10 Must-See UFC, Bellator Fights This Month

    ByRoss Markey

    Feb 10, 2022

    Below, catch a comprehensive list of 10 must-see fights from both the UFC and Bellator in the month of February – including two middleweight title fights in each promotion, a pivotal lightweight clash, an historic All-Ireland featherweight showdown, and a former champion’s return against a dynamic attacker.

    Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker II

    We’re fast-approaching UFC 271 this weekend, with a main card topped by a middleweight championship rematch featuring defending kingpin, Israel Adesanya, and former champion, Robert Whittaker.

    Hoping to avenge an October 2019 knockout loss to then-interim champion, Adesanya in a title unification bout, Whittaker, has since secured a trio of unanimous decision wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum.

    Attempting to secure his fourth successful defense of the middleweight crown, Adesanya has so far knocked back Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori – the most recent of which in June.

    Derrick Lewis vs. Tai Tuivasa

    Co-headlining that UFC 271 is a monstrous heavyweight showdown between former title challenger, Derrick Lewis, as the most prolific knockout artist in promotional history tackles the surging Sydney striker, Tai Tuivasa.

    Rebounding from an interim heavyweight title loss to Ciryl Gane in August, Lewis stopped Chris Daukaus with first round strikes at UFC Vegas 45 in December. For Tuivasa, the charismatic shoey-enthusiast stopped Augusto Sakai with a second round knockout at UFC 269.

    Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson

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    Landing on the main card billing of UFC 271 – a pivotal middleweight pairing which may determine the next title challenger, as Jared Cannonier looks to secure his second consecutive win against divisional staple, Derek Brunson.

    Most recently, Cannonier managed to defeat the above-mentioned, Gastelum back in November, while North Carolina veteran, Brunson submitted Darren Till with a third round rear-naked choke in September.

    Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev

    Moving to the main event of UFC Vegas 48 – we’ve got a battle of lightweight ‘Rafael’ standouts.

    Former undisputed champion, Rafael dos Anjos returned to his old stomping grounds in November 2020 with a split decision win over Paul Felder. For Tiger Muay Thai striking sensationl, Rafael Fiziev – he extewnded his winning run to five straight fights in December with a wheel kick knockout win over Brad Riddell.

    Johnny Walker vs. Jamahal Hill

    Slated to co-headline that card, light heavyweight strikers, Johnny Walker and Jamahal Hill look to take a foothold in the division with a win.

    For Walker, the Brazilian returns from an October main event loss to compatriot, Thiago Santos, while Hill managed to stop Jimmy Crute with a thunderous one-punch knockout at UFC Vegas 44 inside the opening minute.

    Joaquin Buckley vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan

    Akin to Derrick Lewis vs. Tai Tuivasa – the middleweight matchup of Joaquin Buckley, and Abdul Razak Alhassan appears to also promise fireworks.

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    Buckley eventually finished Antonio Arroyo with third round strikes back in September, lodging his tenth career knockout success, while Alhassan stopped common-foe, Alessio Di Chirico with a stunning 17-second high kick back in August, maintaining his 100 percent finish rate in winning efforts.

    Gegard Mousasi vs. Austin Vanderford

    Set to headline Bellator 275 from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland – Bellator MMA middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi returns in a title defense against the undefeated wrestling standout, Austin Vanderford.

    Mousasi previously defeated John Salter with a slew of third round ground strikes in August to defend his crown, and now meets Vanderford who boasts an 11-0 record, most recently besting Fabian Edwards over three rounds for a unanimous decision win at Bellator 259.

    Leah McCourt vs. Sinead Kavanagh

    Featuring on that main card of the Dublin Bellator return, featherweight standouts, Leah McCourt and Sinead Kavanagh meet in a monumental contest for the island of Ireland.

    McCourt boasts a 6-1 record and has so far enjoyed a promotional-perfect stint with Bellator, most recently besting Jessica Borga at Bellator London back in October.

    For Dublin veteran, Kavanagh, the multiple-timeAll-Ireland boxing champion returns for the first time since a first round knockout defeat against division queen, Cris Cyborg back in November at Bellator 271.

    Beneil Dariush vs. Islam Makhachev

    Rounding off the UFC’s schedule for the month of Feburary at UFC Vegas 49, lightweight grappling talents, Beneil Dariush, and Islam Makhachev square-off in an almost certain title-eliminator at 155lbs.

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    Undefeated in his last seven, Kings MMA staple, Dariush most recently handed former interim champion, Tony Ferguson a one-sided unanimous decision defeat at UFC 262 in May of last year.

    For Makhachev, the #4 ranked contender improved to 21-1 in October with a dominant opening round kimura stoppage against Dan Hooker on ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 267.

    Arman Tsarukyan vs. Joel Alvarez

    Undefeated lightweight contender, Arman Tsarukyan presents a real danger at 155lbs – most recently besting Christos Giagos with one-sided opening round strikes in September which earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

    For Alvarez, the Gijon grappling sensation stopped Thiago Moises with strikes to secure his third consecutive win back in November. Worryingly, however, Alvarez missed weight both that outing and for his prior win over Alexander Yakovlev.