December 3rd: Tyson Fury vs Derek Chisora (Boxing)
December 3rd: Stephen "Wonderboy" Thomson vs Kevin Holland (MMA)
December 10th: Josh Warrington vs Luis Alberto Lopez (Boxing)
December 10th: Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev (MMA)
December 13th: Naoya Inoue vs Paul Butler (Boxing)
December 17th: Jared Cannonier vs Sean Strickland (MMA)
December 3rd: Tyson Fury vs Derek Chisora
Image Credit: Top Rank
Tyson Fury makes his return from ‘retirement’ against Derek Chisora in a trilogy bout to kick off this month of exciting fights.
Tyson Fury: Fury is a well-rounded fighter, with a solid chin and the ability to both box and brawl as the situation demands. His awkward jerky style and incredible reach mean he is incredibly difficult to time and his good durability means that he is especially effective against sluggers and knockout artists. Against Chisora, I expect a return of Fury the boxer rather than the more front-footed fighter we saw against Wilder and Whyte.
Derek Chisora: Chisora is a veteran contender at heavyweight and has the power to make any fight very dangerous. With a gritty, grindy style that often makes fights pretty dirty, Chisora is a classic bulldog fighter with a limited but effective toolkit. I expect him to do what he has always done, walk forward and swing until he can’t.
Prediction: Fury by late TKO. I think Fury will dance around Chisora until he gets tired and stop him late.
Where to watch: Live on ESPN+ on December 3rd at 9am PST/12pm EST
December 10th: Josh Warrington vs Luis Alberto Lopez
Image Credit: DAZN
This is a very interesting fight, as it’s Warrington’s first title defense against a pretty solid technician in Lopez, and seems to be a classic boxer/swarmer matchup
Josh Warrington: Warrington is a solid swarmer with good fundamentals and the grit to fight through injuries, and he’s pretty good at cutting off the ring. I expect him to try and keep this fight as close and gritty as possible, the last thing Warrington wants is to fight at range.
Luis Alberto Lopez: Lopez is a boxer who has made a habit of upsetting oddsmakers in the past. He hasn’t lost since 2019 and has the technical skills that low-power, high-output swarmers like Warrington hate. On the other foot, Warrington is also the most elite competition Lopez has faced in quite some time, so it will be interesting to see if Lopez’s angles will be there for him against strong opposition.
Prediction: Warrington by Decision. Warrington’s output wins this for me, that and the fact that the fight is in Leeds.
Where to watch: Live on DAZN on December 10th at 4pm PST/7pm EST
December 13th: Naoya Inoue vs Paul Butler
Image Credit: Boxing News 24/7
Naoya Inoue returns to fight against fellow champion Paul Butler in order to crown the first undisputed bantamweight champion since 1972.
Naoya Inoue: Inoue is a destructive and skilled boxer puncher with power far above his weight class. His ability to cut the ring and corner opponents is coupled with knockout power in both hands, and his lightning-fast feet and solid gas tank ensure that he can capitalize on any opening.
Paul Butler: Butler is a technician who won his title by defeating Jonas Sultan via decision. His sharp jab and solid angles carried him through that fight, and he will likely look to use the same tricks to keep Inoue from being able to sit on his shots.
Prediction: Inoue by KO. Inoue has beaten boxers before, and his footwork and ring generalship both make him particularly hard to outbox.
Where to watch: Live on ESPN+ on December 13th at 2am PST/5am EST
December 3rd: Stephen "Wonderboy" Thomson vs Kevin Holland
This fight between contenders should be fireworks for as long as it lasts, seeing as it's 2 high-level striking specialists getting in the cage together.
Stephen Thomson: Thomson is always exciting and there is a reason he’s a fan favorite. He’s got incredibly creative striking and is amazing when he actually gets to work his angles. Against Holland, he will get to do just that and I expect him to capitalize on his excellent kicks to try and end this fight early.
Kevin Holland: A kung fu specialist is a rarity in MMA, but Holland makes it work with a pretty well-rounded package, though he seems to prefer striking over the ground when he has an option. I expect him to take a standing fight against Thomson and execute his very unique striking style.
Prediction: Wonderboy. I think Thompson has an edge here due to his better striking game.
Where to watch: Live on ESPN+ on November 12th at 7pm PST/10pm EST
December 10th: Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev
Blachowicz is trying to reclaim the title he lost to Teixeira, and Ankalaev is fighting to claim the title for the first time. Two skilled fighters with good power in the ring is always a win for fans.
Jan Blachowicz: Blachowicz looked unbeatable right up until his last fight when he was upset by underdog Glover Teixeira, and now he looks to set things right against one of the best in the weight division. Blachowicz is a well-rounded fighter in a division full of specialists, and that could either save him or be his downfall against the devastating striking of Ankalaev.
Magomed Ankalaev: Ankalaev is a striker through and through and his record reflects that. Of his 19 fights, he has 10 victories by knockout and 8 by decision, with one loss by submission early in his career. Whether he can put down Blachowicz will largely depend on how often Blachowicz can take him down.
Prediction: Ankalaev by strikes. I think Ankalaev is too strong and too fresh for Blachowicz right now.
Where to watch: Live on ESPN+ on December 10th at 7pm PST/10pm EST
December 17th: Jared Cannonier vs Sean Strickland
This will be an exciting match between sluggers, where one punch can and likely will end it all.
Jared Cannonier: Cannonier is known for his menacingly calm demeanor in the cage, sometimes simply walking toward his opponents and laying them out with single strikes. This strategy did not serve him well in his last outing against slick mover Adesanya, but to be fair to Cannonier no strategy has served anyone well against Adesanya in a very long time.
Sean Strickland: A volume puncher through and through, Strickland will come forward all day if he can. I expect that strategy to remain largely the same against Cannonier, but I also think Strickland might choose to go to the ground at some point during this fight if Cannonier starts winning on the feet.
Prediction: Cannonier by Strikes. I think Cannonier’s patient, violent style is kryptonite for Strickland’s more flat-footed game.
Where to watch: Live on ESPN+ on December 17th at 4pm PST/7pm EST
Note: All December 2022 fight information is accurate as of December 1st, 2022.
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