UFC fights to make before the end of 2022

UFC, Jon Jones

The UFC has had a really nice five-month stretch to start the calendar year in 2022. From a PPV perspective, we started the year with Francis Ngannou unifying the heavyweight title by defeating former training partner and the previously unbeaten Ciryl Gane.

At UFC 271, we saw Israel Adesanya edge out Robert Whittaker in their highly anticipated rematch. Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal finally met in the octagon at UFC 272 and Covington dominated Gamebred to win a decision.

UFC 273 saw Alexander Volkanovski continue his reign by dominating The Korean Zombie. Aljamain Sterling legitimized his bantamweight championship and Khamzat Chimaev showed that his hype was real with a gutsy win over Gilbert Burns.

Just a few weeks ago, Charles Oliveira lost his lightweight title on the scale by missing weight by .5 pounds. However, he showed everyone he’s still the best lightweight in the world after finishing Justin Gaethje in the first round.

So many great fights and great moments through the first five months of the year. However, the UFC is just getting started for 2022 and there’s plenty of big fights to come. While there’s already some big fights announced, let’s dive into some that aren’t confirmed but need to happen before the end of the year.

UFC Fights to Make

Jon Jones – Stipe Miocic

Let’s start with an obvious one here. Before the year is over, we need to see Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) in the heavyweight division. Arguably the greatest of all time, Jones has been preparing for his heavyweight debut for over two years now.

Francis Ngannou is not available due to recovering from knee surgery, so Jones cannot fight for the undisputed heavyweight title. However, he can fight the greatest heavyweight of all time for the interim UFC heavyweight title.

Stipe Miocic (20-4) has been wanting his rematch with Francis Ngannou. They’ve fought twice and he’s 1-1 with the champion. However, with Ngannou not available, Miocic wants to fight the best. Well, it doesn’t get much better than Jon Jones.

At the moment, the UFC is currently looking at September for an interim title fight with Jones and Miocic. This would be a massive fight and whoever wins could fight Ngannou after the first of the year or by the end of the year for the undisputed heavyweight crown.

Conor McGregor – Michael Chandler

Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor (22-6) is still the biggest star in the UFC. The former two-division champion is ramping up his rehab with plans to make his return to the octagon by the end of the year. McGregor has been recovering from a broken leg he suffered in his last bout.

Many have been wondering who will face McGregor upon his return. McGregor has hinted that he wants to fight at 170 pounds when he comes back. There is a fellow lightweight that’s already called for a fight at 170 pounds with him and it’s a fight fans should love.

I really think that Michael Chandler (23-7) is a perfect opponent for McGregor. Chandler will bang with McGregor, but he also brings a wrestling base that could challenge him in his return to the cage. After Chandler knocked out Tony Ferguson, he called for the fight and McGregor expressed interest.

To me, there’s really no wrong answer in terms of booking Conor McGregor. The man will sell the event by himself. However, if I had it my way, I would love to see him take on Michael Chandler.

Dustin Poirier – Nate Diaz

The fact that this fight hasn’t already been booked by the UFC upsets me. For months, Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) and Nate Diaz (20-13) have been calling to fight each other. It’s a fight that fans are begging for and the stars want it. So, why isn’t the fight being made?

Well that has to do with Diaz and his contract with the UFC. Diaz currently has one fight left on his contract. With his recent comments, he’s seemingly indicated that he isn’t interested in resigning with the promotion after his contract expires.

With that, the UFC has been trying to book him against Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev is a nightmare opponent for Diaz and would not be great for his brand as he exits. Diaz has declined Chimaev and with UFC contracts, if you decline opponents after they are formally offered, your contract extends.

Because of this, Diaz is in limbo. I wish these things didn’t play a role in it, but it does. My hope is that a middle ground can be found and we finally get the fight we’ve wanted between Diaz and Poirier. However, I’m not holding my breath at this point.

Charles Oliveira – Islam Makhachev

Finally we can hear people stop talking because we will get to see this fight to determine the best lightweight in the UFC. Make no mistake about it, Charles Oliveira (33-8, 1 NC) is the best lightweight in the UFC. He might not be the champion due to him missing weight, but he’s the best.

Yet, there’s a large group of people out there who claim that Islam Makhachev (22-1) is the best. The protege of former lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov has won ten fights in a row. Granted, it’s not the sexiest list of opponents. His best win in the UFC is Dan Hooker which really isn’t saying much at the moment.

Despite that, many view him as the best. Oliveira’s last four wins have come against Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Tony Ferguson. At the moment, it looks like the UFC is going to potentially book Oliveira – Makhachev in the fall.

