UFC news for the week of December 1st features Justin Gaethje talking about his expected title shot, Chimaev Getting Hype, Early 2022 Fights Announced and Potential Fights for 2022. Let’s look at the UFC news for the week of December 1, 2021.
Gaethje Expects Title Shot
Justin Gaethje is back in the news, as he is expected to get a title shot against the winner of the bout between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier that takes place on December 11 in Las Vegas. UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier is the last pay-per-view event of 2021 and it figures to be a good one with Poirier listed as a -165 favorite at SugarHouse Sportsbook. Gaethje is coming off a win against Michael Chandler at UFC 268 and it was an impressive win and an important one for Gaethje who had lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2020.
UFC president Dana White said on the “The Jim Rome Podcast” that Gaethje will get his title shot. “Yup (he’s next),” White said, “As long as everybody’s healthy and everything’s good, it should be him, coming off one of the greatest fights anybody’s ever seen in their life.” Gaethje lost to Poirier in 2018 so if that fight happens it would be a revenge matchup, while a fight against Oliveira would be high intensity considering Gaethje has accused Oliveira of quitting.
Chimaev Getting Hype
One of the most exciting new fighters in the UFC could be Khamzat Chimaev, who is 4-0 in the UFC, including a very impressive win over Li Jingliang at UFC 267. UFC president Dana White has been talking up Chimaev and saying that no one wants to fight him. “Yes, 100 percent. Nobody wants to fight this guy,” White said on “The Jim Rome Podcast.” “Everybody wants to get out on social media and say this or say that. But when it really comes down to it, nobody’s trying to fight Khamzat Chimaev. I don’t blame them. But at the end of the day when you’re a professional fighter, this is what you do, you should look at a guy with as much hype and as much bravado as Chimaev has, as a huge opportunity.”
Early 2022 Fights Announced
The UFC has announced some of their fights for early in 2022, including a bout between Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev on February 26. That fight should determine the top contender in the lightweight division. Dariush and Makhachev are both red-hot and ranked at No. 3 and No. 4 in the division. Dariush fought twice in 2021 and defeated Carlos Diego Ferreira and Tony Ferguson, while Makhachev took out Drew Dober, Thiago Moisés and Dan Hooker. Makhachev won each of those fights by submission.
The first two UFC events of 2022 will be UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze on January 15 and UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane on January 22nd.
Potential Fights for 2022
There is a good chance we get a matchup between Petr Yan and T.J. Dillashaw in 2022. Each fighter is coming off a win against Cory Sandhagen. Yan lost his title to Aljamain Sterling in March but won the interim title against Sandhagen. Dillashaw is back and he could very well get a title shot against Yan.
A lot of people are hyping up a potential fight between Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev. Usman is a wrecking machine but everyone, including Dana White is talking about Chimaev. We’ll see if this fight gets made in 2022, as it will take Chimaev moving up in the rankings before it happens.
Are you ready for Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor IV? Poirier has won two of the previous three fights and there is a decent chance with get the fourth meeting in 2022. Poirier might even be the lightweight title holder when the two meet. McGregor did not have a good 2021 but he is working his way back from injury and he is always a top draw.
Another interesting fight could be one between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. These two have fought twice, but not since 2017. Both fighters have been extremely dominant and although Nunes has two wins over Shevchenko, both were competitive. The first one was just a three round fight while the second one was a split decision.
There is a good chance we see the third meeting between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2022. We didn’t even see Jedrzejczyk this year, but she could easily get back into title contention.