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Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns hug after their welterweight bout at UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Nolan Walker/Zuffa LLC)
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Ultimate UFC 2022 Fight Card

Looking Back At All The Fights That Took Place This Year, We Put Together The Ultimate Fight Card Which Is Stacked From Top To Bottom

Last year, we launched the idea of building the best event possible using the fights that took in that particular year, with the catch being that each fight hand to fall in its designated slot.

So only main events were considered for the main event. Only co-main event fights could land in the penultimate position on our fight card mixtape, and so on down the line. In a way, it benefitted competitors that competed early on events with a dozen or more fights because there was less competition for those final few spots, though that didn’t diminish the quality of the bouts that made up the list.

I enjoyed building that fight card so much that at the start of the year, I built a spreadsheet with up to 15 bouts and started keeping track. With each passing event, I would update my fight card, and watch as good fights were replaced by great fights, and cool moments were removed in favor of unforgettable happenings.

And so now that we’re in the final days of 2022 and all 42 events have come and gone, it’s time to reveal this year’s Ultimate UFC Fight Card.

Leon Edwards defeats Kamaru Usman (UFC 278)

There was no other choice here, honestly.

Sure, there were some close main events, some down-to-the-wire main events, and some thrilling championship main events, but this was the main event moment of 2022.

Leon Edwards Octagon Interview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2
Leon Edwards Octagon Interview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2
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Edwards was a minute away from having his lengthy unbeaten streak ended and his chance to earn championship gold drift by after years of biding his time. But with 56 seconds remaining in the UFC 278 main event, Edwards blasted Usman with a perfect left high kick that ended the fight, Usman’s reign atop the division, his unbeaten run in the UFC and the entire night in Salt Lake City.

With all due respect to Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira or anyone else gunning for the main event slot — sorry, but you weren’t topping this moment.

Alexander Volkanovski defeats Max Holloway (UFC 276)

For nearly two years exactly, Volkanovski had to listen to people tell him that he didn’t really beat Holloway in their second meeting and shouldn’t be featherweight champion.

Alexander Volkanovski of Australia faces Max Holloway during the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

Alexander Volkanovski of Australia faces Max Holloway during the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)


It didn’t matter that he survived Brian Ortega’s best submission attempts and dominated him otherwise or that he battered Chan Sung Jung to 11-0 — a whole lot of people still viewed Holloway as the top man in the featherweight division and weren’t going to let it go until the two men squared off for a third time.

Well, there is no question now.

Volkanovski dominated every moment of their third encounter, showing himself to be not only a more diverse and complete fighter than in their second meeting, but also one of the very best fighters on the planet. Holloway was game, as always, but he just couldn’t match the Australian, who is now set to move up to lightweight and challenge Islam Makhachev in hopes of joining the exclusive UFC Champ-Champ Club.

Khamzat Chimaev defeats Gilbert Burns (UFC 273)

After running through his first four UFC opponents, everyone wanted to see how Chimaev would do when paired off with a top-end talent in the welterweight division. Burns stepped up to the plate and gave Chimaev his toughest test to date, going toe-to-toe with the undefeated rising star for 15 hard minutes in the middle of the UFC 273 main card.

Gilbert Burns of Brazil and Khamzat Chimaev of Russia talk after their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Gilbert Burns of Brazil and Khamzat Chimaev of Russia talk after their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Chimaev won, but it wasn’t easy. For the first time in his UFC career, he was pushed and hurt and forced to navigate rough patches inside the Octagon, showing he was more than just a marauder that thrives on being the hammer. Conversely, Burns solidified his standing as one of the top welterweights in the UFC, taking the best Chimaev had to offer and responding in kind until the final horn sounded.

This was one of those rare instances where even with all eyes fixated on this fight, it still managed to exceed expectations.

Matt Schnell defeats Sumudaerji (UFC Long Island)

Schnell orchestrated one of the wildest comebacks in UFC history this summer on Long Island and earned a main card position on this year’s Ultimate Fight Card for his troubles.

Through the midway point of the second round, it appeared that Sumudaerji had “Danger” dead to rights. Each heavy shot that landed froze the Louisiana native for a half-second, and it seemed like the next one was going to be the one that put Schnell on the canvas or prompted referee Jacob Montalvo to step in and stop the fight.

