Conor McGregor has spent the year 2022 stuck on the sidelines as he continues to rehab a badly broken leg from his July 2021 fight against Dustin Poirier. But that doesn’t mean “The Notorious” hasn’t been paying attention as the UFC had another busy year with tons of wild fights, upsets, and historic moments.
UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Strickland on December 17th was the last event of the year so now we can get onto the important task of assigning all the ‘Best of’ awards for the 511 fights held by the promotion in 2022. Best fight, best knockout, best submission, best comeback, you know the drill.
But before compiling your own list, be aware that Conor McGregor has already assigned a fight as ‘Best EVERYTHING,’ and it’s Leon Edwards’ come-from-behind victory over Kamaru Usman at UFC 278 to win the welterweight title.
Stop the nonsense “comeback” of the year , this is EVERYTHING of the year! Bar none. The timing of commentary. The timing of the fight. The shot itself. The KO. The ramifications. The post speech. Pound for pound head shot. Dead! This lives on!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 21, 2022
Team @ParadigmSports! https://t.co/2mTbruXPmV
“Stop the nonsense,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Comeback of the year, this is EVERYTHING of the year! Bar none. The timing of commentary. The timing of the fight. The shot itself. The KO. The ramifications. The post speech. Pound for pound head shot. Dead! This lives on! Team Paradigm Sports!”
McGregor may be just a little biased as Leon Edwards shares the same management company, Paradigm Sports, as the Irish sports star. But MMA fighters need to stick together when dealing with the mainstream sports community, which has once again completely overlooked mixed martial arts with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 list.
Not only were there no MMA fighters on the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year 2022 list, there were no MMA fighters included in any of the other seven categories. That’s despite Leon Edwards becoming the second UK UFC champion in history, and ignoring Manchester’s Brendan Loughnane winning four fights in eight months to win the PFL $1 million featherweight tournament.
McGregor is certainly right that we shouldn’t forget about Edwards beating Usman way back in August. Both men were on historic tears, they had a rivalry that ran back to 2015, and you knew you were seeing something special when Edwards knocked out “The Nigerian Nightmare” in the last minute of the last round of their title fight in Salt Lake City.
Awards and recognition aside, the big question now is whether the UFC will be able to set up Edwards vs. Usman 3 for early 2023 as originally planned. Already, the promotion’s initial plan to hold the event in a stadium has been nixed. UFC 286 will be held at the O2 Arena in London. And then there’s the rumors that Kamaru Usman may not even be the man standing across from Leon Edwards come March 18th, as a hand injury may stop him from competing.
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