UFC 230 is set to go down Saturday, November 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The card so far has a few fights booked, including a highly attractive lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz that has been labeled as the co-main event. As well, there are four important middleweight fights set to go down this night, featuring Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. David Branch, Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold, Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya, and Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa. The undercard on paper looks absolutely amazing. But there’s just one problem: There’s no main event as of yet, and with so few stars and headliners available to fight, it’s hard to say who will be in the main event of the evening.
Here are some possible main event matchups for UFC 230 based on who is available to fight. Remember, since it’s in NYC, it has to be a big fight.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva
I still think the GSP vs. Silva superfight is the perfect main event headliner for UFC 230, as I wrote about in a recent article here at MMANews. This is a huge fight that MMA fans have wanted to see for years and with the UFC needing a big main event for this NYC card, it makes a lot of sense to finally get it done now. With GSP fighting his last fight at middleweight, the option is there to have this matchup with Silva at 185lbs or they could even fight at a catchweight. Silva is set to return from his USADA suspension in October and a fight with GSP in November lines up perfectly. GSP says he doesn’t have enough to gain by taking this fight, but if the UFC pays him enough maybe they can change his mind.
Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes
The women’s superweight between Cyborg and Nunes is going to happen at some point, the question is, is UFC 230 the time for the fight. I say why not, as long as both fighters are healthy. This is the best women’s fight out there to book at the moment and I think the UFC could do a serious job promoting it and making it a big fight for casual fans. If both fighters can return by November, then this might be the best current option available.
Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson
We know that Cormier is supposed to fight Brock Lesnar in a heavyweight superfight early next year, but this is MMA and anything can happen. Who even knows if Lesnar can pass his USADA tests closer to the fight. If Cormier feels like Lesnar is going to need too much time to come back, then he could move back down to light heavyweight and defend his belt there against the No. 1 contender in Gustafsson. The first fight between these two was a war and a rematch would be a big fight. Of course, Cormier would be taking a risk by fighting before the Lesnar match, but the good thing is even if he loses he would still be the heavyweight champ so the Lesnar fight could still happen. Odds are, Cormier does decide to wait, but if he wants to fight one more time this is the fight to make.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Should Holloway be ready to return from his injuries by November, then the fight with Ortega for the UFC featherweight title would be a great matchup. This fight is going to headline a PPV, either this one in NYC or the one in Toronto in December. If the doctors clear Holloway, then a November return against Ortega could be just what the doctor ordered for MMA fans, as this is the best featherweight matchup out there right now. It’s not a blockbuster fight by any means, but I still think it does pretty good numbers.
Dustin Poirier vs. Nate Diaz
One last option may be to just move up Poirier and Diaz to the main event slot. A lot of people were surprised when this fight wasn’t the main event off the bat. With Diaz returning after two years off and with Poirier quickly emerging as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, this could have easily passed off as the main event, with the added bonus of it being set for five rounds. The UFC must not think these guys can draw big PPV number on their own and so the promotion is looking at other options. As it stands, it’s the co-main event, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it some point it did move up to the main just because of how few options are actually available to the UFC right now.
What fight should headline UFC 230? Leave your thoughts below in a comment.