Whenever they finally fight, we will finally get some clarity and the world can settle down in terms of the debate between Oliveira and Makhachev.

Will the UFC book Dustin Poirier – Colby Covington in July?

dustin poirier, ufc

Back at UFC 272, Colby Covington (17-3) dominated Jorge Masvidal over the course of five rounds and won an extremely lopsided decision. After the fight was over, “Chaos” took to the microphone and there was one man that he wanted to face next.

That man is former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC). Covington used to train at American Top Team along with Masvidal and Poirier. However, after a nasty split from the team, things have become personal between Covington and his former teammates.

None more personal than Masvidal, but there has been some heat with Poirier. Poirier has said in the past that he wouldn’t take a fight with Covington because he doesn’t want Covington making a single dime off the sacrifices that Poirier has made in his career.

However, Dustin Poirier wants a fight. He’s been asking the UFC for a fight and he told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour that he UFC just offered him a fight for July. The fight they offered him was for July 30th and it was a matchup against Colby Covington.

Will the UFC book the fight?

Poirier did tell Helwani that the fight against Covington is not his first choice. His first choice would be a fight with Nate Diaz which is also the fight that Diaz wants. However, Diaz and the UFC are at a standstill in terms of their contract negotiations.

Diaz has one fight left on his current deal with the UFC. The promotion has been trying to book him against Khamzat Chimaev which is an awful matchup for Diaz. My feeling is that they are trying to book him against Chimaev because Diaz has indicated that he’s not resigning with the UFC.

If Diaz does sign a new deal, I would expect the Poirier fight to come together quickly. Something still tells me that this is the most likely scenario. However, the Covington fight is interesting and one I didn’t think Poirier would express interest in.

The fight would definitely sell and would be another installment of Covington versus American Top Team.

After huge knockout win at UFC 274, what’s next for Michael Chandler?

MMA, UFC, michael chandler

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 274, we saw a matchup between two top lightweight contenders who really needed a win. Former interim UFC champion Tony Ferguson (25-7) was trying to avoid a fourth straight loss as he took on former title challenger Michael Chandler (23-7).

This fight promised action and it didn’t disappoint. In the opening part of the first round, it was El Cucuy that took charge. Ferguson was able to briefly drop Chandler with a quick check hook and he spent the majority of the first round stalking Chandler.

Chandler was swinging wild with power punches after getting hurt, but nothing was really landing on Ferguson. Then, Chandler decided to switch to his wrestling used a power double-leg to take down the former UFC interim champion.

However, Ferguson was comfortable on his back and started slicing Chandler up with elbows. Chandler landed some good shots, but Ferguson likely took the first round. Ferguson was smiling in between rounds, but that smile would quickly fade.

Just seconds into the second round, Chandler pushed forward and caught Ferguson flush with front kick to the face. In one of the more devastating knockouts you’ll ever see, Ferguson crumbled to the ground and Chandler picked up his second win in the UFC.

What’s next after UFC 274?

After the knockout win, Chandler showed off his promo skills once again at UFC 274. He took the stage to call out the guys in the main event and he also called out “The Notorious” Conor McGregor for a fight at 170 pounds.

That potential fight is one that Dana White said he liked at the UFC 274 post-fight press conference. However, there’s another fight that’s materialized in the last day or so that might come together rather quickly.

Nate Diaz has been calling for a fight for a while now. The UFC has kept him on ice hoping to book him against either Conor McGregor or Khamzat Chimaev. Diaz just wants to fight and he called for a fight with Chandler at 170 pounds.

Chandler has already said he’s game and that could be a fight that they decide to make. I’m confident in saying that Chandler will be facing one of the following three next: Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, or Dustin Poirier.

While he didn’t call out Poirier at UFC 274, I don’t think anyone would turn down watching that fight. If the Diaz or McGregor fights don’t come together, I’m expecting The Diamond to be the next opponent for Iron Mike.

After dominant win at UFC 272, what’s next for Colby Covington?

This past weekend in the main event of UFC 272 we saw a highly anticipated grudge match between two of the best welterweights in the world. Former best friends Colby Covington (17-3) and Jorge Masvidal (35-16) went to battle to settle their personal beef.

Going into UFC 272, the path to victory for both men was clear. Covington needed to use his pace and wrestling to break down Masvidal while Masvidal needed to keep things standing at range to hurt Covington.

In the first round, Masvidal immediately targeted the legs of Covington trying to slow down his pace. However, they really didn’t have any impact. All night long, Covington was able to pressure Masvidal up against the fence and get ahold of him.