Matt Schnell elbows Sumudaerji of China in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UBS Arena on July 16, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Matt Schnell elbows Sumudaerji of China in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UBS Arena on July 16, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Instead, Schnell fought through the torrential onslaught coming his way and cracked the Chinese flyweight with a right hand along the fence that clearly had an impact. He quickly put Sumudaerji on the canvas and climbed into mount, unleashing a string of his own elbows that busted “The Tibetan Eagle” open.

And when Sumudaerji desperately reversed the position, putting Schnell with his shoulders to the mat, the Fortis MMA man swiftly locked up a triangle choke and put him to sleep.

This was chaos — thrilling, arresting, unimaginable chaos.

Drew Dober defeats Terrance McKinney (UFC Vegas 50)

You wouldn’t think that a fight that lasted a little over three minutes could have a massive swing in momentum, but you’d be wrong.

McKinney took this fight on short notice just a couple weeks after storming through Fares Ziam, seeing it as an opportunity to catapult himself into the rankings if he could take out the veteran stalwart Dober. Right out of the chute, he put a knee on Dober’s chin and then dropped him with a series of big, winging shots, pinning him on the canvas against the fence as he looked to swarm and seal the victory.

Drew Dober reacts after his victory over Terrance McKinney in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 12, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Drew Dober reacts after his victory over Terrance McKinney in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 12, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Dober ate another knee and a few more wide, powerful hooks before clearing all the cobwebs, and after collecting himself and landing a few elbows from bottom position, he got to his feet and got after McKinney. With his young adversary clearly tired, Dober avoided the labored shots coming his way and dropped McKinney with a knee, climbing into top position and pounding out a finish.

After being on the brink of getting finished, the Nebraska native turned things all the way around and collected his first of three stoppage victories in 2022 to claim the opening spot on this five-fight main card.

Victor Henry defeats Raoni Barcelos (UFC 270)

This may come as a controversial or debated choice here, but every fight on this list doesn’t have to be a finish or a Fight of the Year contender. Sometimes you have to look at the context of things to find why a particular bout was magical and merits inclusion, and this is one of those times.

Henry is a 35-year-old MMA veteran — a guy that hardcore fans have long been familiar with thanks to his exploits abroad, some quality wins over familiar names, and coming up under Josh Barnett and Erik Paulson. Long viewed as one of those guys you wish had gotten a shot at some point along the way, Henry finally got the chance to compete inside the Octagon at UFC 270 and he made the absolute most of it.

Victor Henry punches Raoni Barcelos of Brazil in their bantamweight fight during the UFC 270 event at Honda Center on January 22, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Victor Henry punches Raoni Barcelos of Brazil in their bantamweight fight during the UFC 270 event at Honda Center on January 22, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Barcelos had won his first five UFC bouts before dropping a majority decision to Timur Valiev in the summer of 2021. He was a permanent fixture on the fringes of the Top 15 in the talent-rich bantamweight division and a considerable favorite heading into the contest.

From the jump, Henry showed he could not only hang with the Brazilian, but he got the better of the exchanges, showcasing clean, crisp technique and good movement on the way to earning a sweep of the scorecards and a victory in his promotional debut.

Damon Jackson defeats Pat Sabatini (UFC Vegas 60)

Not only was this a great performance from Jackson, but under the circumstances, it’s surprising this effort didn’t garner even more attention back in September.

Beating Sabatini is an accomplishment in and of itself, as the former CFFC featherweight champ entered with a 4-0 mark inside the Octagon and a six-fight winning streak overall. Putting him on skates and finishing the fight in a tick under 70 seconds ups the impressiveness quotient even more, but doing so just a few days after the sudden, tragic passing of your brother, with friends and family in attendance, takes this one to a whole different level.

Damon Jackson Octagon Interview | UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Song
Damon Jackson Octagon Interview | UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Song
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Jackson’s brother Bradley passed away on the Tuesday of Fight Week, leaving the veteran with every reason to withdraw from the contest and just be with his family. Instead, he adopted his brother’s nickname as his own for the evening and lived up to the “Action” Jackson moniker on Saturday night, blowing through Sabatini before understandably breaking down into tears inside the Octagon.

We marvel at the efforts of these men and women inside the cage, but what they go through before, during, and after these contests is the truest measure of their strength, grit, and heart. This was an incredible performance amidst an incredibly trying time, and had to be included in this fight card.

Brandon Royval defeats Matt Schnell (UFC 274)

Schnell makes his second appearance on this fight card, but this time, he’s on the wrong end of the results.

