2018 may go down as the most significant year in the history of MMA since 2005. Last year saw an unprecedented increase in the financial leverage of individual fighters. When fighters who aren’t major draws in the UFC can reportedly generate 8 figure salaries in competing organizations, it’s clear that the old rules no longer apply. This is great for fighters in the short term, but if the UFC doesn't adapt quickly, it could be bad for everyone in the long run.
15 years ago Russia was home to some of the greatest fighters in MMA. But the MMA landscape is always changing, and through the late 2000s Russian fighters virtually disappeared. The tides have again turned for Russian MMA, and it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario where Russian fighters hold 3 major UFC belts by the end of 2019.