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Top 5 Contenders For The Lightweight Championship in 2022

Top 5 Contenders For The Lightweight Championship in 2022

The lightweight championship has already had a massive controversy this season, and it has only just started. Reigning champion Charles Oliveira was stripped of his title when he failed the weight-in. Recording 0.5 pounds heavier than needed, Oliveira is still able to compete but now he won’t just be defending the title, he will be reaching for it.

This has dramatically changed the MMA odds, and we predict numbers will continue to change until Oliveira’s new status is solidified. But who is his main rival?

 

Charles Oliveira

Despite his title being taken from him, Oliveira is still the top contender for the lightweight championship. He annihilated Justin Gaethje, destroying his rival’s chances of stealing the title off him.

Now Oliveira needs to push past Beneil Dariush to get as close as he can to his own title. Gaethje was on the rise, before his fall, and was becoming famous for his ability to knock people out in the first round. 

Oliveira knew this but still believed that his power was stronger. With his first punch, Gathje felt that something powerful had come his way, and Oliveira knew it too. The fight was intense but it didn’t make it past the first round. Oliveira still remains undefeated.

This is a good start for the ex-title holder, now he needs to keep this momentum going to reclaim the championship. In Oliveira’s head, he has already beaten his biggest opponent.

 

Michael Chandler

Chandler has really proven his strength already in the lightweight championship. He fought against Tony Ferguson and in an astonishing display of power, he knocked out Ferguson with an unexpected front kick straight to his face.

It was without a doubt the best kick we have seen in a long time. In fact, we expect that kick to be up for the best finish of 2022.

Some fans screamed that Chandler was inappropriate with his fighting style, but Ferguson shushed the haters, saying that the fight was a lot of fun and he wished Chandler luck on his next battle. 

With a power kick like that, we don’t think Chandler needs luck.

Now his eyes are set on Oliveira. He is ready for a rematch for the title, and even believes he can knock the legend out in 2 rounds.

It is too soon to tell how the two will fare, but as they have both started this season with a frightful strength, we know it will be a bloody match!

 

Michael Johnson

Johnson has been paired with Alan Patrick, and the odds are in his favor. It might feel like a stretch to see Johnson on our championship list, as he hasn’t won a match against Patrick since 2018, but these fighting veterans are gaining traction.

Johnson is becoming the underdog of the show. At the moment he has the best odds of winning their fight, and if he can finally bring back an official win, he can lift himself out of the limbo Johnson has found himself in.

In his career, Johnson has won 20 fights and lost 17. He needs to reach back into that 20-fight feeling. Judging by his off-season and training days, we know he can make an impact this season.

 

Manuel Torres

Manuel Torres is the new kid on the block. He has a 60% accuracy rating for strikes and a 100% takedown for defenses. But all of this information is based on his 1 game where he won this season.

In total, Torres has won 12 times and lost twice. You can expect that he will spend most of his time standing, and aim for the head over any other part of the body. Torres is a 68% head hitter, 16% body hitter, and 16% leg hitter.

Currently averaging a fight time of 2 minutes and 10 seconds, we hope that Torress can keep these stats up in the games to come. 

Most of Torres’ wins come from submission, but he has knocked out his opponents 5 times in his MMA career, which gives us a promise of a long fight for us fans to sink our teeth into.

 

Frank Camacho

Although Torres is the favorite to win in the fight against Camacho, Camacho shouldn’t be dismissed outright.

In his whole professional career, Camacho has won 22 times and only lost 9 times. In his winnings, 3 were through decision, 2 through submission, and 17 from a knockout.

However, in his losses, 2 were through decision, 2 through submission, and 5 through a knockout.

These losses are a recent issue, as, from the last 5 fights, 4 of them ended in a loss for Camacho.

Despite his impressive overall ratings, this recent turn to losses is more important. If Camacho is on a downward spiral, then he might not be able to beat Torres. But if he can shake off this dry spell, then Camacho could push for some bigger wins.

 

Summary

The clear front runners for the lightweight championships are Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. Oliveira is the bookie’s favorite at the moment, but Chandler could change everything.

 

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