This fight was the grappling version of the Dober-McKinney tussle further up the card, only it ended even quicker. It was two all-action fighters getting into the kind of non-stop donnybrook that conjures images of the old Looney Tunes cartoons where a fight happens and it’s just a cloud of dust with limbs and faces occasionally popping out at odd angles.

Brandon Royval secures a guillotine choke submission against Matt Schnell in a flyweight fight during the UFC 274 event

Brandon Royval secures a guillotine choke submission against Matt Schnell in a flyweight fight during the UFC 274 event at Footprint Center on May 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


They touched gloves and started getting after it immediately, with Schnell slinging hands and getting the better of things on the feet. A minute into the contest, Royval hit the deck and Schnell chased after him, hammering home big shots as the Factory X representative hunted for a leg lock.

Royval worked his way back to guard and again threatened with a leg lock, creating space to scramble to his knees, only for Schnell to jump on a guillotine choke attempt. Royval instantly rolled through and into top position, and when Schnell kicked him off looking to clamber back to his feet, Royval attacked with a guillotine choke of his own, quickly securing the tap.

A few months later, Schnell would be the one rallying from being on the wrong side of things early, but on this night, it was Royval that worked through trouble to secure the submission finish.

Ricardo Ramos defeats Danny Chavez (UFC Austin)

Spinning elbows are often “spur of the moment” attacks — instinctive offerings that come out in the heat of battle, as the strikes are flying and momentum has one’s body moving in a certain direction.

But the elbow Ramos landed on Chavez to end this fight was 100 percent calculated, set up, and executed flawlessly.

 Ricardo Ramos of Brazil reacts after defeating Danny Chavez in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event

AUSTIN, TEXAS - JUNE 18: Ricardo Ramos of Brazil reacts after defeating Danny Chavez in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on June 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)


Ramos is known for his spinning, jumping, and generally unconventional, attacks, and he offered plenty that missed in the first minute of this contest. But soon after, he backed Garcia up to the fence, dropped his level to get Chavez to lower his hands, and then spun into a massive elbow that landed on the button.

Dip, spin, elbow to the temple — this was smooth work from Ramos, who is still just 27 years old and could very well be someone to keep an eye on in the featherweight division in 2023.

Billy Quarantillo defeats Alexander Hernandez (UFC 282)

The latest entry into this year’s Ultimate Fight card comes from the final pay-per-view of the year, where “Billy Q” turned in the kind of performance everyone is coming to expect from him each time he steps into the Octagon.

Fighting for the first time in just over a year, Quarantillo welcomed Hernandez to the featherweight division, and unfortunately spent the first five minutes getting taken to the woodshed. Left with a solid cut leaking crimson when the horn sounded, the veteran returned to his corner, answered a math question to show his coaches he was still present, and then marched back out to the center of the cage as if the opening round never happened.

Billy Quarantillo elbows Alexander Hernandez in a featherweight fight during the UFC 282 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 10, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC)

Billy Quarantillo elbows Alexander Hernandez in a featherweight fight during the UFC 282 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 10, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC)


While the first five minutes were largely all Hernandez, the second was all Quarantillo.

He took the fight to the flagging divisional newcomer, cranking up the pressure, pace, and output with each clean strike he landed. When Hernandez showed he was on the ropes, Quarantillo made sure to get him out of there, finishing him with a barrage of knees and punches 30 seconds before the middle stanza came to a close.

Just about every fight the 34-year-old has been in since reaching the UFC has been similar to this, and win or lose, you can bank on Quarantillo being in there, giving his all until the referee or the final horn tells him to stop.

Natalia Silva defeats Tereza Bleda (UFC Vegas 65)

Silva clocked in at No. 7 in our list of the Top 10 Newcomers of 2022 and this was one of the two efforts that earned her that spot.

In the opening round, Bleda had Silva in trouble, dragging her into grappling exchanges and forcing her to defend multiple submission attempts. But attacking for the final minute of the round drained the energy out of Bleda, and Silva started opening up with her striking in the second, drawing level on the scorecards through the second frame by snapping her opponent’s head back multiple times with clean shots.

Natalia Silva Lands Spinning Back Kick KO | UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs Cutelaba
Natalia Silva Lands Spinning Back Kick KO | UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs Cutelaba
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As the third opened, it was clear Bleda was gassed, and Silva was quick to recognize it and started really getting loose. A little more than a minute into the frame, she had backed the Czech fighter towards the fence, and when Bleda went to change levels in search of a takedown, Silva spun quickly and connected with a spinning back kick to the face that ended the fight.

