Oliveira could face Khabib disciple Makhachev as Conor McGregor continues comeback: The UFC agenda in 2022

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·2-min read
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  • Charles Oliveira
    Brazilian martial artist
  • Islam Makhachev
    Russian mixed martial artist
  • Michael Chandler
    American mixed martial artist
  • Kamaru Usman
    Nigerian-American mixed martial artist
  • Dustin Poirier
    Dustin Poirier
    American martial artist
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov
    Russian professional mixed martial artist
  • Conor McGregor
    Conor McGregor
    Martial artist
  • Amanda Nunes
    Amanda Nunes
    Brazilian mixed martial artist
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Charles Oliveira could fight Islam Makhachev after beating both Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier in 2021.

A disciple of the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev is quickly moving through the ranks and could carry on the legacy, albeit first having to overcome a man in excellent form.

Clearly, one cannot talk about UFC without mentioning a certain Conor McGregor but, frankly, he doesn’t look like the money fight in terms of statistical form. The Irishman will always be a draw and his social media antics will continue to make news, but he increasingly feels like an irrelevance despite his frequent calls for a shot against Oliveira.

A potential fight with Chandler, however, would be explosive. Should McGregor overcome that challenge, perhaps he can start dreaming of the lightweight title once more. At this stage of his career, that would be some achievement.

The dominant Kamaru Usman, who has hinted at a cross-promotion fight with Canelo Alvarez, could be set for either Leon Edwards or Vicente Luque as he continues his quest to be considered the greatest welterweight of all-time.

Should Kamaru step up a division, though, a meeting with Israel Adesanya would surely be the biggest fight of the year. The dream match-up for this generation, it would be the Jon Jones vs Brock Lesnar match we never got to see.

Quite where Colby Covington goes is absolutely fascinating. Surely better than most others on the planet, two losses to Kamaru have left him out of the welterweight title picture, with ‘Chaos’ now calling for Jorge Masvidal.

In the heavyweight division, Francis Ngannou looks ready for Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 as the latter looks to exert himself after only being crowned as interim champion. Gane certainly has what it takes to beat Ngannou, but the champion’s experience could be key.

Julianna Pena, who shocked the word by beating Amanda Nunes for the Women's Bantamweight title at UFC 269, enters 2022 with a title few would have expected her to hold, so just watching her defend it will be a tantalising prospect.

For her part, Nunes does not seem keen on what would be a trilogy fight with Valentina Shevchenko, although the flyweight champion seems hell-bent on avenging her two losses to Nunes.

Aside from dream fights, the very real prospect UFC could return to London in 2022 is equally as exciting. Pandemic-permitting, Dana White has hinted the English capital could host its first event since 2019 on what would be the twentieth anniversary for the first event at UFC 38.

With all that in mind, it looks set for another hugely entertaining year inside the octagon.

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