Mixed martial arts fans have plenty to look forward to in February after what was undoubtedly a low-key start to combat sports in 2022.
The UFC heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane aside, January will not live long in the memories of MMA followers.
4 MMA Fights in February to Look Forward To
However, February promises to be a completely different proposition, with the UFC and Bellator both featuring some eagerly awaited match-ups. Read on as we look at some of the top fights.
Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker
Grab yourselves a UFC live stream and strap yourselves in for a rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 that has been three years in the making.
The pair first met at UFC 243 in 2019, with Adesanya ending Whittaker’s five-year unbeaten streak to claim the middleweight championship.
Adesanya has been beaten in just one of his four outings since then, losing by unanimous decision after stepping up to face Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title.
Whittaker has reeled off three straight wins since losing to Adesanya and has been widely tipped to give the ‘Style Bender’ much more to think about this time around.
Derrick Lewis vs Tai Tuivasa
The blockbuster heavyweight clash between Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa is another main attraction on a stacked UFC 271 card.
Lewis heads into the bout on the back of an impressive victory over Chris Daukaus in December, which saw him claim the career UFC knockouts record with 13.
However, fireworks are expected when he faces Tuivasa, who has posted a 13-3 record in the professional ranks including 12 wins by way of knockout.
A victory for either fighter would put them in the conversation to face Ngannou for the title further down the line.
Gegard Mousasi vs Austin Vanderford
We switch from the UFC to Bellator for our third big fight recommendation, with the clash between Mousasi and Vanderford expected to be a blockbuster.
Mousasi is rated as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the Bellator roster, although he could have his work cut out against Vanderford.
The 31-year-old reeled off his fifth successive Bellator victory last May when he impressively defeated Fabian Edwards by unanimous decision.
Mousasi has won 11 of his last 12 fights dating back to February 2016, but Vanderford possesses the tools to cause him plenty of problems.
Beneil Dariush vs Islam Makhachev
The UFC Fight Night main event at the end of the month features two of the best lightweights around, with Beneil Dariush facing Islam Makhachev.
Dariush took his professional record to 21-4-1 with a unanimous verdict over Tony Ferguson last May – his seventh victory on the spin.
Makhachev has also been in fine form in the pro ranks, improving his record to 21-1 with a dominant win against Dan Hooker at UFC 267.
Whoever wins this contest should be in line to secure a title shot against Charles Oliveira, although Justin Gaethje may be first in line for that particular honour.