2022 In Review: The Top 5 Fights Of The Year, Part 2

Khamzat Chimaev vs Kevin Holland, UFC 279
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland, UFC 279 Ceremonial Weigh-ins. Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Welcome to part 2 folks! We first got a look two of the more exciting fights of 2022 with two very deserving fights in part 1.

Deiveson Figueiredo getting the UFC flyweight title back in a somewhat controversial decision victory over Brandon Moreno was easily one of the more exciting bouts of that trilogy. Then Dustin Poirier’s submission victory over Michael Chandler at Madison Square Garden in a back-and-forth battle reminded us of what it looks like when you put two of the top 5 fighters in the octagon in the same cage.

Paying attention boxing world?

Moving along!

3. Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland – UFC on ESPN 42

Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland, UFC Orlando
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Kevin Holland, UFC Orlando weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

A mismatch of personalities, but exciting fight styles, Thompson vs. Holland was a fight none of us asked for. Lucky for us we got it anyway and the fact that the two seemingly agreed to keep the fight on the feet turned the bout into an exciting striking battle. One that the “Just Bleed” crowd wishes would happen much more often.

The striking chess match saw both men land some dynamic and effective striking to the point where neither fighter was anywhere close to 100% after the fight.

At 39-years-old Thompson was able to surprise the nearly 10-year junior in the cage with his speed and accuracy.

Even when Holland tried to push the pace Thompson stayed composed, defended, and fired back.

Ultimately a broken hand ended Holland’s night in between rounds, but the fight was exciting for as long as it lasted. Holland delivered a show, and Thompson delivered what may have been the best performance of his career.


2. Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns – UFC 273

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns, UFC 273
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns, UFC 273.
Credit: UFC/YouTube

Who do you call to book against one of the scariest up-and-comers in the UFC and nobody else will answer the call? You call the one man who is truly afraid of no man. When few would accept a bout against Khamzat Chimaev at any weight class Glibert Burns was the one to take on the challenge.

Leading into this one Chimaev had impressed fight fans and fighters alike with four consecutive finishes over guys like Li Jingliang, Gerald Meerschaert and Rhys McKee. Burns meanwhile had stepped into the octagon with a who’s who of top welterweights in the UFC.

If anybody was going to test Chimaev’s ability to overcome adversity Burns was the man to do it.

There you go. That all speaks for itself. Chimaev wasn’t able to smash Burns and have his way with one of the toughest in the UFC. Chimaev earned Burns’ respect and many others in the division with a three-round war. We saw Chimaev hurt for the first time in his career, and watched him overcome adversity to earn a decision victory, the first of his career.

Part 3 coming soon!