Incredibly, there are now just over five weeks left in 2021, meaning that from a UFC perspective, eyes are already turning to 2022.
Despite there still being a handful of UFC events left in 2021, the promotion has already begun to book some major fights that could define the early part of next year.
With major title fights and grudge matches both on tap, the UFC will be hoping that 2022 will be one of their most successful years to date.
With that considered, here are five major UFC fights that have already been booked for 2022.
#5. Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze – UFC featherweight
The first UFC event of 2022 is set to take place on January 15 and is likely to be another Fight Night from Las Vegas’ Apex facility.
The event looks largely full of throwaway bouts at the time of writing, but the headline fight is definitely one worth keeping an eye on. In fact, it could well produce a future title contender in the UFC featherweight division.
The bout in question will see Calvin Kattar take on Giga Chikadze. Not only is this fight likely to be important to its weight class, but it should also be a ton of fun too.
By the time this show rolls around, Kattar will have basically spent an entire year on the shelf following his loss this January to Max Holloway. However, ‘The Boston Finisher’ is still a highly relevant fighter at 145 pounds.
His wins over opponents like Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos and Dan Ige have elevated him into the No.5 spot in the UFC’s featherweight rankings. A win over Chikadze would instantly put him back into genuine title contention.
Chikadze, meanwhile, is arguably the fastest rising star in the division right now thanks to his stoppage wins over Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza in 2021.
The Georgian has displayed a remarkably effective striking game during his UFC tenure and now holds an octagon record of 7-0. A win over Kattar would almost definitely put him in line for a title shot later in 2022, especially if Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway end their rivalry in the meantime.
Essentially, fans can expect a spectacular striking war from this fight, with Kattar’s slick boxing clashing with Chikadze’s flashier style. It’s undoubtedly a can’t-miss fight for any UFC fan.