UFC fans are scared of a new curse that seems to be plaguing the promotion’s PPVs and could potentially end the title reigns of Islam Makhachev and Jon Jones. Makhachev will defend his Lightweight title against Charles Oliviera at UFC 294. Meanwhile, Jones will defend his Heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295.
The curse, as observed by fans, is spreading through the main event of the PPVs this year. As you can see in the Instagram Reel posted below, the fighters placed on your left in the poster, including two title-holders, lost their matches.
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Former Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling was placed on the left for the UFC 292 poster. Meanwhile, Sean O’Malley, the challenger, occupied the right spot. O’Malley won the bout via a TKO (punches) in the second round. He is now the UFC Bantamweight champion.
The latest in the list of the curse was Israel Adesanya. The former Middleweight champion was placed on the left. Meanwhile, the challenger Sean Strickland was placed on the right in the poster. Strickland pulled off an unexpected win over ‘The Last Stylebender’ after he won via a unanimous decision at the end of five rounds.
Next in line are the Lightweight and Heavyweight champions. Makhachev and Jones will be defending their titles later this year.
Islam Makhachev believes he is a better fighter than Jon Jones
In February, before Alexander Volkanovski‘s fight against Makhachev for the Lightweight title at UFC 284, the Aussie was ranked higher than the Russian in the promotion’s official pound-for-pound rankings. Even after Makhachev defended his title successfully, he remained behind.
A few weeks later, Jones made his UFC Heavyweight debut at UFC 285 against Ciryl Gane. The 35-year-old successfully captured the vacant Heavyweight title after he made the former interim champion submit to a guillotine choke just over two minutes into the bout.
Jones occupied the top spot for pound-for-pound ranking after his bout. Volkanovski was second and Makhachev dropped to third. The Russian fighter completely disagreed with this.
“This is bulls***, brother,” Makhachev told Daniel Cormier. “How Jon Jones can be No. 1? He beat some guy who is not champion. This guy (Gane) don’t have belt, and they put him No. 1 pound-for-pound. This is bulls***. … Doesn’t matter how he beat him.
The UFC put him best pound-for-pound. But other people who know about MMA, they know who is the best fighter in the world. Don’t call me lightweight champion. Call me pound-for-pound best fighter.”
The latest pound-for-pound UFC rankings remain the same. If the alleged curse does strike either of the fighters, there might be some changes to the rankings by the end of 2023.