Photo Credit: Dylan Nolte
Despite the many cancellations and postponement of events spilling over from the previous year, 2021 was another landmark year for female combat sports, with athletes across different disciplines making their mark. UFC made major strides with hugely successful events helping prove it is here to stay. Fans are excited about what’s to come in 2022 with plenty of athletes with points to prove in the coming year. UFC fans are eagerly anticipating Amanda Nunes’ next move after her December loss to Julianna Peña, while many will be eager to see whether pound-for-pound number 1 Valentina Shevchenko can continue her dominance after two explosive fights in 2021. There will also be a lot of eyes on Kay Hansen, who is scheduled to begin the year with a fight against Jasmine Jasudavicius. She is the underdog in that fight according to odds provided by oddschecker, whose no deposit bonus codes can be used to bet on UFC fight winners, but she’ll be hoping to prove them wrong in this fight and throughout the year.
Brazilian mixed martial artist Amanda Nunes goes into 2022 with some points to prove after a mixed 2021. At UFC 259 in March, she forced Megan Anderson into submission to retain her featherweight title, taking her winning streak to 12 fights. It was an impressive run that included victories against big names like Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, making her appear to be a fighter at the top of her game. Her winning streak was ended in December by Julianna Peña, who forced her into submission with a choke at UFC 269. It was a surprise defeat that sent shockwaves through the sport, Nunes dominated the first round, but Peña came back in the second to complete what many are calling one of the biggest upsets in the history of the UFC. Nunes and her fans will hope this was just a blip that can be consigned to the history books with a strong 2022.
Kay Hansen made a big splash in 2020, debuting in UFC as part of the Poirier vs Hooker undercard and earning the “Performance of the Night” award for her impressive victory over Jinh Yu Frey. Her armbar submission midway through the third round made it a dream debut performance that had fans excited to see her again. She fought debutant Cory Mackenna in November that year and lost by unanimous decision. While it couldn’t be described as a shock loss, it’s true she was the favourite so will have been disappointed to be defeated. Hansen was expected to bounce back in 2021 but personal problems meant she didn’t fight at all in the year. She is scheduled to face Jasmin Jasudavicius in January this year, and regardless of how it goes, it will be great to see her back in the octagon after all she’s been through. Should she continue on the comeback trail after this fight, 2022 will be a key year to establish whether she will be here to stay.
Photo Credit: Ameya Sawant
Nicknamed “The Bullet” because of her lightning speed, Valentina Shevchenko is widely recognised as the best pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. She had an impressive 2021 which included two dominant TKO victories. She defeated Jessica Andrade in April before beating Lauren Murphy 5 months later. The 2022 picture for Shevchenko seems clear, avenge her two losses to Amanda Nunes with a trilogy fight. Making the fight won’t be easy though, UFC president Dana White has stated that he doesn’t feel a third fight is necessary, particularly because of the fact Shevchenko would have to move up a few weight classes to match up with Nunes. Although many saw that as one of the reasons that she was unable to beat Nuñes in the previous two fights, Shevchenko doesn’t seem to have been deterred. After her win against Andrade she stated her feeling that the third Nuñes fight would definitely happen, so we can be sure that she’ll do everything in her power to make it a reality.