Five UFC fights we want to see in 2022

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Danny Howard

December 20th, 2021

2021 is in the books for the UFC, and what a year it was! Here are the five fights we need to see in 2022 to achieve the same level of off-the-charts excitement.

1. Ciryl Gane vs. Francis Ngannou

Though Gane vs. Ngannou was inevitable, it became absolutely necessary when backstage UFC politics resulted in Gane being crowned interim heavyweight champion a little over a month after Ngannou won the real title. Gane has all the tools to beat the most dangerous man in the world, but Ngannou’s experience and power give him the edge he needs. It’s a great fight we’ll see at UFC 270.

2. Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko III

After Nunes' shocking loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 269, the powers that be immediately moved to crown rival Shevchenko as the best female fighter in the world. For one reason or another, Nunes has been ambivalent in facing Shevchenko again after two questionable wins.

Now with Pena making her vulnerable and exposed, Nunes might be compelled to finally face another dominant champion who is champing at the bit to fight her.

3. Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler

McGregor vs. Chandler will guarantee unparalleled violence and is one of many explosive fights to be had at lightweight. While Chandler fell short in titanic struggles against Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje, he might be more trouble than the aging McGregor can handle at this stage of his career. McGregor will be back in the octagon after his gruesome injury heals up, and the action-minded McGregor might look Chandler’s way to restart his journey to a lightweight title.

4. Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev

Oliveira ended 2021 as the main man at lightweight after upset wins over both Chandler and Dustin Poirier, but the champion isn’t out of the woods yet.

Makhachev is quickly gaining traction, and will no doubt be closing in on Oliveira sooner than later, and the two grappling specialists are currently without equal. If Oliveira loses to Makhachev, he’ll be derided as a placeholder titlist, but beating Khabib Nurmagomedov’s disciple should deservedly put him in pound-for-pound consideration.

5. Kamaru Usman vs. Israel Adesanya

We never got GSP vs. Anderson Silva or Jon Jones vs. Brock Lesnar, but we absolutely can and should get Usman vs. Adesanya at middleweight in 2022. Both men have cleaned out their divisions to the point where nobody really wants another crack at their titles. These dominant champions are closer to each other in size than it seems, and they provide the career-defining fight each man needs at this stage of their legendary careers. It’s a risk for both men, especially Usman, but it will be the biggest fight and most dramatic moment 2022 can offer fight fans if it happens.