Mixed martial arts are a high stress environment which often produces hilarious situations and reactions to them. There’s been quite a number of big upsets this year with plenty of UFC titles changing hands.
Remembering some of the best MMA moments of 2022.
Leon Edwards broke the 4th wall during his title defense against Kamaru Usman. Edwards stared in the camera point blank during the customary referee rules speech.
The potential for memes was huge – especially considering the fact that Edwards upset Usman after losing the bout for 4 rounds straight with just a minute left over on the clock. Not to mention there was no place for doubt – Usman was undoubtedly knocked out.
Andre Fialho was matched with the explosive Michel Pereira. Pereira is an exciting athlete however he’s a bit over-the-top, compromising his Fight IQ for a chance of landing a highlight reel strike.
Pereira wound up winning a three round decision over Fialho at UFC 270.
Kevin Holland had a wild year in 2022. Holland went into 2022 on the back of 2 losses that exposed his fatal flaw – an inability to counter wrestle. To make matters worse, his attempt to turn it around against Daukaus ended in a no contest after he suffered a concussion from an accidental clash of heads.
Holland went on to get matched against Alex Cowboy Oliveira at UFC 272. Oliveira utilized a takedown heavy strategy against Holland landing 2 out of 3 takedowns attempted and snatching his back early in Round 1.
While Oliveira was struggling to get the finish, Holland looked straight into one of the cameras, gave the thumbs up and delivered a classical moment.
Chris Beastboy Barnett delivered another classic moment. Barnett celebrated a win at UFC 279 by landing a front jump straight on his behind and then celebrated with the help of some beverages from fans.
Rose Namajunas thought she won ‘that’ clash with Carla Esparza. Thug Froze? Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza delivered arguably the worst title match of the year – and possibly of all time. The two exchanged a total of 70 strikes over the course of 25 minutes. Namajunas threw 37 strikes while Esparza threw 30.
Namajunas was arguably more criticized at the time of the performance but winning the belt like that was enough to alienate the audience so much they ended up cheering for the Chinese Weili Zhang in the middle of the United States.
2022 will be remembered as the year UFC let several of their biggest names become free agents – notably Francis Ngannou and Nate Diaz.
Diaz’ quest for free agency lasted for months and culminated with an unfavorable match up with UFC’s biggest superstar – Khamzat Chimaev.
However, as luck would have it, Chimaev would end up missing weight by an enormous amount and Diaz would get to leave the promotion on a high note. He even managed to pay homage to one of his all-time classic moments.
Honorable mention: Diaz disses UFC’s sneaker sponsor in an epic clip.
Khamzat Chimaev proves why he’s the evil Khabib. After failing to make weight – and missing by almost an entire division, Chimaev was unrepentant and ended up giving the finger to the media.
This prompted criticism from Khabib Nurmagomedov who blamed the behavior on lack of good people of strong faith around Chimaev. The two camps have buried the hatchet since