This 2021 marked a big year for the UFC. Not only did fans return to the stands, but the promotion saw revenue increase sharply to around 70% and was projected to make over $4 billion at the end of Q3. And the UFC is not slowing down any time soon as it’s busy making some big fights for 2022.
From “champion versus champion” fights to hotly anticipated rematches and “money fights”, we’ve compiled them all. You can bet all of them from the BetUS online sportsbook as the fights draw nearer.
Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane
- When: UFC 270 – January 22, 2022
- Weight Class: UFC Heavyweight Championship (265 lbs.)
The UFC’s first “big” fight of 2022 is its biggest by literal definitions: a heavyweight tilt between champion Francis Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane. These gargantuan fighters are on a collision course. Will it be Ngannou’s (16-3-0) fearsome power or Gane’s (10-0-0) uncanny technical prowess?
White has a lot of concerns going into the end of the year with the new variant and seeing what is happening in other sports.
White brings up travel restrictions being an issue, but believes that they will figure everything out like they always do.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 19, 2021
To add juicy gravy to this porterhouse of a fight, Ngannou and Gane used to be sparring partners. You can bet online on either fighter now on the book with Gane being ever-so-slightly favored.
Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker 2 (UFC 271)
- When: UFC 271 – February 12, 2022
- Weight Class: UFC Middleweight Championship (185 lbs.)
Just a few weeks after Ngannou-Gane is the much-anticipated rematch between middleweight king Israel Adesanya and former champion Robert Whittaker. Adesanya (21-1-0) smoked Whittaker (23-5-0) in their first fight in what would be his star-making performance. But as the great Michael Bisping said, “every fight is different.”
Whittaker has since looked unstoppable having rattled three impressive wins since his loss. He is the clear-cut number-one contender and could give Adesanya his toughest fight yet. Expect Adesanya to be a moderate favorite when the line opens.
Dustin Poirier vs Nate Diaz
- When: TBD, Q1 2022
- Weight Class: Welterweight (170 lbs).
Not every big UFC fight is a championship fight. Both Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz can attest to that. As two of the UFC’s most popular fighters, Poirier (28-7-0) and Diaz (20-13-0) have already been linked to each other numerous times. At some point this cat-and-mouse game between Dana White and Diaz will end and the two will lock horns inside the octagon.
The UFC betting lines should have Poirier as the favorite here. But expect plenty of support for Diaz, who came this close to finishing Leon Edwards as a 4-1 underdog.
Julianna Pena vs Amanda Nunes 2
- When: TBD, Q2 2022
- Weight Class: Women’s Bantamweight (135 lbs).
Of all rematches and trilogy fights in 2022, few can have more significance. Amanda Nunes gets another crack at Julianna Pena, who emerged as a 7-1 underdog to dethrone the once-invincible “Lioness”. While the two were amicable following the fight, the back-and-forth since has only begun to build this rematch.
Pena (11-4-0) will once again be an underdog to Nunes (21-5-0) though not as sizable as 7-1 for obvious reasons. Not since Georges St-Pierre and Matt Serra over a decade ago has there been a more intriguing championship rematch as this.
Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje
- When: TBD, Q2 2022
- Weight Class: UFC Lightweight Championship (155 lbs)
With Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Poirier all on the sidelines, the 155 lb. division now belongs to the champion: Charles Oliveira. Like Pena, Oliveira (32-8-0) came out of nowhere to capture the title. He has since turned back Poirier and now has his eyes set on either McGregor Justin Gaethje.
With McGregor out of action until late 2022 at least, Oliveira will likely fight Gaethje (23-3-0) in what should be another action-packed championship bout. Oliveira should be the favorite here but the best UFC bet is for this fight to not see the judges.
Other Potential Big UFC Fights
- Women’s Featherweight Championship: Amanda Nunes (c) vs Kayla Harrison
- Women’s Strawweight Championship: Rose Namajunas (c) vs Carla Esparza 2
- Bantamweight Championship: Aljamain Sterling (c) vs Petr Yan 2
- Welterweight: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 3
- Welterweight: Gilbert Burns vs Khamzat Chimaev