Will The Current UFC Champions Still Be On Top By End Of 2014?

Will the current champions in the UFC still reign supreme by the end of the year?

A lot can happen in 12 months time, but nonetheless, we take a peer inside the official https://mmainsight.com crystal ball to see what the future has in store for the UFC’s top dogs.

Flyweight Champion: Demetrious Johnson

‘Mighty Mouse’ defended his title three times in 2013, with his win over Joseph Benavidez being particularly impressive.

He appears to only be getting better and having already taken out a who’s who of the division I’m not seeing anyone who’s got anything more to offer him in 2014.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time? – Yes

Bantamweight Champion (Male): Dominick Cruz

Cruz is very hard to beat with his unique movement, speed and stamina, but the best part of two and a half years out due to career threatening knee injuries leaves a big question mark over what version of the 28 year-old we’re going to see when he finally returns to action in February.

In the mean time, interim champ Renan Barao has emerged as a major force in the division and I think Cruz has a tough time ahead of him – though what a story it would be if he did come back and successfully defend his title.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time? – No

Bantamweight Champion (Female): Ronda Rousey

Miesha Tate had a second chance to defeat Rousey last weekend, but despite a valiant effort she still fell quite some way short of the mark, and it’s likely that’s a theme that’s set to continue in the year ahead.

Sara McMann and Cat Zingano will pose interesting tests for Rousey in 2014, but I don’t see either of them overcoming the dominant champ. Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos still poses the biggest threat to Rousey’s title, but, while I think that fight will happen at some stage, for now I’m working under the assumption it won’t fall within this calendar year.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time: – Yes

Featherweight Champion: Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo continues to rule the UFC’s featherweight division with an iron fist with five successful title defences in total now during his run in the promotion.

As things stand I still think Chad Mendes offers up the biggest threat to Aldo’s title despite the fact he lost in his first title attempt, but I’d continue to lean towards Aldo if a rematch did occur. I think there’s a chance Aldo could move up to 155lbs late in 2014, but I’ll err on the side of caution and say he sticks at featherweight for now.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time – Yes

Lightweight Champion: Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis is likely to be out of action for much of 2014 as he continues to rehab his knee after surgery, so that means he might only have to defend his title once this year.

With that in mind I think whether he remains champ or not really depends on who he fights when he returns. If he goes up against someone like Josh Thomson then I can see him winning, but I’m expecting Gilbert Melendez to be the No.1 contender and I think he might be able to get the better of Pettis on the mat to take the title.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time – No

Welterweight Champion: Vacant

The welterweight division doesn’t quite fit into this equation since GSP vacating the belt leaves us without a champion for now, though we do know that either Johny Hendricks or Robbie Lawler will be the next to hold the title as they fight for all the marbles at UFC 170 in February.

Hendricks has perhaps the best chance to grab the title and then hold onto it throughout 2014, but Carlos Condit will also be eager to get his hands on the strap and I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s the champion at the end of the year.

Middleweight Champion: Chris Weidman

With two wins over the long-time champion of the middleweight division Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman has a major feather in his cap and will now take on all-comers as he looks to stay on top of the pile.

Middleweight could turn out to be the most interesting division in the UFC this year with exciting challengers like Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida now lining up to take on Weidman, and with that in mind Weidman still has a lot of work to do and I believe we could have a different title holder by the years-end.

Stil Champ In A Years Time? – No

Light-Heavyweight Champion: Jon Jones

Jon Jones faced the toughest test of his career in 2013 courtesy of Alexander Gustafsson, and all going well a rematch between the two may well take place in the coming year which will be fascinating to see.

Glover Teixeira comes first though and Daniel Cormier is also hoping he can get a shot at Jones, so the current champion looks like he’s going to have another busy year ahead. I think the first Gustafsson fight will have served as a wake-up call for him, and I expect he’ll grow from that experience and will still be on top come this time next year.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time? – Yes

Heavyweight Champion: Cain Velasquez

Like Pettis earlier, Cain Velasquez also looks set to be out until perhaps as late as the fall of this year due to rehabbing a shoulder after surgery, so I’d expect him to only make one title defense in 2014.

Fabricio Werdum Vs Travis Browne is currently being lined up as a No.1 contenders bout in the mean time, and while they are both good fighters I don’t see either of them, or indeed anyone else currently residing in the heavyweight ranks, dethroning Velasquez any time soon.

Still Champ In A Year’s Time? – Yes

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.