Five Most Promising Fighters of 2022

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We’re already midway through the second month of 2022, and fight fans have only more to look forward to. While we’ve enjoyed the likes of Deveison Figueiredo and Israel Adesanya reclaiming and defending their belts, there are several not-so-hidden gems that will keep the fight game fresh for fight fans across the board.

Here’s are five most promising fighters across promotions that are sure to shake things up in 2022. Will any of them show up on the current UFC rankings in 2022?

Muhammad Mokaev

Not only is he a multiple-time IMMAF champ, but Muhammad Mokaev has also represented his adopted country of Great Britain as an Olympic wrestler. With his highly anticipated UFC debut coming up hot, “The Punisher” brings a clean 5-0 record (27-0 including his amateur run) into his homeland bout against Cody Durden on March 19th. The 21-year old definitely brings his Dagestani background to his fight game, but don’t sleep on his heavy fists.

If his run at BRAVE is anything to go by, the UFC Flyweight division will have a dangerous competitor to look out for in Mokaev.

Stamp Fairtex

Stamp most recently claimed the ONE Championship Atomweight Grand Prix belt, and her journey isn’t going to stop any time soon. The former two-sport champion decided to try her hand at mixed martial arts in 2019 and has been a dominant figure in the ONE Atomweight division ever since. Despite coming from a Muay Thai background, Stamp has genuinely become an all-around MMA fighter, showcasing her incredible ground game during the Grand Prix finals against Ritu Phogat, who comes from a family of Olympic wrestlers.

The Thai fighter faces her biggest challenge in her upcoming bout against ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on March 26th.

Terrance McKinney

Here is a fighter with a powerful, inspiring story. Terrance McKinney is a recovering addict with not only a strong wrestling background but also power in his hands. During his UFC debut against Matt Frevola, “T.Wrecks” earned himself possibly the best debuts in UFC history by knocking his opponent out in just 7-seconds with a clean one-two. At just 27 years old, McKinney has already become tied 4th for the fastest knockouts in the UFC.

Riding on a 4-win streak, “T.Wrecks” might single-handedly shake up the UFC Lightweight division.

Erin Blanchfield

Last December, Erin Blanchfield dominated against Miranda Maverick for 15 minutes straight, earning her a unanimous decision. On top of that, the 22-year old broke the UFC Women’s Flyweight record for most takedowns landed in a single bout with eight successful takedowns.

Blanchfield had an incredible 2021, and her 2022 looks to see her climbing into the Women’s Flyweight rankings in no time.

Lance Gibson Jr.

Possibly one of the most exciting fighters to come into the Bellator Lightweight division to date, Lance Gibson Jr has been smashing through opponents since his amateur days. The Seattle-native is currently riding a clean 8-win streak, including those from his amateur career, the most recent of his wins being his TKO against Raymond Pina in Bellator 268.

Gibson Jr may find his way into the Top 10 Lightweight rankings if he manages to keep up with his amazing momentum.

Honorable mentions

It wasn’t easy to narrow the list down to only five fighters. Here are some other fighters to consider betting on. So, here’s a list of honorable mentions with more promising fighters that you should also keep your eye on:

  • Paddy Pimblett

  • Usman Nurmagomedov

  • Casey O’Neill

  • Itsuki Hirata

  • Saygid Izagahmayev

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Jasmin is a writer-photographer who has worked in video games, music, travel, and more recently, MMA. Her fight background is in TKD, Muay Thai and Boxing though she's always wanted to roll with the BJJ crew. Follow her on Twitter @blaise_MMA

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