(I am assuming innocent until proven guilty in regards to the accusations against Conor McGregor as well as a return to the Lightweight Division after a win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246)
Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone are set to headline UFC 246 on January 18th 2020, but the hype does not need to end there to cement another great year in the UFC Lightweight Division. Justin Gaethje vs Conor McGregor makes sense since both would be coming off wins vs Donald Cerrone, and it looks like Justin Gaethje is not getting the Lightweight title shot until late 2020 at the earliest. Justin Gaethje may not have a guaranteed title shot at all if Conor McGregor brings the casuals back almost guaranteeing a chance at the winner of Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 . Justin Gaethje is deserving of his title shot on merit alone, but with UFC politics coming into play Justin Gaethje vs Conor Mcgregor in the summer is the only chance for Justin Gaethje to remove all doubt he is deserving of the next title shot late 2020. Either way the title picture is likely crowded enough to get the division through 2020 with big fights.
Going with this timeline other ranked Lightweight contenders will need to sort out who ends up as the clear challenger by the end of the 2020. Paul Felder vs Dan Hooker is booked for February 23, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 168. Kevin Lee needs an opponent if he wants to show out, and i can’t think of anyone better then the last title challenger in Dustin Poirier in the first half of 2020. The fighter who comes out of this gauntlet 2-0 will likely have have an undeniable claim to Challenge for the Lightweight Championship going into 2021.
What fights do you want to see in 2020?