Even when they were striking, Covington get the better of things most of the time due to volume. Now, Masvidal did drop Covington in the fourth round with a big right hand, but he couldn’t follow up.

Ultimately, it was a very one-sided fight at UFC 272. Colby Covington was too much for Masvidal and won a lopsided decision while proving once again that he’s clearly the second best welterweight on the roster.

What’s next after UFC 272?

Immediately after the main event concluded, Covington made it clear who he wanted next. Covington said that he wanted to fight another former teammate in former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.

Like with Masvidal, Covington has serious personal beef with Dustin Poirier. Poirier has teased that he wants to move up to welterweight and Covington has made it clear that he wants to fight him. However, Poirier has said already that he’s not interested in that fight.

If he was, I would be all for the UFC making that fight happen. In terms of fights that make sense for the division, I would point to a couple of upcoming welterweight fights. There are matchups between Vicente Luque – Belal Muhammad and Khamzat Chimaev – Gilbert Burns.

Covington hasn’t fought any of those four men. One of those winners would make for a perfect opponent that would get Covington in a good spot to once agains challenge for the UFC welterweight title.

What is holding up the UFC and Nate Diaz?

There might not be another fighter in the UFC who wants to fight more than Nate Diaz (20-13). Diaz has been asking for fights and he wanted to get back in the octagon as soon as this month. Last month, he called for a fight with Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC).

Poirier recently revealed that the UFC was trying to put together a fight with him and Diaz sooner than later. In fact, it appeared that there was some momentum in the fight getting booked for UFC 272 in February. However, all that momentum has hit a screeching halt.

So, what is the issue? Well the issue lies on the Diaz side of things. There is one big roadblock for the promotion in booking this fight and that is the status of Diaz’s contract. Currently, Diaz only has one fight left on his current deal and that is giving pause to the UFC.

The UFC’s Plan

Nate Diaz is a massive star for the UFC. The UFC doesn’t like their massive stars testing free agency. There’s a reason why the promotion has rarely let big time talent walk over the years. Most of the time, the best fighters who the promotion wants, never touch free agency.

Why is that? Well, the UFC will hold up on booking the final fight of their contract and try to negotiate an extension. Most of the time, the promotion is able to secure an extension and fights get booked. However, things haven’t been as smooth so far with Nate Diaz.

Ariel Helwani shed some light on this last week. Let’s be clear, Nate Diaz wants to fight. He wants to fight the best there is to fight. The UFC wants to keep Diaz around and for that reason, they are holding him up until they can secure him for additional fights.

It’s like a game of chicken. Diaz just wants the UFC to give him a fight while the UFC wants Diaz to sign an extension. It will all come down to who blinks first. One thing that’s for sure, if the promotion blinks, don’t expect Diaz to fight someone with a big name.

The last thing the UFC wants is for Diaz to have a fight that makes him a bigger star just to see him test free agency. Diaz will only get a big fight if he agrees to additional fights. Negotiations are still ongoing but hopefully we should hear something soon.

Momentum building for Nate Diaz – Dustin Poirier at UFC 272

One of the biggest fights the UFC could make looks like it’s coming together. Today, Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) appeared on The Fight with Teddy Atlas. During his appearance on the podcast, Poirier shed some light on a potential upcoming fight.

At first, Poirier was hinting that his next fight would be short-notice. He said that he didn’t want to give anything away, but he said that UFC fans would be pumped for the matchup. The co-host of the show said that he had to be talking about Nate Diaz (20-13) and Poirier acknowledged that to be the truth.

Poirier said that he was called in the last couple of days regarding a short-notice fight with Diaz. He said that the fight would take place in less than six weeks which lines it up for UFC 272 in February. The title fight between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker currently is headlining that card.

However, Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier is currently scheduled to be the co-main event of UFC 272. While that’s a good fight, it’s likely not what the UFC wants in their co-main event slot. That is where this potential Poirier – Diaz fight comes into play.

UFC 272 for Poirier – Diaz?

This whole thing started when Diaz said that he would fight Poirier in January on Twitter. Poirier responded saying that he would fight Diaz whenever Diaz would accept the fight. The UFC kicked the tires on making the fight happen, but ultimately opted against it.

Dana White recently said that the UFC would make the fight happen if the fighters wanted it along with the fans. Well, both guys want this fight and it appears close to being a signed deal. Poirier hinted that at this point the only thing standing in the way is signed contracts.

This would be the final fight on Diaz’s UFC contract and the fight would take place at welterweight. It would be a massive fight for both men and the winner could be looking at a summer showdown with Conor McGregor. Assuming this fight gets done, fans should be very excited.

