The UFC kicked off 2022 in style after a hugely successful run in 2021.
The first event of the year was underway at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, where top featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze locked horns in the main event.
The promotion’s first pay-per-view of the year took place a week later at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., where two championship bouts were contested. Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane faced off in a title unification bout in the main event. The co-main event saw a trilogy fight between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo.
January produced some sensational fights. Here are the top five fights of the month.
#5. Michel Pereira vs. Andre Fialho – UFC 270
Michel Pereira was originally scheduled to fight welterweight ranked contender Muslim Salikhov at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Salikhov was forced out of the fight and was later replaced by promotional newcomer Andre Fialho. Pereira and Fialho staged an incredible back-and-forth on the UFC 270 main card.
Pereira, who is known for his unorthodox and hugely entertaining fighting style, was stifled by Fialho’s sharp boxing. The Brazilian was outplayed by the UFC debutant in the first round and looked quite tired going into the second.
Pereira managed to pick up the pace afterwards and even pulled out some of his Capoeira moves. He reassembled his Portuguese counterpart in the next two rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Michel Pereira is hoping for a ranked opponent in his next fight. Moreover, the Brazilian wild man is guaranteed to produce fireworks every time he fights and has quickly become a fan favorite.
Meanwhile, Andre Fialho showcased a decent set of skills and heart considering he took the fight on short notice. It will be interesting to see how the Portuguese fighter performs with a full fight camp behind him.