UFC Fighters That Could Shine in 2022

      2020 has been a disjointed year for sport worldwide, and UFC has been no exception. Major bouts have been cancelled due to COVID19, and many fighters are biding their time and are having to wait for their shot at the big time. In 2022, we expect some huge cards, and we're so excited to see what the year has in store for us. Will Barber achieve her dream? Will Gane finally get to fight, remain unbeaten, and become a household name? Below, we predict six UFC fighters that could shine in 2022.



      Maycee Barber

      Age: 21

      Place of Birth: Colorado, USA

      Height: 5'5

      Weight: 115 lbs 

       

      Dubbed ''the future,'' Maycee Barber had a tough start to life in 2020. If losing to Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 246 wasn't bad enough, the news that she tore her ACL and would be out of action for most of 2020 was a severe blow. Yet Barber is a fighter in more ways than one, and she's likely to come back with a huge point to prove. She's publicly stated on more than one occasion that she wants to be the youngest ever UFC champion, and her tenacity and drive stand her in good stead to make her dream a reality. She certainly needs to perform in 2022 if she's to realize her dream.

       

      Mike Davis

      Age: 28

      Place of Birth: New York, USA

      Height: 6'0

      Weight: 145lbs 

       

      Escaping from a life of crime on the streets of New York, Mike Davis rose to MMA prominence in 2019 with his sensational beat down of Thomas Gifford in Tampa, Florida. The fight was called with just 15 seconds left on the clock, but Davis was on the offensive throughout, and Gifford looked beaten from the word go. Although his much-anticipated bout against Georgian Giga Chikadze was curtailed due to COVID19, with an 80% winning average and a ferocious boxing style on the floor, Davis' rise to the top could come as early as next year.

       

      Ciryl Gane

      Age: 30

      Place of Birth: La Roche-sur-Yon, France 

      Height: 6'5

      Weight: 265lbs 

       

      Emerging on the UFC scene in 2019, Ciryl Gane has made an incredibly impressive start to his career, going six unbeaten with two knockouts to his name, keeping him as a favourite with the majority of MMA/UFC bookmakers. Gane hasn't had much luck at all recently, with a number of his bouts being cancelled for various reasons, but he's raring to go, and he's on the card to face Junior Dos Santos at UFC 256 on December 12th in Las Vegas, in a fight that could help him establish himself as a serious player in the heavyweight division. He currently sits at 13th in the rankings, and a demolition of Dos Santos before Christmas could lay the foundations for a successful 2022 for the Frenchman.

       

      Nasrat Haqparast 

      Age: 25

      Place of Birth: Hamburg, Germany 

      Height: 5'10

      Weight: 156lbs 

       

      Although Haqparast will be disappointed with his draw against Drew Dober in January, he bounced back with an impressive win against Alex Munoz in August. Many have questioned his ability to perform consistently at the highest level, but Haqparast's ability to end a fight at any time, as shown in his win over Munoz, combined with his varied fighting style, makes him an exciting watch. He sits just outside the top 25 worldwide rankings, but we've selected him as one that could shine in 2022.

       

      Valerie Loureda

      Age: 22

      Place of Birth: Florida, USA

      Height: 5'4

      Weight: 125lbs 

       

      Perhaps our wildcard pick on this list, we've been impressed with Valerie Loureda's emphatic start to her UFC career. With three wins from her first three fights, the most recent of which coming after knocking out Tara Graff in the second round of their bout in August, Loureda has entered the fray after a successful career as a taekwondo master. Although competing in the Bellator bouts and undeniably still in the development stage of her UFC career, Loureda has been emphatic and impressive in each of her displays so far, and we predict that she will continue her excellent form and shine in 2022.

       

      Sodiq Yusuff 

      Age: 27 

      Place of Birth: Lagos, Nigeria 

      Height: 5'9

      Weight: 145 lbs 

       

      With a string of impressive performances under his belt, Sodiq "Super" Yusuff is arguably one of the shining lights to come out of Africa and emerge onto the UFC scene in recent years. After an impressive win over Andre Fili in January 2020, he's now ranked inside the top 15 in the featherweight category and is currently on an unbeaten run of six. In a stop-start year for UFC in 2020, his scheduled bout against Edison Barboza was cancelled, although he was heavily favoured and will be a daunting proposition for his next opponent.

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