UFC: Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier down to fight each other

UFC 269 was this past weekend and Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) was fighting for the lightweight title. It was Poirier’s second opportunity at undisputed lightweight gold.

Charles Oliveira (32-8) was able to defeat Poirier on Saturday by submission. The loss made Poirier 0-2 in bids to become the UFC‘s undisputed lightweight title.

A dejected Poirier appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show yesterday and talked about the fight. Poirier mentioned that he hadn’t watched the fight back yet and that he didn’t know what would be next.

In fact, Poirier mentioned that he doesn’t know if he’s going to fight at lightweight ever again. Poirier has expressed interest for a while in moving up to the UFC’s welterweight division.

When asked about potential opponents, Poirier said there’s only one name that gets him excited. That would name is Stockton’s own Nathan Diaz (20-13).

Both interested in January UFC fight

These two were supposed to fight a couple of years ago. However, Poirier had to pull out of the fight with an injury and fans never got to see the highly anticipated matchup.

Diaz took to Twitter yesterday and said that he would fight Poirier next month. Poirier then responded saying that he would fight Diaz this month and the two went back-and-forth.

UFC 270 is the January PPV and one of the main card fights just dropped off. Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier has shifted to UFC 271 in February.

With the main card opening there, the writing is on the wall if the UFC is interested in making it happen. Ariel Helwani reported last night that it’s not just Twitter talk and that both Diaz and Poirier have serious interest in fighting.

My guess is that the UFC is going to start working towards making this happen. The promotion has been trying to figure out the perfect fight for Diaz as he only has one fight left on his contract.

I think everyone can agree that a fight with Dustin Poirier would be perfect. This will definitely be something to watch over the coming days.

After falling short at UFC 269, what’s next for Dustin Poirier?

This past weekend at UFC 269, the undisputed lightweight title was on the line. Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) was looking to finally get his hands on undisputed gold when he took on Charles Oliveira (32-8).

For Dustin Poirier, the fight couldn’t have started better at UFC 269. The former interim champion dropped Oliveira and hurt him a couple of times in the first round. Things were going according to plan.

However, the second round saw the momentum completely shift. After a grappling exchange, Poirier found himself on the bottom. Fearful of the submission game of Oliveira, Poirier rode out the round on bottom while eating plenty of elbows.

In the third round, Oliveira charged forward and forced another grappling exchange. This time, the UFC champion was able to immediately get the back of Dustin Poirier.

Once there, the fight was essentially over. Oliveira started attacking a rear-naked choke and was able to lock one in. Poirier tried to fight it off but was forced to tap as Oliveira successfully defended his UFC lightweight title.

What’s next after UFC 269?

There are no other words to describe Poirier’s loss other than crushing. Poirier admitted at the post-fight press conference that he was heartbroken and devastated by the result.

Make no mistake about it, Dustin Poirier is one of the best fighters in the UFC. However, undisputed gold has been outside of his reach his entire career.

He got his first shot two years ago against Khabib Nurmagomedov and suffered the same result. Now, The Diamond must go back to the drawing board and figure out whats next.

The UFC does have a couple of options they can look at. An obvious choice from a rankings perspective is Michael Chandler (22-7). Chandler is on a two-fight losing streak but the losses came to Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

A fight between Poirier and Chandler would re-establish one of them right in the title picture. If Poirier is looking for a big money fight, I love the idea of him and Nate Diaz (20-13).

These two have wanted to fight for years and now could be the perfect time. Diaz needs a fight and Poirier might want a money fight over a contender fight with Chandler.

That fight could setup a potential fourth matchup with Conor McGregor (22-6) once McGregor is ready to return over the summer. There are still plenty of big fights out there for Poirier and don’t rule him out just yet.

Charles Oliveira submits Dustin Poirier at UFC 269

In the main event of UFC 269 we saw a highly anticipated matchup for the lightweight title. The champion Charles Oliveira (31-8) took on ‘The Diamond’ Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC).

Poirier finally got another crack at the undisputed lightweight title. After capturing the interim title, Poirier got a shot at the UFC‘s undisputed title back in 2019 against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier was submitted in that fight.

However, since then, he hasn’t lost. This year alone, Poirier has defeated former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor twice.

Charles Oliveira might be the most complete lightweight in the UFC and it should be no shock to anyone that he’s become lightweight champion.

With Oliveira, it was never a question regarding talent. On pure talent and skill, you can easily make the argument that he’s near the very top of the UFC. However, he always struggled to put everything together.

You cannot say that anymore. Oliveira has gone on an incredible run and that run culminated at UFC 262 when he stopped Michael Chandler to become undisputed lightweight champion.

