2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for European UFC fighters.
Let's take a look at part 2 of the list of fighters pushing to compete for Championship gold in the new year.
Aleksandar Rakić: (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) Light-heavyweight
🗣 LIGHTS OUT!
— UFC (@ufc) December 18, 2019
Although the Austrian fighter is coming off a loss just two weeks ago to Switzerland’s Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Busan, the first of his UFC career, he has shown promising signs.
Rakic put the division on notice after knocking out Jimi Manuwa with a superlative head-kick just 42 seconds into the first round at UFC Fight Night 153 last June.
The 27-year-old fighter of Serbian descent can bounce back with just a couple of wins in one of the UFC’s shallower divisions.
Rakic has 9 KO’s on his record, don’t write off a push in 2020.
Cyril Gane: (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) Heavyweight
If you can't get the TKO, go for the submission instead!
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 26, 2019
It’s been a huge year for the French heavyweight. He has gone 3-0 since making his UFC debut back in August at ‘UFC Fight Night 156’.
The MMA Factory fighter added a decision victory over Tanner Bosser to two submission wins against Don’tale Mayes and Raphaela Pessoa.
Mixed Martial Arts is due to be legalised in France this February, so expect a prominent position for the #15 ranked heavyweight on the card if the world’s premier promotion holds an event in the country.
Much like the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, Heavyweight is in need of fresh contenders.
Expect the Fernand Lopez trained fighter to be in contention by the end of 2020 after adding submissions to his knockout power.
Zabit Magomedshapirov: (18-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) Featherweight
LONGEST ACTIVE @UFC WIN STREAKS - Featherweight
— UFC News (@UFCNews) November 9, 2019
Another perfect year for the Dagestani fighter taking his UFC record to 6-0.
Two decision wins over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 235 and a ‘fight of the night’ bonus win over Calvin Kattar at ‘UFC Fight Night 163’ took his MMA record to 18-1.
The Mark Henry trained fighter is now #3 in the UFC featherweight rankings and could certainly be next in line to challenge Alexander Volkanski. The Australian captured the title earlier this month at UFC 245 against Max Holloway.
Expect a title fight later this year for the all-round brilliant Dagestani.
Jan Blachowicz: (25-8 MMA, 8-5 UFC)
— UFC (@ufc) November 11, 2019
The Polish light-heavyweight fighter has had sensational second-half to 2019, bouncing back to winning ways after a defeat to UFC title challenger Thiago Santos.
He knocked out former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 239 and followed that up with a split decision win over former Strikeforce middleweight title holder Jacare Souza in Brazil.
He is 6-1 in his last seven outings and a win over Corey Anderson at ‘UFC Fight Night 167’ in February may well secure a shot at Jon Jones later in 2020.