3 Most Anticipated MMA Fights of 2024

3 most anticipated fights of 2024

With this coming summer season set to bring some of the most high-profile fights of the year for the UFC, let’s take a look at the most anticipated bouts currently booked on paper ahead of a massive schedule for the sport leader.

Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier – UFC 302

Just mere weeks away, a huge undisputed lightweight title fight lands in Newark, New Jersey in June – with pound-for-pound number one, Islam Makhachev looking to rack up a third successful defense of his divisional title.

Islam Makhachev calls for division move after UFC 302 I've already beat everyone at lightweight
Mandatory Credit: Giuseppe Cacace

And matching with a fresh face following a pair of consecutive fights against former featherweight best, Alexander Volkanovski, dominant champion, Makhachev takes on the returning former interim champion, Dustin Poirier – who looks to strike it third time lucky in pursuit of an undisputed crown. 

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Earning his return to a title setting at UFC 302, Lafayette veteran, Poirier rallied against the surging, Benoit Saint Denis back in March – halting the Nimes native’s run through the division, with a highlight-reel KO win. Entering at number one on our list of the top three most anticipated bouts of the year – fans can bet on MMA fights – including Makhachev’s title defense against Poirier, up and until they enter the Octagon next month. 

Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev – UFC Fight Night Saudi Arabia

Marking the promotion’s first foray to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – former undisputed middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker looks to keep his slot atop the division’s elite, and likely earn himself another shot at his former crown, as he takes on unbeaten berserker, Khamzat Chimaev.

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Whittaker, a fan-favorite former undisputed titleholder at 185lbs – returned to winning ways back in February at UFC 298 against former championship chaser, Paulo Costa, battling over the course of three rounds to land himself a split judging victory. 

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As for Chimaev, the Chechnya-born starlet has admittedly lost a head of steam built up since his October decision win over former champion and pound-for-pound pacesetter, Kamaru Usman in Abu Dhabi. However, he can go a long way to generating massive backing for a title fight once more with a victory over a name like Whittaker.

Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler – UFC 303 

Arguably the most anticipated of these three fights we’ve chosen ahead of a huge summer period – especially for the mass audience and onlookers comes in the form of a return fight for ex-two-weight champion, Conor McGregor against rival, Michael Chandler at the end of next month at UFC 303 during International Fight Week. 

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Conor McGregor
Mandatory Credit: Stacy Revere

Without a win since 2020 and sidelined for the last three years since a gruesome leg fracture, former undisputed lightweight and featherweight gold holder, McGregor makes his return to the welterweight limit of 170lbs in tandem with his entrance back to the Octagon. 

For Chandler, the ex-Bellator MMA thrice-time lightweight gold holder will snap an almost two-year hiatus himself from active competition in his much-sought-after fight with the Dublin megastar, and with the added caveat of a first welterweight walk since a professional debut back in 2009, both have been flapping gums aplenty – with first round knockout predictions fielded by both.