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Who Will Dominate the Octagon in 2024? Top UFC Fighters for African Fans to Keep an Eye On

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In today’s article, we will analyze which UFC stars are set to dominate the octagon in 2024 and why African fight fans must watch these top fighters this year. While making UFC predictions can be challenging, we will navigate these tricky waters through in-depth research alongside their current and future star power.

Khamzat Chimaev

Chimaev’s rise in the UFC has been unprecedented. His impressive unbeaten record and dominant performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions have put him in title contention in 2024. That said, the middleweight division is the most likely destination for Chimaev to reign supreme. However, he must take the belt off newly crowned South African champion Dricus Du Plessis.

If that is the route Dana White and the UFC hierarchy choose for Chimaev to take, then African fans could witness the Russian live in action on the first-ever UFC card on the continent, something that is being touted to happen for Du Plessis’ first middleweight title defense.

Sean O’Malley

The young, talented, and supremely athletic UFC bantamweight champion has taken the sport by storm. With his flashy fighting style, he has overcome adversity and scored impressive wins over Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan, and, most recently, Chito Vera in front of a packed-out Miami crowd.

O’Malley may be the most exciting talent in the UFC right now, and African fans will want to tune into whatever card he’s taking part in whenever his next fight gets announced. With a loyal, young fanbase backing all of O’Malley’s fights, he could become the next Conor McGregor of the sport and even go one better.

Islam Makhachev

The current pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC, Makhachev, has been on an all-out assault in the lightweight division since his training partner and good friend Khabib Nurgamedov retired from the sport. His elite wrestling skills and knockout power have made him an unbeatable force, and he may look to become a two-weight world champion in 2024, with lightweight contenders running out for him.

Many believe Makhachev can overtake his excellent friend Khabib in the greatest-ever UFC fighters ranks. Nevertheless, the Russian still has plenty to prove if he is to fulfill this legacy, but 2024 could be the year he stakes his claim at doing just that; he’s definitely a fighter to keep an eye out for.

Dricus Du Plessis

The South African Middleweight champion is Africa’s best combat star right now and looks set to be the man to bring the UFC to Africa for the first time. Du Plessis has been on a mammoth stretch of wins since 2014, beating some of the best middleweights the UFC has ever seen within its classy organization.

Du Plessis will have some even stiffer fights ahead of him in the ultra-competitive middleweight realm, but he looks more than ready to take on whatever challenge is thrown his way. In general, South Africans and African fight fans will be hoping Du Plessis can keep the belt on the continent for as long as possible.

Leon Edwards

The British welterweight champion shocked the world with a last-gasp head kick knockout win over Kamaru Usman and has since gone on to prove all the naysayers wrong, winning a rematch against the American and impressively beating Colby Covington. 2024 will be a big year for Edwards, with some tasty match-ups being touted for the Birmingham native.

Challengers like Belal Muhammad and Shavkat Rakhmonov are waiting in the shadows to steal Edwards’s welterweight crown and will also be looking for their chance at glory this year. That said, Edwards has displayed all the skills and star power to suggest he can handle whatever is thrown his way.

Ilia Topuria

The newly crowned featherweight champion is currently the most exciting fighter in the organization. Hailing from Spain, Topuria has taken the sport by storm, becoming the European nation’s first-ever UFC champion and knocking out all-time great Alexander Volkanovski.

What’s next for Topuria? Potential superfights against Sean O’Malley, Max Holloway, and even Conor Mcgregor could be on the Spaniard’s radar. Dana White has alluded to a homecoming bout for his new gem in Spain, and whoever gets to take on that fight will have a whole country against them, as well as the formidable Topuria.

Final Thoughts: Who Will Dominate the Octagon in 2024?

While all the fighters listed above have shown great potential, the landscape of combat sports, particularly the UFC, can change rapidly, and new talents and champions emerge regularly in one of the world’s most exciting sports.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how these fighters perform this year, and African fight fans will need to stay posted regularly to watch them evolve and compete for more honors as the year rolls on. As the UFC becomes more popular in Africa, there will hopefully be even more stars emerging from the continent, such as Dricus Du Plessis, in the future.