Fight of the Year is always a hotly debated tag, and as always there were plenty of options in 2022. But while names like Gaethje, Chandler and Poirier are often the favorites in that division, it was a light heavyweight contest that was the favorite this past year.
Jay Anderson: Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler in New York was a bunch
Rosie fun, but Jiri Prohazka vs. Glover Teixeira had it all. High stakes, with a title on the line, crazy action and a win for Prochazka from behind. It’s a shame they took away the rematch. But this is my pick for Battle of the Year.
Gabriel Gonzalez: Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prohazka. The fact that there were five rounds of momentum swings is still amazing even now. The determination, tenacity and sheer will of both men is truly what makes this the best sport in the world. Ending the fight with a late rally from Prochazka in the form of a submission was the cherry on top of the all-time classic.
Eddie Lowe: Heading into UFC 273 in April, Khamzat Chimaev was handling his opponents with only one of his fights reaching the second round.
Until he ran into Gilbert Burns, who showed no fear of “Borz’s” suffocating style and even hurt the rising UFC star to take him the full 3 rounds. We finally saw Chimaev pushed to the brink and some even thought Burns won the fight. For me, this is the best fight of the year.
Alex Behunin: Jiri Prohazka vs. Glover Teixeira. This fight had it all and surpassed Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson as the best LHW fight of all time. Both fighters were hurt and had their moments, and then Jiri Prochazka, not known for his submissions, tapped Glover Teixeira…when he was down in the scores. incredible
Jamie Theodosi: David Onama vs. Nate Landwehr. I chose this fight over the higher stakes ones as it was the fight that kept me on my toes for most of it. From Onama’s sheer exhaustion to his heart for being able to stay in the fight, this fight gave us everything.
Val Dewar: Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prohazka. Glover Teixeira was ahead on the scorecards in twenty-four minutes and thirty-two seconds of absolute war in his first attempt at a title defense at UFC 275. The fight was a one-and-done fight, and he had taken absurd amounts of damage for each, let alone forty and two years old, but he was largely able to take the fight to the ground and mount an extremely effective attack, even seriously injuring his Czech opponent with punches early in the fifth round. With just over a minute remaining, Jiří Procházka escaped with a full mount, found his way to a back choke attempt, and submitted the BJJ black belt to Teixiera, even though Jiří had only defeated two opponents in his thirty-two career fights to that point. The back-and-forth action, high drama and incredible comeback method make this UFC light heavyweight title bout a lock for Fight of the Year despite the fierce competition.
Michael Lynch: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns. The fight was absolute madness.
Final Score: Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Texieria wins our Fight of the Year award. This is the fight that had it all and convinced the UFC to book an immediate rematch where it wouldn’t otherwise be warranted. Injury derailed that fight and the light heavyweight title remains vacant, with Texieira and Jamahal Hill fighting for it at UFC 283 later this month.