The calendar is getting ready to turn over to 2022 and the UFC has big plans for the next calendar year. There were so many big fights that took place in 2021, and the world’s premier MMA organization will look to continue that next year.
Some of the notable fights that took place this year are the two fights with Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Charles Oliveira became the UFC lightweight champion when he knocked out Michael Chandler.
UFC 261 featured the return to arenas and saw Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas score big knockout wins in their title fights. Then you had the fight of the year at UFC 268 when Justin Gaethje defeated Michael Chandler.
So many epic moments and epic fights took place this year. As mentioned, the UFC is already making fights through April of next year. There are some big things in the works.
That being said, what are some of the fights that are must makes for the promotion next year?
UFC fights that need to happen
Conor McGregor – Nate Diaz 3
When they first fought, Diaz shocked everyone by submitting Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Then McGregor won an instant classic in the rematch at UFC 201. Since then, the trilogy has been always on the table.
However, the UFC has never pulled the trigger on it. Given where both men stand, I think it’s the perfect time for it.
Colby Covington – Jorge Masvidal
The next fight the UFC needs to make is arguably the biggest grudge match there is to make. That would be the matchup between former teammates and close friends Colby Covington (16-3) and Jorge Masvidal (35-15).
Both of these men are also in a very similar position. They’ve both lost to Kamaru Usman twice and will need some big momentum to warrant a third shot against the UFC champion.
They’ve been jawing at each other for the past couple of years, but the fight has never come together. Now is the time for the UFC to make this happen and even perhaps make them coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.
Jon Jones – Heavyweight Champion
The last fight the UFC needs to make this year is booking Jon Jones‘ (26-1, 1 NC) return fight for the heavyweight title. We haven’t seen Jones in the UFC since the beginning of 2020.
Jones has bulked up in anticipation of his heavyweight debut which is expected to be for the title. Next month, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane will battle for the undisputed heavyweight title.
You can imagine that Jones will be watching closely. He’s hinted that he wants to fight the winner next summer, and I think that would be an ideal situation for the UFC.