The UFC is off to a blazing hot start so far in 2022 having booked major bouts between January to May so far. Fights like Ngannou vs Gane, Adesanya vs Whittaker 2, Moreno vs Figueiredo 3 have already blown our heads away at how those went. The fights we already have on deck are Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling 2, Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje, Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes 2, and more.
All within the next four months.
Though all the aforementioned bouts are signed, sealed, and delivered, three bouts are currently in the works that are sure to add to the hot streak the UFC is on.
We take a look at Three possible UFC bouts that can happen later in 2022.
#3. Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez – Featherweight
This was reported by Ariel Helwani to be in the works.
Brian Ortega currently ranks second in the featherweight rankings with Yair Rodriguez right behind him at third. Both men are coming off losses with Ortega losing a fight of the year candidate against the featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in his second attempt at capturing UFC gold. Yair Rodriguez lost his battle against number one contender Max Holloway in an equally deserving fight of the year candidate.
Now with both men at a crossroads losing to arguably the two best featherweights in the world, they are being worked on to agree to terms for a marquee featherweight bout. Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega and Yair ‘La Pantera’ Rodriguez would be all-out warfare with both men having such contrasts in styles. Ortega shines on the ground with his Jiu-Jitsu prowess but has shown improvement on the striking game, whereas Rodriguez is the superior striker with a proven ground game.
Both men would represent their Mexican heritage and make for a bout worthy of fireworks and add to their exciting fight catalog.
#2. Michael Chandler vs Tony Ferguson – Lightweight
This is one of those fights that you simply are excited to watch but don’t want to see either man lose. Dana White confirmed this bout is in the works for this summer.
Michael Chandler has been one of the MVPs of the UFC. Fighting three times in his first year with the company in 2021 after a hall of fame career in Bellator. He started in defeating Dan Hooker in his debut in January of 2021 in spectacular first-round fashion, then earning a UFC lightweight fight for the vacant title in a losing effort against Charles Oliveira. Capping off his 2021 campaign with the fight of the year winner in an all-time great slugfest against Justin Gaethje.
Because of that along with the professionalism Chandler has displayed, he has earned the moniker of getting “Dana White Privilege” or so it would be accused by former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson.
’El Cúcuy’ is also on a losing skid having last his previous three bouts to Justin Gaethje in March 2020, then to Charles Oliveira later that year, and most recently in April 2021 against Beneil Dariush. Before those losses, Ferguson had amassed a legendary 12 fight win streak in the lightweight division. Defeating the likes of Josh Thomson, Lando Vanatta, Rafael Dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone to name a few, while also capturing the Interim Lightweight strap.
Both Chandler and Ferguson are in desperate need of a win for their careers, currently being ranked 5th and 7th respectively and with both men at the twilight of their careers Chandler, 35 years old, and Ferguson, 38 years old, the winner will prove who can move back to the upper echelon of the lightweight division.
#1. Dustin Poirier vs Nate Diaz – Welterweight
Dustin Poirier vs Nate Diaz has been rumored to happen since early January. Unlike the previous two bouts, however, this fight doesn’t have rankings on the line, or about getting a win. This fight stems from a pure competition standpoint between two of the UFC’s biggest stars. One point almost happened back in UFC 230 in 2018, Dustin Poirier pulled out due to injury.
Since then Nate Diaz has gone on to defeat Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, and have marquee fights against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 for the BMF belt and having the first non-title 5 round fight against Leon Edwards at UFC 261. Both coming in losing efforts.
Dustin Poirier meanwhile being the much busier fighter since pulling out, has gone on to defeat Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor twice, and Max Holloway to win the interim lightweight title. His only two losses in that stretch came against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira both in Championship bouts for the lightweight title.
Both men are future hall of fame inductees, with exciting styles of boxing and jiu-jitsu, and worthy of being a non-title main event to a pay-per-view. With recent reports of Diaz looking to retire with this being his final fight on his contract, it would make for huge headlines and anticipation.
Dustin Poirier himself has stated he doesn’t have much time left in this sport, having accomplished everything he could with a Diaz fight and moving up to welterweight being one of the few things on his bucket list left.
A fight between these two would fulfill the satisfaction both men need before they hang up the gloves.