injury in 2019 and then a severe knee injury in 2021 which stopped her from competing and miss out the opportunity to get closer to the top of the rankings at the time.

The California-born fighter has eight finishes against her opponent with two KO/TKO wins and six submission victories out of the 11 triumphs she has had on her MMA record.

Tatiana is set to face recent Strawweight title challenger, Amanda Lemos, at UFC 298. If she is victorious in February, the likelihood of getting a title shot against Zhang Weili will be very high as the undefeated fighter will want to lay her hands on the championship.


Ilia Topuria (UFC Featherweight)

Ilia Topuria is the #5 Featherweight contender and undefeated in his MMA career. With six fights in the UFC, only two fights have ended in a decision which have gone in Topuria's favour.

His last two fights have shown why he has such potential to become the next Featherweight champion after getting a second-round submission victory over Bryce Mitchell at UFC 282 and dominantly defeating Josh Emmett after five rounds, winning by unanimous decision.

Ever since his victory at UFC Jacksonville, 'El Matador' has wanted to face the current champion, Alexander Volkanovski, or the #1 Featherweight contender, Max Holloway, so he can prove to the MMA community that he is the best 145-pound fighter in the world.

The Georgian fighter has 12 stoppage wins out of the 14 victories he has on his MMA record with four coming by knockout and eight by submission. 

Ilia is set to face Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 298, trying to claim the Featherweight belt and have a new fighter lead the weight class since 2019 as it may be the champion's toughest test yet in the division.


Erin Blanchfield (UFC flyweight)

Erin Blanchfield is the #2 Flyweight contender and has been a rising star in the UFC. She is currently undefeated in the organisation with six fights as three of those victories have ended by submission.

Her last two fights have shown why the 24-year old is a soon to be UFC champion after submitting former Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, at UFC Vegas 69 and defeating Talia Santos by unanimous decision at UFC Singapore.

'Cold Blooded' has been desperate to get a title fight after her victory at UFC Singapore as she believed she could fight for the vacant UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship, whether it would be against Juliana Pena, Raquel Pennington or Mayra Bueno Silva.

The New Jersey fighter has stopped half of her opponents before taking victory as she has two KO/TKO wins and four submission victories on her MMA record. Her only loss in her career comes against the current #11 Flyweight contender, Tracy Cortez, as the fight occurred before Blanchfield was contracted to the UFC.

Erin is set to face Manon Fiorot at UFC Atlantic City in March. A fight which will decide who is next in line to face Women's Flyweight champion, Alexa Grasso, as Blanchfield will come in as a strong favourite in that fight.


Shavkat Rakhmonov (UFC Welterweight)

Shavkat Rakhmonov is the #3 Welterweight contender and has had huge potential to dominate the weight division. He is undefeated in his career and has stopped every opponent he has faced as he has got to where he is now in just six UFC fights.

His last two fights have proven why he is the next best thing after defeating Geoff Neal by third-round submission at UFC 285 and being the first fighter to submit Stephen Thompson at UFC 296.

'Nomad' has not been in desperation for a title fight since his victory at UFC 285 but the likelihood of getting one soon is definitely the next step for him as #2 Welterweight contender, Belal Muhammad, is also wanting a shot for UFC Gold.

The Kazakhstan fighter has 18 wins on his MMA record with eight of his opponents being finished by knockout and 10 opponents submitting to the unbeaten fighter. 

Shavkat is not set face an opponent anytime soon as his next fight may either be against a top Welterweight contender or a championship bout against the King of the Welterweights, Leon Edwards.


Featured Image: Flickr


Written by Charlie Oxtoby



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Twitter: @Charlie_Oxtoby1

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