2021 saw the end to some glistening UFC careers. With names such as; Carlos Condit, Paul Felder, Marion Reneau, and Joe Benavidez being just a few to hang up the UFC gloves this year.
Who Could Retire From the UFC in 2022
Let’s look ahead to some of the currently ranked fighters who we could be seeing inside the octagon for the final time in 2022.
Former lightweight champion, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar entered the UFC back in 2007 and it didn’t take long before he started attracting some attention. In 2010 he fought for his first title, where he got a controversial decision win over BJ Penn to become lightweight champion and shock the world.
Edgar held on to the belt for two years after eventually losing it to Benson Henderson at UFC 144 and after failing to reclaim the title in a rematch between the two, he made the move down to featherweight. His time in the division saw him fight for both the interim and unified titles, losing on both occasions. Also saw him pick up wins against Charles Oliveira, Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson, and a number of others.
Further down the line, “The Answer’s” 2021 hasn’t gone to plan with both his bantamweight bouts ending in defeat. At the age of 40, it’s fair to anticipate that we may not see the number 11 ranked 135 pounder compete inside the octagon for much longer. Whether 2022 will see the end of his journey or not, with a record of 18-10-1 under the UFC banner, we’ll all remember just how good he’s been in the sport.
Rafael Dos Anjos
Another former champion and veteran of the sport in Rafael Dos Anjos. The current number six ranked lightweight has had a terrific career fighting in the UFC. A slower start, in his quest for UFC gold, which saw him wait nearly seven years and compete in 18 fights before getting his shot at gold.
He won the lightweight strap in a classic between himself and Anthony Pettis back in 2015 but could only defend it once before losing it to Eddie Alverez just over a year later. The Brazilian then spent a few years competing at Welterweight, taking on the likes of Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Leon Edwards. He finally returned to lightweight at the back-end of 2020 when he beat Paul Felder by UD.
At 37-years-old and still calling out every fighter on the roster, this one is arguably the least likely, but with a lot of inactivity and limited wins over the last few years, we may be witnessing the last of RDA in the UFC.
We’ll never forget when Holly Holm made the impossible possible at UFC 193, when she knocked out Ronda Rousey. Handing her the first-ever defeat and making herself the women’s bantamweight champion. So, to think this could be her final year at the highest level is disappointing.
Holm’s time in the UFC saw her do the unthinkable against Rousey, and fight some of the world’s best. But having not fought since October of 2020, her days may now be numbered. She was scheduled to fight on two occasions this year, against Juliana Pena and Norma Dumont but had to withdraw from both.
Still number seven on the women’s pound-for-pound fighters list, we can certainly still see the 40-year-old bow out in style in 2022. A potential rematch and shot at redemption against former champion, Miesha Tate could be a great spectacle for fans to experience.
It is crazy to think that Glover Teixeira is the light-heavyweight champion of the world, given the obstacles he has had to overcome to get there. Losses to fighters such as; Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, and Corey Anderson made us think his dreams would never be made a reality. But after going on a fantastic five-fight win-streak, he got his second shot at gold.
Fighting for the title at the age of 42 isn’t something you see often, but winning it is even more impressive. A second-round submission against Jan Blachowicz saw him become the oldest, first-time champion in UFC history. To think that it may be his final year with the promotion is a sad thought, which is what makes his win at UFC 267 all the more glorious.
The champion is expected to fight in the first title defense against Jiri Prochazka sometime in the upcoming year. Whether it is a win or a defeat, we can’t expect to see the Brazilian compete for many more fights.
Arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time, Stipe Miocic, has just four losses in his entire career. Most recently at the hands of Francis Ngannou, who won their rematch to become heavyweight king. Beating almost everybody he’s fought, at least once, during his time in the UFC, this one would probably be the most difficult fighter for fans to say goodbye to on the list.
A career that’s seen him get the best of fighters like Mark Hunt, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Daniel Cormier, and Ngannou. The former champion has made it clear that he isn’t finished yet and was openly disappointed by the fact he was not asked to fight for the interim heavyweight title against either Ciryl Gane or Derrick Lewis, but approaching his 40th birthday, he may not have many fights left in him.
It is rumored that Miocic is very interested in a heavyweight super-fight against Jon Jones. But if that fight doesn’t come into fruition then perhaps a final crack at regaining his title could be the perfect way to finish what’s been a fairy tale story in the UFC.
Which ranked fighters do you think we could be seeing for the final time in 2022? Let us know!
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