Under trying circumstances the UFC actually did very well in 2020 and now Dana White is looking ahead to the year to come with optimism and has named three fighters to watch in 2021.
“Obviously, Khamzat [Chimaev],” White told SHOUT! The Buffalo Football Podcast. “What I love about the kid is that he wants to fight all the time. The guys that are as good as him and want to fight all the time, not everybody wants to fight him, so it’s tough to make fights.
“You sprinkle some COVID on top of that and here we are. Everybody was asking about him this weekend why he pulled out of the fight. He got COVID. He’s a savage. He tried to get back in the gym and train through it, and I guess his lungs didn’t respond well, so the doctor wants him to take some time off before he trains again. He doesn’t even want him to start training until some time in January. So, you got him.”
White then went on to name two fighters who first surfaced via the Contender Series show.
“Kevin Holland,” White said. “Another guy like Chimaev [who] wants to fight all the time. The kid went 5-0 in 2020. He’s fun. He’s exciting. Good looking kid.
“And then another one would be Joaquin Buckley, who had in 2020 — not in 2020, but ever — the most viral win ever in UFC history with that knockout that he had.”
Of course White was also keen to stress that this is only a small snap-shot of the talent that’s currently rising up through the UFC ranks as we head into the new year.
“So, I mean those are just three. We’re putting together this piece right now for the Contender Series and the amount of talent that is coming off that show is phenomenal. That’s just three guys out of many.”