It’s no secret that the UFC has been going through a rough stretch as of late. Injuries and bad weight cuts have decimated some of the most promising events of the year but the company continues to trudge along with their insane event schedule; with so many events though the UFC is in desperate need of new names and faces to carry the promotion.

For this edition of The List we will take a look at the fighters the fans and the UFC brass should be keeping a close eye on. These fighters all have the potential to play a major role in the UFC’s immediate future and all of them could be competing for a title sooner rather than later.

Women’s Bantamweight: Jessica Andrade (11-3)

Jessica Andrade is an exceptional talent and at only 22 the sky is the limit as to how far she can go in this sport. While Liz Carmouche gave her a pretty good beating in her UFC debut Andrade has bounced back with three straight victories.

Andrade is a solid striker with good power and a well versed grappler; 10 of her 12 career victories have come by way of stoppage. She is already a dangerous fight for anyone not named Ronda Rousey and she is only going to get better from here.

Flyweight: John Lineker (24-7)

John Lineker can be a scary good flyweight but he has struggled mightily to consistently make weight during his UFC career. He is going to have to get that part of the fight game figured out fast, but if he can he is someone everyone at flyweight needs to worry about.

Since 2010 Lineker is 18-2 and at 24 he hasn’t even entered his prime yet. While he doesn’t have the pure speed some fighters in the division possess he does have a great equalizer in his power. His penchant for exciting fight just makes him that much more of a commodity for the UFC.

Bantamweight: Bryan Caraway (19-6)

It’s kind of sad that Bryan Caraway is better known for being Miesha Tate’s boyfriend than being an elite fighter, but that’s what happens when you date one of the most popular figures in the sport today. With that said Caraway is a scary good grappler and all of his UFC victories have come by way of submission.

Caraway is expected to take a big step up in competition for his next bout as he is rumored to be facing Raphael Assuncao. If he can keep on track a title shot could be just around the corner for him.

Featherweight: Max Holloway (10-3)

While Conor McGregor is garnering all of the attention in the featherweight division a lot of people are overlooking young stud Max Holloway. Holloway is only 22 and he already has six wins in his UFC career.

The UFC featherweight division is stacked but Holloway has time on his side and he is only getting better with every outing. Right now he is on a three fight win streak with all three coming by way of stoppage; that is exactly what fans and the UFC brass want to see.

Lightweight: Myles Jury (14-0)

When it comes to depth of talent it doesn’t get better than the UFC lightweight division. Competition is fierce from top to bottom in the division and Myles Jury is a rising star on a serious roll.

Jury has yet to lose in his MMA career and he has already racked up five impressive victories in the UFC. His mix of power and elite grappling make him a dangerous matchup and when he smells blood in the water he goes for the finish.

Welterweight: Gunnar Nelson (13-0-1)

The UFC welterweight division has long been one of the most prestigious divisions in all of MMA; with legendary champions like Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre the division has always been held in high regard. To be successful at welterweight in the UFC you have to be a special talent and Gunnar Nelson is a special talent.

The Icelandic fighter is undefeated in his MMA career and has compiled four UFC wins already. With three finishes and two “Performance of the Night” awards Nelson is as good of a prospect as there is in the UFC today. With his world class grappling resume and underrated striking he is going to be turning a lot of heads real soon.

Middleweight: Yoel Romero (8-1)

Yoel Romero is by far the oldest fighter on this list at 37 but he is as dangerous and exciting as they come. Romero is 4-0 in his UFC career and he has won three of those bouts by knockout. His power is simply devastating and that’s not even the best part of his game.

Romero is one of the best amateur wrestlers to ever compete in the sport and he has the credentials to back it up with multiple titles and an Olympic silver medal. Considering that Romero has only been in the fight game for a short amount of time he is just going to get more dangerous; right now he is a cross between Hector Lombard and Dan Henderson, which is a scary combination fans will love.

Light Heavyweight: Anthony Johnson (18-4)

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is the most well-known and highly ranked fighter on this list and he isn’t flying under the radar one bit. But he is still a fighter to keep your eye one because now that he has found the right weight class he is going to only get better from here.

He is arguably the most powerful striker in MMA today as seen by his destruction of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and a much better wrestler than people realize. Since being cut from the promotion in January of 2012 Johnson has gone 8-0 and has put together two very dominant wins together since returning to the UFC. A fight against No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson is reportedly in the works and a win would set Rumble up as the next likely opponent for the 205 lbs. strap.

Heavyweight: Jared Rosholt (11-1)

The heavyweight division is historically the weakest division in all of MMA and the UFC is the best representation of that. There are a few heavyweights that are truly elite fighters but the drop off after that is very noticeable. With an excellent wrestling pedigree Jared Rosholt is primed to go on a run.

Rosholt is the winningest heavyweight in the storied history of Oklahoma State University wrestling and a three-time NCAA All-American. He has the grappling ability to contend with anyone. Now he just needs to step his striking game up to make a real splash in the division.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.