Extremely, there are actually solely 5 weeks left in 2021, which signifies that from the perspective of the UFC, eyes are already turning to 2022.
With a handful of UFC occasions nonetheless happening in 2021, the promotion has begun to e book some main fights that might outline the early a part of subsequent yr.
With each main title fights and grudge matches on faucet, the UFC will anticipate 2022 to be one in all their most profitable years up to now.
With that in thoughts, listed below are 5 main UFC fights which have already been booked for 2022.
#5. Calvin Katar vs. Giga Chikadze – UFC Featherweight
The primary UFC occasion of 2022 is about to happen on January fifteenth and there may be more likely to be one other combat evening on the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
The occasion appears to be full of loads of frivolous bouts on the time of writing, however the headline combat is certainly value maintaining a tally of. In reality, it might effectively put together a future title contender within the UFC featherweight division.
Calvin Katar will face Giga Chikadze within the match in query. Not solely is that this combat more likely to be necessary for its weight class, nevertheless it also needs to be a variety of enjoyable.
By the point the present begins, Katar may have mainly spent a complete yr on the shelf after dropping it to Max Holloway this January. Nevertheless, “The Boston Finisher” continues to be a extremely related fighter at 145 kilos.
His victories over opponents equivalent to Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos and Dan Ige have propelled him to the No. 5 spot within the UFC featherweight rankings. A win over Chikadze instantly put him in de facto title rivalry.
Chickadze, in the meantime, is arguably the quickest rising star within the division for the time being, due to his stoppage wins over Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza in 2021.
The Georgian has displayed a remarkably efficient hanging sport throughout his UFC tenure and now holds an octagonal file of 7-0. A win over Dagger will nearly definitely put them in line for a title shot later in 2022, particularly if Alexander Volkanovsky and Max Holloway finish their rivalry within the meantime.
Basically, followers can anticipate a spectacular hanging battle from this combat, with Katar’s slick boxing clashing with Chickadze’s charming model. That is undoubtedly a memorable combat for any UFC fan.
Right here is the newest UFC schedule
#4. Jared Cannonnier vs. Derek Brunson – UFC Middleweight
The UFC’s first main pay-per-view occasion of 2022 is about to happen on January 22 in Anaheim, California. Whereas UFC 270 might be dominated by two massive title fights, there are lots of different intriguing conflicts to stay up for. Undercard.
One such conflict sees standout middleweight Jared Cannonnier and Derek Brunson face off. Is that this combat more likely to be the following challenger for UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya? It sounds unlikely, however judging by each males’s runs, you by no means know.
Brunson is on an extended profitable streak, having registered 5 consecutive wins as of Could 2019. Nevertheless, his most spectacular efficiency got here earlier this yr. In the primary occasion of UFC Vegas 36, he strangled Darren Until, a person recognized by Adesanya as a possible opponent, within the third spherical.
Brunson has had a earlier loss from ‘The Final Stylebender,’ nevertheless it got here again in 2018. If he can end Cannonnier, he might discover it troublesome to disclaim him a crack within the title.
Cannonier, in the meantime, is coming off a choice victory over Calvin Gastelum, one of many greatest wins of his profession. His earlier combat noticed him forward of present high contender Robert Whitaker. Outdoors of that, ‘The Killa Gorilla’ has by no means been beat at 185 kilos.
This makes him a really viable opponent for Adesanya and if he can win right here, there may be each likelihood he’ll discover himself in battle with the winner of a possible title combat between the Nigerian-New Zealander and Whitaker.
Who will win? It is an fascinating query and the one attainable consequence is that each males will throw heavy arms at one another. Which means it should be a fierce battle to see.
#3. Thiago Santos vs Magomed Ankalev – UFC Mild Heavyweight
It is not going to occur till March 12, however the gentle heavyweight conflict between Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalev is sort of definitely going to be one of many greatest bouts of early 2022.