UFC 269 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 269 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Oliveira who throws a flying knee. Big elbow inside from Oliveira. However, Poirier sits him down briefly with a big right hand.

However, Oliveira goes right back on the pressure. Big shots from both men. Nice knees to the body from Oliveira but Poirier cracks him with a big shot to get some space. Beautiful lead uppercut from Oliveira. However, again, Poirier lands a nice shot to back him off.

Oliveira shoots for his first takedown. Poirier defends well but eats another knee to the body. Big shots from Poirier seem to rock Oliveira. Oliveira lands another knee to the body. Big body kick from Oliveira.

Big hook from Poirier sits down Oliveira again. However, Oliveira brings him right into the guard to recover. Poirier stands up and he starts pressuring big. Big shots from Poirier and Oliveira looks rocked.

However, Oliveira is standing in the pocket and he’s throwing back heavy shots of his own. Crazy pace and a crazy round one at UFC 269 that should go to Dustin Poirier.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 269 and I’m almost out of breath just following this fight. The second round starts with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Oliveira to start the second round. Big body kick from Oliveira and he shoots for a takedown.

Poirier defending well here against the fence. Knee to the body from Oliveira who is trying to drag Poirier to the ground. Poirier scrambles and Oliveira tries to attack an arm. Oliveira uses that to get the top position.

The champion settles into the guard and he lands a nice elbow. Another big elbow from Oliveira. Nasty ground and pound here from the champion. Poirier is just holding Oliveira here in the second.

Massive elbows from Oliveira who is dominating the challenger here in round two. Thirty seconds left and this has been a very one-sided round for the UFC champion. Punch to the body and elbow up top from the champion. Dominant second round comes to a close for Oliveira.

Round 3

Entering the third at UFC 269 and it’s 1-1 after two. Immediate pressure again from the champion and he starts with a body kick. Right straight from Oliveira and he transitions right to a takedown attempt.

Oliveira immediately transitions to the back of the challenger. The champion gets on Poirier’s back and he’s trying for a choke here. Poirier is trying to defend but Oliveira locks the choke in. Poirier tries to fight it but is forced to tap. The UFC lightweight title stays in Brazil.

Charles Oliveira def. Dustin Poirier by Submission – Round 3

UFC 269 Preview: Charles Oliveira – Dustin Poirier

In the main event of UFC 269 we will see a highly anticipated matchup for the lightweight title. The champion Charles Oliveira (31-8) will be looking to successfully defend his title for the first time when he takes on ‘The Diamond’ Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC).

Poirier is finally going to get another crack at the undisputed lightweight title. After capturing the interim title, Poirier got a shot at the UFC‘s undisputed title back in 2019 against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier was submitted in that fight.

However, since then, he hasn’t lost. This year alone, Poirier has defeated former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor twice. Now, he’s looking to ride that momentum and capture undisputed gold.

That said, he has a very tall order tomorrow night. Charles Oliveira might be the most complete lightweight in the UFC and it should be no shock to anyone that he’s become lightweight champion.

With Oliveira, it was never a question regarding talent. On pure talent and skill, you can easily make the argument that he’s near the very top of the UFC. However, he always struggled to put everything together.

You cannot say that anymore. Oliveira has gone on an incredible run and that run culminated at UFC 262 when he stopped Michael Chandler to become undisputed lightweight champion.

UFC 269 Prediction

This is one of those fights where you truly don’t want either man to lose. Two of the best fighters in the UFC and two of the best individuals you will come across in the promotion. However, someone has to lose, and someone will tomorrow night.

The striking is going to be very interesting to watch. Dustin Poirier has some of the best boxing in the UFC. Charles Oliveira has some of the best pure Muay Thai in the UFC. If this fight is at range, Oliveira has a huge advantage.

However, I don’t think Poirier will keep this at distance. Poirier is best when he goes downhill, and I expect that from him tomorrow. Expect a lot of pressure from The Diamond as he tries to break Oliveira.

One thing to watch out for is the takedowns of Oliveira. Oliveira has perfect timing on his takedowns and if Poirier presses too hard, he might get taken down which is not where you want to be with Charles Oliveira.

I keep going back and forth for this UFC 269 prediction. On technique alone, Oliveira is the better fighter in my opinion. However, when it comes to being just a pure dog inside the octagon, there’s none tougher than Poirier.

I’m expecting fireworks but in the end, I think the kid from Lafayette is going to become undisputed lightweight champion. Poirier’s pressure finally gets to Oliveira and he becomes UFC champion in the fourth.

Prediction: Dustin Poirier by TKO – Round 4