Top Five Fighters We NEED To See in The UFC

There’s no denying that the Ultimate Fighting Championship owns the most elite talent pool of mixed martial arts talent. Still, this factor doesn’t indicate they have contracts with every top fighter on the planet. In fact, there’s a long list of MMA champions outside of the UFC who could slide into their respective weight class top rankings and even challenge the current UFC champions. 

With that said, join us previewing the top five fighters we NEED to see in the UFC.

Reinier de Ridder 

Current Promotion: ONE Championship

Professional MMA Record: 14-0-0 

Asian promotion ONE Championship boasts some of the hottest talents outside the UFC. And the most notable of them all is the Dutch Knight himself, Reinier de Ridder. 

After dominating the national MMA circuit for seven years, Ridder arrived in ONE Championship and continued his undefeated reign in the light heavyweight division. Having previously fought at middleweight, many speculated if the Netherland’s native could transition his power up a weight class – and boy did he prove them wrong. 

Not only did Ridder capture ONE’s light heavyweight title from Aung La N Sang, but he also moved up to heavyweight, where Sang held the heavyweight championship and took that from him too – becoming a two-division champion within two years. 

With such a shallow roster in the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings, Ridder would undoubtedly cause a ruckus and could even challenge Adesanya at middleweight or Ngannou at heavyweight.  

AJ McKee

Current Promotion: Bellator MMA

Professional MMA Record: 18-0-0 

Scott Corker and his Bellator MMA promotion are often known for signing ex-UFC talent, but it’s a rare occasion that you’ll see Dana White approach fighters from Bellator. However, Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez, and Ben Askren all managed to reach the bright lights of the UFC, and AJ McKee could join that list. 

Bellator’s most prized featherweight built his career inside the promotion; six years of remaining undefeated and a 17-0 record took him into the path of Patricio Pitbull. McKee shocked the world and ended Pitbull’s night early to become Bellator’s 145lb champion and their newest featherweight Grand Prix tournament winner. 

I expect the 26-year-old to defend his crown for some time, but he’s already gone on record to state that fighting in the UFC could be a possibility if the money’s right. 

Kayla Harrison 

Current Promotion: PFL (Premier Fight League) 

Professional MMA Record: 10-0-0 

She is a blonde-haired Judo Olympic Gold Medallist who transitioned to MMA and owns multiple armbar stoppages on her record. No, it’s not Ronda Rousey, but a friend of the former UFC champion in Kayla Harrison, who undoubtedly possesses the star power to jump from PFL into the UFC octagon one day. 

Harrison transitioned from the Olympic Games in 2016 to begin her journey in MMA, and in 2018 she arrived in PFL. She won the 2019 and 2021 PFL $1 million tournaments with a minor stint for Invicta between those successes.

Having fought for Invicta FC, the UFC already have close ties with Harrison, and Dana White is desperately searching for anyone to compete with the level of his 145lb champion Amanda Nunes. Harrison’s undefeated record doesn’t boast many familiar names. Still, the complete dominance during those fights has made her a red flag for bookmakers and a prime suspect to become a future UFC contender.    

It’s a rare occasion where sportsbooks will price MMA fighters with heavily juiced odds. But Harrison is that competitor who often enters the cage behind a four-figure set of favorable odds. With a move to the most elite MMA promotion on the planet, we’d unquestionably watch the UFC odds decline in price from her prior outings. An actual test awaits Harrison, but it’s not within the company she currently competes for.   

Yaroslav Amosov  

Current Promotion: Bellator MMA

Professional MMA Record: 26-0-0 

The undefeated Ukrainian ran through the Russian promotion Tech-Krep FC whilst collecting several European Sambo Championships along the way, to eventually arrive at Bellator in 2018. He’s since gone 7-0 and notably defeated one of the world’s most talented welterweights in Douglas Lima to become the 170lb champion.

With dominant grappling, submission threats and undefeated 26-0 record, he’s been hailed as the second coming of Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, this statement may never hold significance unless Amosov tests his offensive grappling skills inside a UFC octagon.  

Adriano Moraes  

Current Promotion: ONE Championship

Professional MMA Record: 19-3-0 

When the UFC’s most respected and accomplished flyweight, Demetrious Johnson, parted ways for ONE Championship, the online UFC fan base started a riot. Alongside their displeasure of Johnson’s exit was a looming sense that the fighter’s he’d face wouldn’t stand a chance. This belief remained true until DJ challenged Adriano Moraes for his bantamweight title. 

Entering his title defense as a +450 betting underdog, most gave Moraes a slight chance of success, but an uppercut, a knee, and a flurry of ground and pound strikes soon proved those doubters wrong.   

Moraes dynamic capoeira background and dangerous jiu-jitsu skillset have kept him as a main eventer for ONE Championship since he arrived in 2013. Moraes’ entertainment value alone would provide historic fights inside the UFC, but aged 32-years-old, we’d need to see Dana White make a move sooner rather than later.