- Stipe Miocic is the current heavyweight champion, but will he still hold the belt at the end of 2021?
- Should Francis Ngannou be the favorite to claim the heavyweight belt?
- See the full odds to be UFC heavyweight champion by end of 2021 below
The UFC’s heavyweight division has had just two title fights in the last two years due to the pandemic and Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier having to complete their trilogy.
Now, ahead of 2021, the division looks like it is ready to take off. Miocic is set to defend his belt against Francis Ngannou in March, and the winner is expected to face Jon Jones in the summer. There could realistically be three heavyweight title fights in 2021, so oddsmakers have now set out odds on who will be the heavyweight champion at the end of 2021.
Odds to be UFC Heavyweight Champion by End of 2021
All odds as of Dec. 30
Who’s Expected To Fight For The Belt in 2021
There are only two people guaranteed to fight for the heavyweight title in 2021 and that is the champion, Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. They are expected to fight in March or April, and given that Miocic has only fought five times in the past five years, there is a real chance. If he beats Ngannou again, there won’t be another heavyweight title fight.
Francis Ngannou in 2020:
Just a scary human
Ngannou is currently on a 4 fight win streak and waiting for his rematch with Stipe Miocic pic.twitter.com/wLG6KEFLDU
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) December 29, 2020
However, if Miocic beats Ngannou and escapes without injury, his next fight would be a super-fight against Jon Jones. If Ngannou beats Miocic, the Jones fight would also be on the table for him, and he has made it clear he wants to be active.
For me, I only expect Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou, and Jon Jones to fight for the heavyweight title.
Why does Israel Adesanya Have The Longest Odds?
Israel Adesanya is the current middleweight champion but is expected to face Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title in March or April of 2021.
Although Adesanya has never fought at heavyweight, he has a feud with Jon Jones, and if “Bones” can claim the heavyweight belt, there is no question the UFC will book that fight.
However, I just don’t see that happening as Adesanya will first have to get past Blachowicz. While I do think the Jones fight happens, I don’t think it happens in 2021, but Adesanya fighting for the heavyweight belt in 2022 could very well happen.
Does Jon Jones Have A Legitimate Chance?
Not only does Jon Jones have a legitimate chance, I believe he is the best bet to be the UFC’s heavyweight champion at the end of 2021.
240 feels great pic.twitter.com/Pi9WpzSAqR
— BONY (@JonnyBones) November 19, 2020
Regardless of the Miocic-Ngannou result in March, I fully expect the winner to face Jones in the summer or fall. Against Miocic, I do think Jones would have his hands full as the champ is very well-rounded and has the cardio to go five rounds. Ngannou, on the other hand, I think that is an easier fight for Jones where he can use his wrestling and footwork to avoid the power shots and win a clear-cut decision.
Regardless, I believe Jon Jones will be the UFC’s heavyweight champion at the end of 2021.
Pick: Jon Jones (+400)
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