Sunday, May 22, 2022

UFC Board Reveals Possible Blockbuster Fights On The Horizon

Several high-profile matchups may have just been inadvertently leaked by the UFC when their matchmaking board revealed the promotion’s plans for the months ahead.

During an episode of The Pivot Podcast, hosted by Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor & DC & RC co-host Ryan Clark, fans caught a rare glimpse of the confidential UFC board when Dana White made his arrival to the executive boardroom. The board has frequently been referenced by White in interviews as he looks up reflectively at the board, which is usually out of the audience’s view.

That all changed Tuesday. Based on the matches listed on the board, here are some of the fights the UFC currently has mapped out for the months ahead:

UFC 276: July 2, 2022

Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier

Jared Cannonier, Israel Adesanya
Jared Cannonier, Israel Adesanya

Adesanya vs. Cannonier has already been widely expected when looking at the current middleweight landscape. Cannonier defeated Brunson at UFC 271 in February in what was widely considered to be a #1-contender’s bout.

There is currently no word on any potential roadblocks from making the July 2 date materialize.

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz

Khamzat Chimaev Nate Diaz
Photos via Twitter @kchimaev & Instagram @natediaz209

Diaz has been lobbying for a fight for several weeks now to close out his current UFC deal. Diaz’s frustrations have even led him to publicly request his release. The UFC had reportedly offered Diaz a fight against Chimaev in the past, but Diaz rejected the fight.

If this board is up to date, this means the UFC has not given up on a potential Chimaev/Diaz clash as the final fight on Diaz’s current deal.

Sean O’Malley vs. Petro Munhoz

Sean O Malley
Sean O’Malley (Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

In March, O’Malley name-dropped Munhoz as a potential opponent. Both men are currently unbooked.

Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena (Confirmed)

Bryan Barberena has confirmed that this fight has been agreed to for the July 2 date.

UFC Fight Night: July 9, 2022

Thiago Santos vs. Jamahal Hill

Both men are ranked within the top 10. Santos is ranked #6, and Jamahal Hill is ranked #10. Neither man is currently booked.

UFC London: July 23, 2022

Paddy Pimblett vs. Ottman Azaitar

Paddy Pimblett
The London Press

The UFC recently announced its return to London for July 23 in a card headlined by Curtis Blaydes and UK’s own Tom Aspinall. Pimblett appeared on the last UFC London card on March 19, picking up a submission victory over Kazula Vargas.

Azaitar currently has a professional record of 13-0, most recently defeating Kharma Worthy via TKO last September.

UFC 277: July 30, 2022

Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic

Jon Jones Stipe Miocic
Jon Jones, Stipe Miocic

A fight between Jones and Miocic has been rumored for months, and UFC President Dana White has directly stated that the fight makes sense.

Of note, however, is Jon Jones’ recent claim that Miocic has requested the fight be pushed back to September and “Bones” stating he would be happy to oblige so that Miocic has “no excuses.” Thus, it is unclear if the fight is still currently planned for July or if the board is yet to reflect these latest developments.

Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev

Anthony Smith, Magomed Ankalaev
Anthony Smith, Magomed Ankalaev (Image Credits: Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News & Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Last month, Anthony Smith expressed a willingness to face Ankalaev, even stating that the Russian is not the “boogeyman” he is being made out to be. Both fighters are currently ranked in the top 5 at light heavyweight, with Ankalev at #4 and Smith at #5.

MMA News will keep you posted on all the latest developments regarding each of the above blockbuster fights! So be sure to keep it locked right here on MMANews.com, a leading source for MMA News since 2002!

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