Five For Fighting – January’s Best Upcoming Fights

Jones Cormier

With 2014 still fluttering in the rear-view mirror we accelerate into 2015 with the engines at full throttle. To get us started, we just have the small matter of the greatest fight in MMA history on the opening weekend of the greatest month in MMA history. Not a bad way to kick off the new year. Here are the five fights you should be looking forward to most in January.

5. Eddie Alvarez vs. Benson Henderson – UFC Fight Night 59: January 18th

For a long time, the MMA world wondered how Eddie Alvarez would fare against the best inside the UFC. Now, he gets to fight the former UFC lightweight champion in a what would have been a huge cross-promotion title unification bout not too long ago. This fight is intriguing because both men bring a very similar high level skill-set to the party as solid striking is coupled with a hardened wrestling base. After losing their last respective fights, this one is a must win for both guys if they want to get into title talk in the near future. Should be three rounds of rapid exchanges.

4. Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson – UFC on Fox 14: January 24th

In a month where the best and second best light heavyweights on earth fight, this very much looks like the third and fourth battling it out to be next in line for a shot at the title. Gustafsson and Johnson should put on the type of epic scrap fitting of two athletic monsters hungry for gold. To make it even better, they will be pitted against each other in just the second UFC stadium show ever. Gustafsson will be out to make the home fans’ night while Rumble will be trying to ruin it.

3. Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver – UFC Fight Night 59: January 18th

There are certain things in today’s world of MMA that cannot be missed – a Conor McGregor fight is towards the top of that list. The Dubliner is one away from a shot at Jose Aldo’s belt and with tough German Dennis Siver standing in his way most are expecting him to put on a show while doing it. Even more special is the fact that the fight takes place in front of McGregor’s adoring fans in his home away from home in Boston. This is a huge step in McGregor’s progression towards the top. Unmissable.

2. Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz – UFC 183: January 31st

In MMA, we often talk about fun fights but the meeting of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is the fun fight to end all fun fights. There is plenty at stake too with possible title implications for either of these huge draws. Both men are coming back from long lay offs due to injury (Silva) and semi-retirement (Diaz), and it’s difficult to know how they will look. What we do know is they will sell the fight equally well and bring it hard both vocally and physically inside the cage. A dream for fight fans all around the world.

1. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier – UFC 182: January 3rd

In a sport filled with hyperbole and overreaching, this fight is an example where you literally can’t go overboard in how good it is. Daniel Cormier is a beast Olympian who has won every round of his MMA career. Jon Jones is arguably the greatest MMA fighter to ever live and the youngest ever UFC champion who has won every fight where he hasn’t been harshly disqualified. Only nine men in the history of UFC, Pride, WEC and Strikeforce have won ten fights in a row; this is the first time that two fight. Quite simply put, this is the highest quality fight in the history of mixed martial arts. It’s happening on Saturday. Watch it.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma