UFC middleweight championship

Top Contenders For The UFC Middleweight Championship in 2022

Will The Middleweight Championship Belt Change Hands This Year? 

The UFC is the leading MMA fighting company and puts on some of the most prestigious and exciting fights out there. 

They have 9 different weight categories for men and 5 for women (although one of those categories only includes Amanda Nunes). Today, we are going to be talking about the Middleweight men’s division. 

The current champion of this division is Israel Adesanya – a New Zealand-Nigerian fighter with a 22-1 record in MMA. He is a former kickboxer and boxer too. He gained the title in 2019 and has defended it 5 times.  

Do you think Israel Adesanya will be holding onto his title? You can find the best UFC betting lines here. 

Today, we are going to be looking at the 5 best Middleweight Fighters in the world right now. 


Current Champion: Israel Adesanya


Adesanya has never lost a fight in the Middleweight Division, so it is clear to see why he is the world champion at the moment. 

His record is currently, 22-0 in Middleweight, and 0-1 in Light Heavyweight. 

Before Asesanya was part of the UFC, he spent some time as a professional boxer, his record in that sport was 5-1. He was also a professional kickboxer, his record in that sport was 75-5. He was the Glory Middleweight Kickboxing champion of the world. 

Adesanya has been dominant since he joined the UFC, winning many of his matches in the first round and only having 2 matches go to a decision (both of which he won unanimously). 

The only person in the current Middleweight top 5 that Adesanya hasn’t fought yet is Sean Strickland. He could be Adesanya’s next opponent. 

We do not know who Adesanya will be fighting next, but Dana White (head of the UFC) has hinted that it might be Jared Cannonier. 


Robert Whittaker 


Whittaker currently sits at number 2 in the Middleweight power list. 

His most recent fight was against Adesanya – which Whittaker lost via unanimous decision. However, he was one of only two people to ever take Adesanya to a decision. 

This match took place in Feb 2022. 

The pair had fought before in 2019, during one of the last matches before the pandemic made traveling difficult for the fighters. This fight took place in Melbourne and Adesnya knocked Whittaker out. 

So, the real question that needs to be answered is if we will see an Adesanya vs Whittaker III match this year. 

It is unlikely that a rematch will happen so soon, but never say never with the UFC. If people are interested in seeing the fight and willing to buy PPV tickets to the event then they will put it on. 


Jared Cannonier 


Next on the long list of people that want to fight Adesanya is Jared Cannonier. And as we mentioned earlier, it looks like Cannonier is the most likely man to face the champion this year. 

We’re not sure why it took so long for the UFC to make Cannonier a regular fighter in their events. Especially as he went 7-0 in his first 5 years of fighting. 

Cannonier is technically next in line to fight Adesanya, as the champion beat Whittaker earlier this year. However, Cannonier did lose to Whittaker when he fought him in 2020. This has many people thinking that Dana White might arrange a Cannonier vs Whittaker II before he takes on Adesanya. 

At this moment, only the UFC knows what is going to happen next. 


Marvin Vettori 


Vettori is number 3 on the Middleweight power list. However, we are not sure how likely it is that he will be facing Adesanya this year. 

Why? Well, because Vettori has already lost to the man twice. 

Once in 2018 and once in 2021 – however, the 2018 match was the closest anyone has ever got to beating Adesanya. It went to a split decision, with Adesanya eventually taking the win. 

Vettori is from Italy and was the Middleweight champion with Ventor (a European fighting company) before he joined the UFC. 

What is interesting is that Vettori is set to fight Whittaker in June, perhaps the winner of this fight will be given their third shot at Adesanya. The bookies seem to think that it will be Whittaker who will walk away with the win. 


Paulo Costa 


The final man on our list is Paulo Costa, who is currently 4th on the Middleweight power list. 

Costa lost his last two fights. 

In October 2021, he fought Marvin Vettori and lost via unanimous decision. 

In September 2020, he fought and lost to Adesanya via knockout. This fight lasted until 3:59 in the second round. 

Having not won a match since the last time he fought Adesanya, he may not get a chance to fight the man this year unless he has a really good first half of 2022. That being said, Costa has no fights scheduled this year. 

There is a very good chance that if Adesanya does not fight Sean Strickland this year then Paulo Costa will.  


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