There is still plenty of fights before the year ends. Many must-see cards and matchups you won’t want to miss. From MMA to Boxing, read about the fights closing out the year with a bang.
5. Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley 2 (ShowTime Championship Boxing, Dec. 18)
Begrudgingly I put this fight on the list. The rematch that none of us wanted, but all of us will watch.
This was supposed to be Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury, but unfortunately Tommy had to pull out at the last minute due to a broken rib and chest infection. So we get the rematch that will end up outselling and having more pop culture appeal than any other fight on this list.
This fight is a compelling match up because it can be the “get back” and storybook ending of a once great combat sports career for Woodley. Or we will get another chapter of the troll/promoter/fighter that is Jake Paul.
We have no idea what is going to happen, only time will tell. But one thing is for sure, you can’t miss this Sunday night train wreck of a fight.
4. Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus (UFC Fight Night, Dec 18)
Did someone say knockout? This fight features Derrick Lewis, the most accomplished KO artist in UFC history (13 UFC KO’s). Daukaus on the other hand is a heavy handed prospect that is on a nine fight knockout streak, with all four of his UFC fights ending via stoppage before the third round.
This fight can only end in one way, with violence, and that’s why this heavyweight slugfest is a must watch!
3. Dominique Wooding vs. Carlos Abreu (Cage Warriors 132, Dec 11)
I love regional MMA, and even though they’re based across the pond, I LOVE Cage Warriors. This British-based promotion has introduced us to some of the best fighters the UK has to offer. They consistently deliver amazing shows, and December 11 is no different. The champion Dominique Wooding is riding a two-fight KO streak, and will defend his belt for the first time against the surging submission specialist in Abreu.
This can be a showcase fight for the champion Wooding, and if he can win impressively we might be looking at the next big prospect to come out of the UK.
2. Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier (UFC 269, Dec 11)
How can you not love this fight? Both men have had to ‘get it out the mud’. Two champions that we have seen grow in this sport. We’ve seen their highs and lows, and they are at the top of their game in the sports premier division (lightweight).
Dustin is fresh off of his two wins against Conor McGregor, and is now one of the biggest names in the sport. He has gone through an MMA who’s who to finally earn himself another shot at the lightweight title he once held a portion of.
On the other side, we have the most undervalued champion in the UFC. A guy that many of his peers didn’t think belonged. But as they talked, he quietly put together a 10-fight winning streak defeating some of the most avoided and dangerous men in the sport. Topping it off, he knocked out former Bellator champ who is widely regarded as one of the sport’s most violent and entertaining fighters, Michael Chandler.
The winner of this fight will go down as one of the sport’s current P4P greats, as well as hold the title of the world’s best lightweight.
1. Artur Beterbiev vs. Marcus Browne (Top Rank ESPN+, Dec 17)
Artur Beterbiev is a terrifying Russian boxer that would give Ivan Drago nightmares. A skilled brawler that is boxing’s version of Khabib Nurmagomedov. With a record of 16-0 and 16 knockouts, Beterbiev is an imposing force that everyone, even boxing’s P4P #1 guy Canelo Alvarez, seems to be avoiding. Everyone except for former champion Marcus Browne.
Marcus Browne is a skilled boxer puncher who with only one loss on his record, believes that he can be the man who can solve the Russian puzzle that is Beterbiev. I’m amazed that this fight has flown under the radar because the winner of this fight could find himself in the 2022 Canelo sweepstakes and set themselves up for the biggest pay day of their lives against the P4P King. I love this fight and its possible implications for boxing going forward. This is perfect matchmaking and an amazing way to end 2021.
This culminates one of the best years in recent combat sport memory. Each month the fights just seemed to get better and better. As a fan of the sport I couldn’t be happier, this year gave us (almost) everything we wanted.
CHEERS TO A FIRE 2021 AND EVEN BETTER 2022 TO COME.