This could be a comeback year for combat sports, especially if some of the top contenders raise to the challenge and listen to the fans. Here’s a look at our picks for boxing & MMA fantasy fights we'd pay good money to see in 2022.
Boxing Fight Wishlist
Conor McGregor vs. Jake Paul
Image Credit: @jakepaul
You see this might actually be pretty interesting in the YouTube Boxing arena. Although some say McGregor has fallen from grace, he would still be by far the best opponent Paul has fought. There’s also the fact that McGregor, unlike Paul's most recent opponent, has far more boxing experience. The main downside is, of course, that McGregor is much smaller than Paul, so in order for this to be a sanctioned fight, he’d have to bulk up significantly. If not it would still make for an entertaining exhibition fight.
Rashidi Ellis vs. Yordenis Ugas
Image Credit: @rashidiellis & @yordenis_ugas
An up-and-comer vs. an established, solid champion is the perfect kind of fight to make at the welterweight division right now. With Spence and Crawford in gridlock and Porter retired, we need some new stars in the division. Having "Speedy" Ellis go against a solid, fundamental fighter like Ugas for a belt is the perfect way to start that.
Demetrius Andrade vs. Jermall Charlo
Image Credit: DAZN Boxing
This is an important middleweight fight that should honestly have already happened. Andrade and Charlo both need the resume boost (Andrade more than Charlo now since Charlo has recently been stepping up his competition and fighting real challengers), and it’s actually a good style match-up. Andrade is a calculating, safe boxer, and Charlo is a long-range bomber, so these two would have a good style clash in the middle-distance. We hope this one gets made in 2022!
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez II
Image Credit: Sky Sports
While it looks unlikely, we think a lot of people would pay to see this bout. Teo had the best night of his career against Loma, but Loma has looked just as unstoppable as ever in his comeback, even putting in the work to beat all of Teo’s former opponents in convincing fashion. This would be a big drama fight if it happens.
Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia
Image Credit: The Sportsman
Fights between two up-and-comers are always awesome, and Garcia especially could use the resume boost. Garcia has Campbell under his belt, but still probably has the weakest resume out of the four young lightweights (Davis, Garcia, Lopez, and Haney). These guys are both fast, explosive punchers with amazing corners, so this fight would be an instant buy for us.
Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, Jr.
Image Credit: Yahoo! Sports
Ah yes. The fight. People have been asking for this fight between Spence and Crawford since they both came into the limelight. Crawford is a slick, technically gifted switch hitter, and Spence is a violent, destructive inside-fighting southpaw. And for the first time, there is some hope for this fight happening. If it does, we guess that it would be the fight of the year, as both of these guys come to win every time they enter the ring.
Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire II
Image Credit: Ewan Lavender
The first clash between these two is our favorite fight in modern history, and we think a rematch would be just as amazing. The young lion (Inoue) vs. the old tiger (Donaire), and this time, the tiger would have information that lets him really leverage his experience. We would pay any amount of money to see this fight.
Gervonta Davis vs. Teofimo Lopez II
Image Credit: @merisdesigns & @boxingkingmedia
Another clash between two of the four young lions of lightweight, this one is a favorite of the possible match-ups. “Tank” (Davis) is the harder hitter and is probably better defensively, but Teo has the range advantage and certainly the better resume. They both also fight with a chip on their shoulder and always look to finish fights. We would love to see this one in the summer, maybe as part of a lightweight tournament.
MMA Fight Wishlist
Valentina Shevchenko vs Julianna Peña
Image Credit: UFC
Two amazing strikers that have evolved considerably since their last meeting, this would be a stunning rematch. They both have fantastic stand-up, and both have greatly improved their ground game, making this an incredibly fast-paced, violent chess match that we all very much hope to see.
Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio Cesár Chávez, Sr.
Image Credit: BoxingInsider
What an all-time classic this fight would be! Not only does it have a great narrative, the old face of Mexican boxing vs. the new face, but also has two similar styles. Álvarez has better defense, but Chávez in his prime was an absolute machine, he never slowed down and he had absolutely no fear. We have no idea who would win but wish we could find out.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Marvin Hagler
Image Credit: BSO
Another instant classic to imagine. Golovkin and Hagler are kindred spirits; both skilled boxers who choose to put their faith in their heart and their chins. Both of them fought only the best whenever possible, and both are absolute destroyers in the ring. Whoever would win this…one of those granite chins would have to crack.
Who’s On Your List?
We want to hear from you! Did we miss any awesome fights that you want to see happen in 2022? Share your own fighting wishlist and leave a comment in our Facebook Community. And in the meantime, if you're ready to train like a fighter, get access to hundreds of boxing, kickboxing, strength, conditioning, recovery, and stretching workouts that will push you mentally and physically. Download the FREE FightCamp App and train with real fighters from the comfort of your own home. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be battling it out with one of your dream contenders in the ring!