UFC Fight Night 216: Cannonier Vs Strickland, Last Event OF 2022

UFC Fight Night 216, (UFC Vegas 66, UFC on ESPN+ 74) was the last event of the year 2022, and with its closing bout between Sean Strickland and Jared Cannonier we received an odd deja-vu of the entire year. With a myriad of unusual judges’ decisions throughout the year to be reflected upon. This event was no different and a pattern seems to be emerging in the UFC. Join us as we unpack the wild night of UFC 216: Cannonier Vs Strickland.

Jared Cannonier Vs Sean Strickland

Jared Cannonier took the spoils in the 2022 UFC finale. He edged a split-decision verdict after going all five rounds with Sean Strickland at UFC Fight Night 216. 

The two middleweight contenders went back and forth for the full five-round duration at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. In a bout that was a tight, cagey affair for the most part, with both men jockeying and feinting for the opening, but rarely finding sustained success in any of the rounds. 

It made the fight an incredibly tricky one to score, and that difficulty was reflected in the judges’ scorecards, with the scorers split on the eventual victor.

“I would definitely like another title shot – sooner, definitely, than later,” he said.

“I’m ranked number three, I just beat number six. I believe Whittaker and Costa are due to fight next year, and Adesanya doesn’t have a fight yet … But a title fight is what I’m looking for.”

Arman Tsarukyan Vs Damir Ismagulov

Arman “Ahalkalakets” Tsarukyan found himself a very clean victory against Damir “Qazaq” Ismagulov 

UFC lightweight contender Arman “Ahalkalakets” Tsarukyan put on an incredible performance at UFC Vegas 66. Here he completely dissected and demolished former M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Damir “Qazaq” Ismagulov on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

Arman had this to say about his victory:

“I think it’s a big fight for me and big name. Yeah, he’s not in the top five but he’s tougher than (a lot of) top fighters.

“Of course, it’s big business and they know I’m gonna beat the guys in the top five. Me and Damir, we don’t choose opponents. For example, I think we have (had) to fight with each other. One day I’m going to fight with big names. Hopefully (the) next fight will be a big name.”

“My goal is to (beat) everybody the UFC gives me and it doesn’t matter who it’s gonna be. I would like to have my next fight (opposing) Charles Oliveira or (Beneil) Dariush because I deserve to have a big name. They don’t have a fight (booked) now and I’m ready.

“I don’t (didn’t) get injured, I feel good. I’m young and I can cut weight. If the UFC offered me a big fight, I’m going to be ready in two months. But if they’re going to offer me someone from the top 15, I’m not going to fight.”

Drew Dober Vs Bobby Green

Fighting Bobby Green was everything Drew Dober expected, which made his knockout win at UFC Fight Night 216 that much sweeter. Drew pulled off a scintillating finish, although it wasn’t easy at all.

The 34-year-old clearly struggled with Green’s unique style. In the first five minutes, a few big shots from Dober couldn’t balance out the steady diet of front kicks and jabs coming back his way. To make matters worse, Green was chatting and trash-talking to Dober the entire time as he established a sizable lead in the significant strike totals.

“Oh, he was talking trash on like every move that I did,” Dober said. “I’d try to hit him in the body, he’d be like ‘Nope, that was my arm. You missed.’ And then he’d like comment to my coaches. He was like ‘Nah, he can’t do that. He can’t do that.’ And then he was just running his mouth the entire time. Just various comments on everything.”

“I think there is a guy in the Top 10 right now, and his name is Jalin Turner — 6’3” monster. I would love those problems. So, please say, ‘yes,’” Dober stated.

Said Nurmagomedov Vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov

Said Nurmagomedov picked up a submission win over Saidyokub Kakhramonov with a guillotine choke. Things didn’t look great for Said for the first 2 rounds – but it’s the final outcome that matters. Nurmagomedov nearly pulled off a guillotine choke in the opening minute, but Kakhramonov popped his head out and ended up on top. The rest of the round, Kakhramonov largely outwrestled Said until the final bell.

With the victory by submission, Said Nurmagomedov secured his third win in a row and improved to 16-2. Saidyokub Kakhramonov dropped to 10-3, which snapped his four-win streak.

Nurmagomedov told the media at his post-fight scrum;

“To be honest, (I’m) not very happy with the performance. I mean, it wasn’t going my way in the first round at all. I got really, really tired. I threw that guillotine in and it wasn’t working. Just nothing was going my way and only by the second round was I able to find my footing and dictate the pace and everything else,”

With that, we end an exciting year of mixed martial arts fights in the UFC. Jared Cannonier takes away the final victory of the year irrelevant of what the analysts believe. And now will begin conversations, arguments, and analysis over the fights and fighters of the year. RDX Sports definitely has a take as well over the amazing matchups that took place this year. And we look forward to an already extraordinarily enthralling opening quarter for 2023.