We’re nearing the end of 2022 and you’re going to be flooded by awards articles, YouTube videos, shows etc. In what is a very subjective thing you’ll get into very objective arguments over what makes a fight the fight of the year.
This will be a three part series beginning with fights 5 and 4. Yep, I’m going to make you wait for the rest of them. Now on to our Top 5 Fights of the Year, part 1.
5. Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno III – UFC 270
No two opponents know each other better than Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno do. I mean at this point they probably know each other’s phone passcodes, secret recipes, and mother’s maiden names.
Going into UFC 270 the record was technically 1-0-1 for Moreno since the first fight ended in a draw. Moreno clearly showing signs of major improvement from the first fight all the way to the third fight where the two fought to a close decision that is still argued about to this day.
The first three rounds seemed to go Moreno’s way as he employed a more patient game plan in the striking only firing off when he was sure he could land the most damage on Figgy. At the end of the third round Figgy dropped Moreno with a right hand, and then tried to finish the champ with a guillotine choke, but ran out of time.
Figueiredo tried to put Moreno away, but the champ was unfazed 🚫 #UFC270 pic.twitter.com/G0oFC2ArPa
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 23, 2022
With rounds 4 and 5 were very close, but the best came at the end of the fight when the two threw all caution to the wind and brawled it out in the final seconds. What a fight.
WHAT. A. FIGHT! 🤯
How do you have it scored?
[ #UFC270 | Main Card LIVE on E+ PPV: https://t.co/Nr2IHwgXWX ] pic.twitter.com/PStVGpwKrC
— UFC (@ufc) January 23, 2022
4. Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler – UFC 281
This one kind of came out of nowhere right? At first the two seemed to have an amicable relationship even going as far as Poirier congratulating Chandler on a victory over Dan Hooker at UFC 257.
You never know who you’ll bump into backstage. 👀 @DustinPoirier, @MikeChandlerMMA and Conor McGregor cross paths post #UFC257 pic.twitter.com/h0SU7A5fyA
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 24, 2021
Then at UFC 276, out of nowhere, the two have heat? To this day nobody is actually sure of why Poirier was yelling at Chandler, other than to set up a possible bout, but we were all here for it. We could all just imagine the violence that would take place.
Wow 🤩 @DustinPoirier vs @MikeChandlerMMA pic.twitter.com/Dw7aYb9ueV
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) July 3, 2022
Finally the two were set up for UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden and MAN did they deliver. The first round by itself stands as one of the best rounds of the year. After Chandler took it to Poirier with body kicks and power shots, and then takedowns, the last 35 seconds or so of the round belonged to “The Diamond”. Nasty stuff.
— @jakeshreds420 (@shredsclips) November 13, 2022
What we had in the second round can be….well it can be summed up like this.
I would’ve tapped out so fast. Michael Chandler is giving Dustin Poirier a blood bath 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/7x05DqIotl
— The Hood Therapist (@OhhMar24) November 13, 2022
After pouring blood onto Poirier’s face, using the fish hook to try and finish a choke….well Chandler may have gotten what he deserved. Poirier took his neck and finish him off with the RNC.
THE DIAMOND GETS IT DONE IN AN INSTANT CLASSIC 💎 #UFC281 pic.twitter.com/56vHlHqfaI
— UFC (@ufc) November 13, 2022
Even after the fight we’re not sure if the beef has been settled as a very heated Poirier got into Chandler’s face following the stoppage.
— Heavyweight Thanos (@MMAThanos) November 23, 2022
At the end of the day both men are warriors and respect was earned in blood…and snot…and a little bit of carnage.
“Hey, Mike! I was scared to fight you. It was coming from a healthy spot. Without fear, there is no bravery.”@DustinPoirier shared a moment with @MikeChandlerMMA prior to his interview with Joe Rogan 💎#UFC281 pic.twitter.com/wBV8kmkxhm
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) November 13, 2022
Fights 3 and 2 later this week!