If anybody made an announcement in 2022 it was Anatoly Malykhin. The Russian was already the interim heavyweight champion when he was given the chance to tackle dominant light-heavyweight champion Reinier de Ridder. Each males went into the combat undefeated, with the scene set for a traditional grappler versus striker contest. De Ridder felt he may take Malykhin down and break him on the bottom, whereas the Russian was assured within the energy of his fingers, and skill on the bottom ought to he have ended up on his again. Because it occurred, Malykhin scored one of many 12 months’s greatest knockouts, and with it the light-heavyweight title. Massive issues await in 2023.
Aliakbari fulfils his potential and retires Vera
It was the combat Amir Aliakbari had needed since arriving in a single, at likelihood to check himself in opposition to a former world champion in Brandon Vera. Coming into the combat, Iran’s Aliakbari had some momentum having defeated Mauro Cerilli through second-round TKO, whereas Vera could have been previous his finest however nonetheless had perception a win may set off one other tilt on the title. Because it occurred, Aliakbari would want lower than 4 minutes to claim his dominance and decide up a landmark win – and one which locations him firmly within the heavyweight title image. The right finish to an awesome 12 months for the Center East favorite.
Saygid Izagakhmaev delivered on Khabib’s hype
When you’re tipped for greatness by none apart from Khabib Nurmagomedov, the burden of expectation can sit closely. Nonetheless for Dagestani light-weight Saygid Izagakhmaev there was no such drawback. Three wins from three fights in 2022 since his ONE debut in January have seen Izagakhmaev take the division by storm. A submission, resolution, and TKO, have proven an actual variety to his recreation, and one which can possible see him problem for gold in 2023 if this trajectory continues.
Jarred Brooks works his technique to strawweight title
Three fights, three wins, and the strawweight title in his possession – 2022 has been fairly good to Jarred Brooks. Wins over Hiroba Minowa and Bokang Masunyane put Brooks on a collision course with champion Joshua Pacio. The construct up was filled with animosity and trash discuss, however when it got here to combat night time, Brooks placed on a clinic, successful a convincing resolution and ending the 12 months because the strawweight king.
Christian Lee fulfils his dream of being a double champ
Once we speak about household dynasties in martial arts, it’s tough to look additional than the Lees. Christian’s sister Angela has been queen of the atomweights, however has up to now been unable to overcome two divisions, having misplaced twice trying to seize strawweight gold. This 12 months, Christian was in a position to obtain the feat for himself, and his household. In 2022 Christian has had two fights and gained titles on each events. First up he regained his light-weight title from Okay Rae Yoon, earlier than turning into a champ champ defeating Kiamrian Abbasov for the welterweight title – regardless of Abbasov coming in over the burden restrict. Is there an opportunity of three in 2023?