The UFC has become a star-driven business over the years, and as we move into 2018 there are a number of fighters who are vying to become the next big thing in the promotion.
In this article, we’ll home in on ten fighters who have shown the potential make a big impact in the coming year, from breakthrough prospects poised to take the next step towards stardom to established talents who are on the verge of becoming major draws for the UFC.
Brian ’T-City’ Ortega has been tipped as a star of the future for some time now, and 2018 looks like being the year that could see him fulfill that destiny.
Ortega breezed through 2017 with his unbeaten career record still intact at 13-0-1, while also earning the biggest victory to date by submitting Cub Swanson via guillotine choke in December.
That fight proved to be another Brazilian jiu-jitsu masterclass and it marked the 26-year-old’s fifth win in a row inside the Octagon, taking him to No.3 in the featherweight rankings and on the verge of title contention heading into the new year.
Ortega also has the kind of look and laid-back personality that suggests widespread popularity could be within his grasp, and Dana White is known to be a big believer in his ability to become a big star.
”The kid is incredible and he is absolutely, positively the future,” White declared after his latest victory, while also praising him for being a “grounded, humble, down-to-earth kid,” who told the UFC president immediately after his latest victory that he wants to use his growing reputation to do charity work.