As with Ramos’ finish, this was by design, as the replay showed Silva get her head around first to recognize the target before firing off the kick.

With a pair of impressive outings in her rookie campaign, Silva stamped herself as another young name to follow in the flyweight division.

Roman Dolidze defeats Kyle Daukaus (UFC Austin)

The June 18 fight card at the Moody Center on the University of Texas campus was one of the most entertaining events of the year, with nine of the 12 fights ending inside the distance, and a pair of those contests landing on this compilation.

Dolidze and Daukaus were paired off in the opening bout of the evening, with the former coming off a low-output victory over Laureano Staropoli the previous summer and the latter following a quick submission win at the start of the year. Expected to be a competitive battle that would likely feature some quality grappling exchanges, Dolidze had other ideas.

Roman Dolidze of Georgia reacts after defeating Kyle Daukaus in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event

AUSTIN, TEXAS - JUNE 18: Roman Dolidze of Georgia reacts after defeating Kyle Daukaus in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on June 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Roughly 30 seconds in the fight, the burly Georgian middleweight dropped Daukaus with a left hand coming out of a clinch in the center of the cage. He followed his dazed opponent to the canvas, landing short blows as they worked back to a standing position along the fence before smashing Daukaus with a thudding knee to the face that sent him back to the deck and halted the proceedings.

This was the first of three victories in 2022 for Dolidze, who catapulted himself into the Top 10 in the middleweight division in the process. This effort and his middle win of the pack showcased his striking prowess and significant power, while he flashed his grappling credentials in his short notice win over Jack Hermansson to wrap up the year.

It was a great year for the Georgian, and this is the victory that kicked things off.

Erin Blanchfield defeat JJ Aldrich (UFC Vegas 56)

If this fight were the 10th or 11th fight on a card, it still would have merited consideration for this compilation because it was the first of two reminders this year that Blanchfield has an extremely bright future in the flyweight division.

For much of the contest, the veteran Aldrich got the better of things with her striking, working behind a good jab, smooth movement, and her overall experience to get out ahead of the promising 23-year-old prospect. Blanchfield had some moments, to be sure, but Aldrich did a good job of frustrating her and controlling the exchanges into the second round.

Erin Blanchfield Submits JJ Aldrich | UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Rozenstruik
Erin Blanchfield Submits JJ Aldrich | UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Rozenstruik
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But top-end talents often find a way to take advantage of any opening they’re presented with, and that’s what Blanchfield did here.

Midway through the middle stanza, she knocked Aldrich down with a knee to the body while the veteran was off balance. When she worked back to her feet, Blanchfield grabbed onto a front headlock position, quickly transitioning to a high-elbow guillotine choke.

This was a gutsy, opportunistic showing from the ascending flyweight, and an easy selection for this early spot on the Ultimate 2022 Fight Card.

Yazmin Jauregui defeats Istela Nunes (UFC Orlando)

The thing that makes me nervous about putting this card together throughout the year is that one slot will end up featuring a good, but not great, performance because, for whatever reason, there simply wasn’t anything better to choose from.

If there is a spot where it’s most likely to happen, it’s the opener on this 15-fight slate because it’s not often that the UFC offers up 15 bouts in an evening. Thankfully, Jauregui made sure that we’re kicking things off with a bang.

Yazmin Jauregui Gets The Ground And Pound Finish Versus Nunes | UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Holland
Yazmin Jauregui Gets The Ground And Pound Finish Versus Nunes | UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Holland
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The Mexican newcomer’s sophomore showing didn’t start off as well as she would have liked, as Nunes responded to a naked kick with a cold right hand that put Jauregui on the canvas early in the opening round. But the undefeated strawweight picked herself up, made the correct adjustments, and rallied to get back into the fight, nearly doing enough to win the round on the cards despite the knockdown.

In the second, she took control, bringing the fight to the Brazilian.

After stinging Nunes early in the frame, Jauregui worked into the clinch and controlled the action on the fence, landing elbows on the break. A right hand bounced off Nunes’ forehead soon after, shaking her equilibrium and sending her tumbling to the canvas, and Jauregui never let her back up. Heavy punches and elbows from top position continued to land unanswered, the damage visible on Nunes’ face, prompting referee Keith Peterson to step in and halt the action.