UFC Featherweight Division
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UFC Featherweight Breakdown: Who Are The Real Contenders?

The UFC featherweight division is stacked, and there are five fighters who have a realistic shot at winning the belt.

Champion: Alexander Volkanovski

Volkanovski is a beast. He won his championship by beating Max Holloway at UFC 245, then successfully defended it by besting Holloway again at UFC 251. Volkanovski has a great combination of striking and grappling that makes him one of the best fighters in the world. He is slated to defend his title against Brian Ortega in the coming months, and I predict another decision victory.

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#1 Featherweight Contender: Max Holloway

Holloway is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC today and an absolute beast in the UFC featherweight division. After losing his title to Volkanovski, Holloway absolutely obliterated Calvin Kattar, and he is easily the best pure striker in the UFC, as opponents have trouble keeping up with the volume of his punches. Volkanovski found success against Holloway with leg kicks and takedowns, but a victory for Holloway is in order the next time the pair faces off.

#2 Featherweight Contender: Brian Ortega

Ortega is challenging for the title in the coming months, and his biggest strength is his versatility. Ortega is difficult to beat because he has numerous ways to finish a fight. He has good enough standup to be able to knock people out, good enough wrestling to survive on the ground, and a great submission game. He also has the unique advantage of having previous five-round fight experience.

#3 Featherweight Contender: Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez does not get enough respect in the UFC, but he is an animal. He is 15-2 in his MMA career and is undefeated in the UFC. He wins primarily by decision and knockout, and although he is not particularly accurate with his striking, the number of strikes he outputs offsets his shortcomings. His grappling is average overall but not terrible in the division, so expect Rodriguez to get a title shot in the next year or so.

#4 Featherweight Contender: Chan Sung Jung

Chan is a seasoned UFC veteran with more than enough knockout power to win a title. He most recently lost to Ortega in a title eliminator in October of last year and he has had an up and down last few years, with 2 wins and 2 losses since 2017. Chan is a hot-and-cold fighter, but keep an eye out for his next fight – it could be another title eliminator.

#5 Featherweight Contender: Calvin Kattar

Kattar is a knockout specialist, with 11 career wins by way of knockout, and he has a ton of heart. He has won by decision 9 times, and some of his losses have been all out wars. As good as he is, however, he cannot beat Holloway or Volkanovski unless he has a flawless fight.

Other Names To Watch:

Edson Barboza is a name to keep an eye on after a huge win at UFC 262. Dan Ige is a beast too, and he is fighting Chan in June. Also keep an eye on Bryce Mitchell, a young fighter with a lot of raw talent. I expect him to climb the UFC featherweight rankings quickly once he puts it all together.

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