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This year served as a reminder of all that was lost during the pandemic thanks to lockdowns and restricting of large gatherings. There’s nothing like the connection between a fighter and the fans. They feed off of each other in dance that can only happen with arenas packed to the rafters.
Fans respond to a huge punch, a beautiful combo, or a knockout and the fighter feeds off of it. The back-and-forth as well as the dance taking place between fighters just isn’t the same without packed houses.
We also know that some of the best action in the fight game takes place after the bell or outside of the ring all together. Let’s take a look back and some of the best fight stories from this past year.
The Best Round, Upset, Celebration & Interview of 2022
One of the best fights/rounds of the entire year took place during a July UFC Fight Night between flyweights Matt Schnell and Su Mudaerji. Round 2 of the fight started with Schnell getting rocked multiple times.
The round ended with Mudaerji bloodied and asleep on the canvas. What a fight and what an unbelievable comeback.
In one of the most shocking moments in fighting in all of 2022, Canelo Alvarez lost by unanimous decision to Dmitry Bivol. Alvarez would later put another one in the win column by closing out his trilogy against Gennady Golovkin with a unanimous decision victory.
There’s no doubt Alvarez will want another shot at Bivol in the new year.
We couldn’t mention the best of 2022 without mentioning the best celebration of the entire year. That celebration belongs to the BKFC’s Tai Emery.
She topped off her first-round knockout win in her Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut by flashing the crowd. The celebration increased her popularity on OnlyFans by 6,000%.
Tai went on to lose her next fight, but she’ll always have this and the promise of future flashing moments.
The best fighter versus “journalist” battle came when Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett took on Ariel Helwani prior to his UFC 282 win over Jared Gordon. Instead of apologizing for the incident with Helwani, he doubled down during an incredible interview with our very own Mike Gunz.
Paddy made it clear that he has no f*cks to give.
The “Best” Injuries of 2022
Combat sports aren’t for everyone. Especially those who can’t handle injuries. Gruesome injuries are part of the sport and part of what fighters signup for when they agree to step into the ring.
Here are a few of the best or worst injuries, depending on how you look at it.
Russian Albert Duraev used his eye one too many times to stop his opponents fist. The result was a doctor stoppage and one ugly ass eye injury.
For the next injury we have to drop down to the amateur ranks where a manic by the name of Cole Farsaci refused to tap after leaving his arm in a vulnerable position for too long.
Farsaci chose not to tap and had his shoulder ripped out of the socket. Worth it? Probably not, but he did suffer one of the more memorable injuries from the year 2022 so there is that.
Bare knuckle fighter Nathan Decastro, a former British Welterweight Champion, suffered a broken orbital bone that left him looking like “The Elephant Man.” Google it kids, it’s a fair comparison.
Decastro, despite having his face rearranged, was upset that a doctor stopped it. He took to Twitter after the fight to file his complaint.
“As the dust settles on my fight, I am absolutely devastated, I knocked down in the first round and the second round I was winning comfortably but the doctor stopped it due to a suspected broken orbital, against my will. I would’ve won the fight but rematch in Denver USA.”
Boxer Nicolas Pablo Demario didn’t suffer a noteworthy injury, he handed one out. Although it’s an injury that didn’t leave any lasting damage. For reasons only known to him, Demario bit his opponent Josue Vargas after knocking him down.
The Best Stories From Outside the Ring
Some of the best stories took place outside the ring. We had a stripper turned fighter pickup a win this year, a former UFC fighter make a ton of money selling feet pics and a math teacher turned boxer forever change weigh-ins.
In other words a story to tug on the heart strings for everyone.
Vanessa Demopoulos quit her stripper job just six weeks prior to a fight back in January. Not just any fight, it was a fight she won via an armbar submission.
She celebrated by doing her post-fight interview in the arms of Joe Rogan.
Former UFC fighter Felice Herrig retired from mixed martial arts to focus on other activities. She turned her attention to bare knuckle fighting and selling feet pics and dirty socks on OnlyFans.
Despite signing with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship over the summer, Herrig hasn’t yet made her debut. That’s okay, it’s given her more time to focus on her budding OnlyFans career.
Ebanie Bridges, aka the Blonde Bomber, grabbed headlines earlier this year with her lingerie weigh-ins. Fast-forward to just a couple of weeks ago and she’s still doing the lingerie weigh-ins, but as a defending champion and OnlyFans model.