Up and coming fighters come and go. These fighters are here to stay. Our list of potential UFC champions in 2018 that most people don't know right now. This might change because these contenders are rising stars and with one or two more impressive victories they will be known to most people as the elite of mixed martial arts.
7. Mackenzie Dern
She's been called the greatest women's bjj practioner by analyst and fighters alike. With multiple victories in ADCC there is no surprise she lived up to her hype with victories at straw weight. She has a lot of potential and it would be hard to ignore her by the end of 2018.
6. Josh Emmet
4 Minutes and 33 seconds. That's all it took for Josh Emmets to take out a a deadly and skilled title contender Richardo Lamas. Keep your eyes open for this guy, he's a Team Alpha Male Fighter. He's been under the radar and he's 1 or 2 fights from becoming a title challenger.
5. Paulo Costa
11-0. With his last victory being an impressive 2nd round finish over former welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks. Keep in mind he's young and his training partners say he learns fast.
4. Sean O'Malley
He's a Contender Series Winner and even snoop dogg likes him. He's also no joke and highly skilled. A real martial artist when he fights. "Suga" Sean O'malley knows the " Sweet Science" of boxing well with his impressive walk away knock out victory over rising star, Terrion Ware. He has a long road of bantamweight killers to go through but his smooth but deadly style may prove supreme by the end of 2018.
3. Colby Covington
Love him or hate him he's making noise especially in the octagon. His entertaining and aggressive style makes for a scary up and comer. Colby is a serious welterweight contender at the age of 29. With a young hunger and time to learn Colby could be champ and he proved this when he beat 2 division UFC world title challenger, Demian Maia earning him the title as the 3rd best fighter in his division right now. With his eyes on the UFC welterweight title, he could be a champion sooner than we'd expect.
2. Darren Til
A lot of you already knew about this guy. But did you know him before his mind blowing victory where he picked apart former UFC lightweight title challenger and fan favourite Donald " Cowboy " Cerrone. Either way Darren Til is here to stay, he didn't land a lucky punch, Cowboy has amazing technique and Darren figured him out. He's young and only 1 impressive win from being a mainstream star.
1. Brian Ortega
"T-city" may be the first that gets a chance to dethrone a champion as he is most likely fighting the winner of Holloway vs Edgar. Whoever wins that fight may just have to defend it against this underground submission artist. With an undefeated record it's shocking how he went under the mainstream radar for this long. However, after his spectacular guillotine choke victory over fight of the year winner Cub Swanson, this may change very quickly in 2018. Brian Ortega is someone you should keep an eye out for, especially if you're a submission shark with his 7 wins by submission.
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