The past 12 months have featured some of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) accomplishments in recent memory, but Islam Makhachev’s lightweight crowning may take the cake.
This is according to UFC play-by-play commentator, Jon Anik, who has called almost every UFC fight this year. From Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi, Anik has been front and center for everything 2022 has had to offer. This includes memorable moments like Alex Pereira’s knockout win over Israel Adesanya, Michael Chandler’s Knockout of the Year candidate over Tony Ferguson, and Leon Edwards’ upset victory over Kamaru Usman.
However, Anik’s exposure to the best combat action in the world has led him to the conclusion that Makhachev winning the lightweight title may be the biggest storyline of the year.
“Certainly Islam Makhachev in totality, I think this was like the crowning,” Anik said on ESPN’s “DC & RC.” “So I will never think about 2022 without him.”
“I’m not sure any non-champion has had as much pressure in UFC history to become a champion as Islam Makhachev,” he continued. “And you know what? He did it with flying colors and beat a guy in Charles Oliveira that nobody could beat for half a decade. So Islam’s gotta be mentioned in any sort of long-term 2022 conversation.”
Makhachev, 31, made good on his first ever UFC title shot with a rather easy submission win over red-hot champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 this past October. The victory increased Makhachev’s current lightweight win streak to 11 and confirmed that he’s the second coming of long-time training partner and former UFC champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
What do you think, Maniacs? Do you agree with Anik? Or did something else from 2022 stand out more than Makhachev’s lightweight takeover?
Let’s hear it!