The 205-pound weight class is in a typically enticing spot proper now. New champion Glover Teixeira is a superb fighter, but in addition a weak one. Whereas a combat with Jiri Prochazka has been mentioned, an official high contender is but to be confirmed.
Which means with a win right here, Ankalev might effectively leap on ‘Denissa’ within the queue and put together himself for a shot at Teixeira someday in 2022.
Dagestani has been wanting like an absolute monster since his UFC debut in 2018. He’s now on a seven-fight profitable streak that features victories over the likes of Volkan Ozdemir and Nikita Krylov.
Nevertheless, Santos might be his hardest check ever. ‘Maretta’ is without doubt one of the nastiest gatekeepers within the division and not too long ago overtook Johnnie Walker to get himself on the profitable observe.
The Brazilian has received over former champion Jan Blachowicz and with a win right here he’s unlikely to get a shot at Teixeira, he might simply forestall Anklava from climbing the ranks in his tracks.
It does not matter who wins it, although, it should be one hell of a combat. Santos is at present one of many heaviest hitters within the division and Anklaev, regardless of his highly effective wrestling, is more likely to be prepared to interact him in a firefight.
The UFC’s Combat Night time Present does not all the time have fascinating headlines, nevertheless it definitely falls inside that realm. That is stuff value seeing.
#2. Brandon Moreno vs. Diveson Figueredo – UFC Flyweight
The UFC flyweight title rivalry between Brandon Moreno and Devson Figueredo was anticipated to come back to a head with their trilogy match at UFC 269. It has since been moved to UFC 270, making a 2021 loss to a 2022 achieve.
The primary two conferences between these excellent fighters are one of the vital memorable within the historical past of the UFC flyweight division. The primary, which befell in late 2020, noticed Figueredo on the high, solely to search out himself at some extent for persistent fouling, permitting Moreno to tug off an sudden draw.
Within the second combat, in fact, ‘The Murderer Child’ stunned everybody by taking the combat to the Brazilian. She offered him with a rear-neck choke within the third spherical and took his title within the course of.
Apparently, Figueredo, who blamed the loss to Moreno for poor weight reduction, will in all probability nonetheless are available in because the favorite. Nevertheless, his Mexican rival has proved repeatedly that he merely can’t be counted on.
Primarily based on his final two battles, this ought to be a wonderful combat. Regardless of who wins, the UFC may have a flyweight kingpin they are often happy with.
#1. Francis Nganou vs. Cyril Acquire – UFC Heavyweight
The largest combat booked for the beginning of 2022 might be the most effective UFC heavyweight title combat in a technology, as Francis Nganou and Cyril Acquire lastly face off.
Not solely does it pit the 2 titleholders in opposition to one another, nevertheless it additionally represents an enormous conflict of genres and battles between two of the division’s biggest strikers.
There is no such thing as a doubt that present UFC Heavyweight Champion Ngannou ought to come into the conflict as a favourite. Arguably the heaviest hitter in MMA historical past, “The Predator” has defeated a lot of the greatest heavyweights in UFC historical past, from Cain Velasquez and Stipe Miocic to Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos.
His final combat, his title win over Miocic, noticed him show some new wrinkles within the type of a greater defensive wrestling sport and extra grit than earlier than, making him much more harmful. Nevertheless, they are going to have their arms stuffed with Acquire, the present interim champion. ‘Bon Gamin’ hasn’t been fairly as deadly contained in the octagon as Nganou, with three of his seven UFC victories masking the gap.
From a technical perspective, nonetheless, he’s arguably higher than the Naganou. He has outmaneuvered virtually each fighter he has confronted in promotion thus far, from Derrick Lewis to Jerzinho Rosenstruik.
Whether or not Nganou’s uncooked energy or Acquire’s technical model comes out on high stays to be seen. Both method, this combat guarantees to be a possible traditional, with the winner incomes not solely the UFC heavyweight title, but in addition the label of ‘the worst man on the planet’.