The end of the year is fast approaching. But there are plenty of UFC events to keep the fans happy in the next few months. Then the year starts with a bang with even more octagon mayhem.
The UFC betting markets will already be in full swing, as the ramifications of the dramatic bouts at UFC 281 make a difference to the rankings. Read on for a look back at the last few events in the UFC calendar – and a look ahead to what mixed martial arts fans can get excited about in the rest of 2022 and beyond.
Recent UFC Events
There were some great UFC Fight Nights at the end of October and at the beginning of November. But the main event was UFC 281, held at New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden on November 12. In all, there were a record seven first-round finishes in the night, with some very big bouts.
Dustin Poirier’s win over Michael Chandler took the Fight of the Night award. But it was the two championship bouts that really took the headlines. Zhang Weili beat the champion, Carla Esparza, to claim the women’s strawweight belt. While the headline fight also saw a new champion.
Alex Pereira overcame Israel Adesanya in five rounds to become the new men’s middleweight champion. Pereira had previously beaten the Last Stylebender in two kickboxing match-ups and triumphed for a third time in front of a big crowd.
Las Vegas will host a number of Fight Nights before the end of the year. Lewis vs. Spivak is the first big bout before Cannonier vs. Strickland is the main event in December. Both nights have a host of other top MMA fighters showing their talents at the home of UFC in Las Vegas.
As much as the Fight Nights and the UFC on ESPN events draw the crowds, it is the really big shows that the public eagerly awaits. UFC 282 is the next one and Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 is the scheduled headline clash. The two previously met back in June at UFC 275, with Prochazka claiming the victory in a real back and forth battle.
That was actually both fighters’ most recent outing and they will go head-to-head once again for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Jiri Prochazka is on a 13-fight winning streak and has not tasted defeat since 2015. Much of that was for Rizin events but he has taken to UFC straight away.
Glover Teixeira had only just claimed his first championship belt in June after beating another Eastern European fighter in Jan Blachowicz in October 2021. Now he must prove he has what it takes to come back at the age of 43. He has a distinguished record of 33-8 but may not return if he fails to gain revenge at UFC 282.
Other top fights on the card include another light heavyweight match-up between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev, and a lightweight contest between Paddy Pimblett and Jared Gordon.
Figure 2 UFC 283 takes place in Rio
Once UFC fans get the holidays out of the way there is more action with UFC 283, taking place on January 21, 2023 at the Jeunesse Arena in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. This is the first time UFC has been in the country since a behind closed doors event in 2020.
Scheduled to headline the prestigious event is a flyweight championship bout between the current two-time champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno. Figueiredo will be fighting in front of his compatriots and will look to overcome Moreno once again.
This will be the fourth meeting between these two fighters. The first bout ended in a draw with Figueiredo retaining his title. Moreno took the belt with a third-round submission at UFC 263, before Figueiredo won by unanimous decision at the beginning of 2022.
That match-up is guaranteed to be a top fight but there are also a number of other intriguing bouts scheduled, including another Brazilian – Mauricio Rua – coming up against Ukrainian Ihor Potieria in the light heavyweight division. It promises to be another exciting UFC evening.