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5 UFC fighters to keep an eye on in 2022

UFC up and comers ready to make jumps in 2022

The UFC has no shortage of stars and champions on their roster. From box office fighters like Conor McGregor to Nate Diaz to Jorge Masvidal. From their champions in Kamaru Usman to Francis Ngannou to Israel Adesanya.

The UFC has always groomed the toughest of the tough and the most skillful and elite fighters to make it to the cream of the crop.

As we have those names mentioned before, they are all the present and past of the UFC brass. We take a look at five fighters who may make the case to start making room at the dinner table for them.

We take a look at five UFC up and comers who are on the brink of pushing through to the big stages.

#5. Alex Pereira

Alex Pereira

Alex Pereira made his UFC debut just a couple of months ago at UFC 268 in emphatic fashion defeating Andreas Michailidis by TKO in the first.

Pereira has an overall MMA record of 5-1, losing his first professional bout by submission in the form of a triangle choke.

Since then, the Brazilian striker has gone on a four-fight win streak, three of them winning by stoppages.

What makes Pereira must watch is his development as he is a decorated striker that has a win against current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya back in a kickboxing bout in 2017.

From the moment he was signed on the narrative is that His main mission is to rise up the rankings and meet the now UFC superstar in an MMA bout where we see who has emerged as the true better of the other.

#4. Adrian Yanez

Adrian Yanez
This is a knockout artist on the rise with a style and personality that can truly get anyone to root for him.

Already hailed as ‘Mr. Knockout’ Adrian Yanez at five fights into his UFC career with an overall record of 15-3, is a fighter that no matter what will make you watch at the violence he displays in the cage.

Yanez is in a stacked bantamweight division that features plenty of intriguing matchups as the Houston native climbs the rankings.

#3. Sean Brady

Sean Brady

Of all the fighters on this list, Sean Brady is the highest ranked fighter of his division, currently sitting at 8th on the welterweight list.

Though not much promotion and media has gone to Brady being that he’s in a tough division with multiple stars such as Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, and current champion Kamaru Usman, make no mistake about it, Sean Brady is coming.

Currently undefeated at 15-0 with his most recent win against tough UFC veteran contender Michael Chiesa, Brady has displayed brute strength, a dangerous ground game that can match the likes of the top of the division.

It’s only a matter of time before Sean Brady gets his due and with one or two more high-profile wins, the belt won’t be too far from sight either.

#2. Sean O’Malley

Sean Omalley

Sean O’Malley is already a known star with plenty of promotion behind him, he has the skills of an elite striker already at bantamweight.

He has the promo skills to garner interests in fights with the likes of Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, and interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan.

Even after suffering a loss to Marlon Vera at UFC 252 after injury to his perineal nerve after a kick mid fight, ‘The Suga show’ bounced back with emphatic wins in his last three bouts after that making his current record at 15-1.

The only knock on him is the opposition he has faced. Aside from Vera which resulted in a loss, O’Malley is yet to fight any ranked opponent despite currently being 12th at bantamweight.

This is the year where he can land a rematch with Vera or a bout with bantamweight legend Dominick Cruz where he can lay claim to the upper echelon of the division.

#1. Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev is a destroyer, plain and simple.

He has the benefits of having the promotion and media behind because of how this fighter has disposed of his opposition.

Not just at welterweight where he is currently campaigning, but at middleweight. He has the MMA world already wondering how he would fare against both welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Chimaev has ended seven of his ten professional fights in the first round. Since joining the UFC ‘Borg’ has only taken four hits. That’s an astonishing feat.

His latest win came against top 15 ranked opponent Li Jingliang putting him at 10-0.

Normally for a man of his ranking being at 11th, much like mentioned with his fellow welterweight Sean Brady at 8th, Khamzat too would have about two to three more bouts till he can challenge for a title.

Wrong. Instead, number two ranked Gilbert Burns who has heard and seen the “hype” behind Khamzat has agreed to put his ranking on the line against Chimaev to truly test the Swedish-Russian fighter.

On April 9th, Khamzat Chimaev will have the opportunity to knock on Kamaru Usman’s door, should he defeat Gilbert Burns at UFC 273.

Written by Julio Monteros

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