Millions of fans from around the world tune in for UFC matches. They’re watching and cheering on the MMA fighters in the world going toe-to-toe in the octagon. However, depending on what’s at stake and who’s fighting, the quality of every match often varies.

This year, we got to see several outrageously entertaining fights. There was no shortage of greatness in the cage, and the best UFC matches of 2022 were amazing to watch. Worlds were colliding, with both new and familiar names looking for their spot in MMA history.

Let’s explore the most entertaining fights of the year and pay our respects to the athletes who left everything in the catch for our entertainment. 

“Fighting" Ciryl Gane vs. Tai Tuivasa

  • Date: September 3, 2022
  • Event: UFC Fight Night 209
  • Winner: Cyril Gane

Cyril Gane had a chance to become the next undisputed UFC heavyweight champion but lost to Francis Ngannou. It was his first defeat as a professional fighter, and he would have to work his way back to the top. His next match would come against Australian challenger Tai Tuivasa.

Tuivasa captured five consecutive knockout victories prior to facing Gane. It was the best stretch of his pro-fighting career, earning him a match at UFC Fight Night 209. One of the best strikers at heavyweight would go up against a mega-talented kickboxer.

It was an all-out brawl between Gane and Tuivasa. The match was extremely chaotic, and both fighters landed quite a few heavy blows on each other. Gane would then string together several body shots before knocking out Tuivasa in the third round.

The clash was the perfect display of the best the heavyweight division has to offer. It was borderline scary to watch, and one of the most entertaining MMA matches in 2023.

“Fighting" Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan

  • Date: October 22, 2022
  • Event: UFC 280
  • Winner: Sean O’Malley

Everyone mostly remembers Islam Makhachev’s remarkable victory at UFC 280. He effectively took control of the lightweight division after a second-round submission against Charles Oliveira. However, the fight between Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan deserves so much credit.

This was easily the toughest fight in O’Malley’s career, who was largely untested at 135 pounds. He took his talents to UFC 280 and went up against Yan, who’s a former bantamweight champion. It was the match that would prove if O’Malley was the real deal after all.

Early on, it was obvious that O’Malley was the superior striker. It would force Yan to try and win the match through multiple takedowns and grappling. The fight was exciting from start to finish, with both fighters giving it their all. In the end, O’Malley would narrowly win via a split decision.

It’s interesting where the Irishman goes after that win because it opens the door to other elite UFC opponents.

“Fighting" Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns

  • Date: April 9, 2022
  • Event: UFC 273
  • Winner: Khamzat Chimaev

This was also one of the greatest UFC matches of 2022 for several reasons. For a start, the fight resonated with a lot of people because of Khamzat Chimaev’s incredible journey. He was quickly ascending the ranks at welterweight before facing his first true test – Gilbert Burns.

The jiu-jitsu specialist was recently a title contender and represents the very best that the welterweight division has to offer. The two fighters would clash at UFC 273 in an epic battle that was bloody and thrilling to watch.

Although he looked pretty hurt at one point, Chimaev never relented. The fight would devolve into a wild brawl as both competitors pushed themselves to the limit. Chimaev ultimately won via split decision, and we got to see him unlock his full potential against Burns.

“Fighting" Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland

  • Date: December 3, 2022
  • Event: UFC on ESPN 42
  • Winner: Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson looked like his former self at UFC on ESPN 42. He would clash against Kevin Holland in one of the most epic MMA matches in 2022. Two fighters would give it their all in a power-punching frenzy.

The truth is that Kevin Holland had the advantage in this match yet still ended up losing. He’s younger, faster, stronger, and more athletic than Thompson. Furthermore, Thompson is well past his prime, and he lost two consecutive matches prior to facing Holland.

What we got to witness on December 3 was a fight for the ages. Both fighters landed multiple heavy blows on each other throughout the match. Ultimately, Thompson was more resilient and outlasted Holland, who also suffered a broken hand during the match.

“Fighting" Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira

  • Date: June 11, 2022
  • Event: UFC 275
  • Winner: Jiri Prochazka

This was a fight that everyone will remember for quite some time. Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 was easily one of the greatest matches of 2022. The 30-year-old MMA phenom from the Czech Republic would upset the defending light heavyweight champion.

The expectation was that this would be your classic grappler vs. striker matchup. We saw a good mixture of punching and wrestling in one of the most back-and-forth battles of the year. The match had plenty of highlight moments for both fighters.

We also witnessed multiple sequences in which the fight nearly came to an end. It was simply astounding that both Prochazka and Teixeira were able to hang in there until the fifth round. By the end, exhaustion would get the best of Teixeira, who lost via submission at the last minute.

“Fighting" Michael Chandler vs. Dustin Poirier

  • Date: November 12, 2022
  • Event: UFC 281
  • Winner: Dustin Poirier

Michael Chandler would put on a show at one of the most famous venues – Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, he was on the losing end of his match against Dustin Poirier at UFC 281. It was an epic showdown that captivated us from the very first round.

The match highlighted the strengths of both fighters. He got to see Chandler’s explosiveness and Poirier’s uncanny ability to finish his opponents. There were also several takedowns and brutal exchanges in what was an extremely close match. Poirier ultimately won via submission.

“Fighting" Matt Schnell vs. Su Mudaerji

  • Date: July 16, 2022
  • Event: UFC on ABC 3
  • Winner: Matt Schnell

This was a thrilling MMA match in 2022; the canvas was covered in blood by the very end. Matt Schnell would submit Su Mudaerji with a triangle choke to win the fight. It was a two-round battle that was nothing but pure violence and mayhem.

Mudaerji decided to take on the fight despite having a torn ACL. Surprisingly, he never looked injured in the match, throwing jabs and elbows with incredible finesse. He drilled Schnell with multiple blows and weakened his opponent significantly.

Schnell would mount a comeback in the second round against Mudaerji. After enduring a lot of punishment, he landed a clean right punch on Mudaerji that stunned him. Then, Schnell got him on the ground and landed a flurry of punches before securing a submission victory.

“Fighting" Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze

  • Date: January 15, 2022
  • Event: UFC Vegas 46
  • Winner: Calvin Kattar

Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze at UFC Vegas 46 was full of brutality. It was also the first main event of the year, and it certainly set the tone for 2022. Kattar would also redeem himself after he suffered a humbling defeat to Max Holloway in his previous match.

Chikadze was a heavy favorite entering the fight against Kattar. He’d won seven consecutive matches in the UFC, and everyone thought he was a true featherweight contender. However, an early mistake in the match by Chikadze would allow Kattar to take advantage.

Chikadze couldn’t quite recover after an abysmal first round. Kattar applied relentless pressure while landing a ton of jabs and elbows throughout the match. Chikadze’s injuries were so severe and brutal that he received an indefinite medical suspension.

“Fighting" Betting on UFC Matches

Everyone enjoyed watching the best UFC matches of 2022. However, 2023 should also bring a ton of interesting fights.

If you follow the sport, you can make MMA matches even more interesting by checking the odds of the best betting sites online. They offer juicy lines for all UFC events, as well as other promotions like Bellator, Rizin, and more.

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