5 UFC champions who are likely to lose their titles in 2022

With 2022 about to begin for the world’s biggest MMA promotion, there are now less than two weeks to go before the UFC presents its first two title bouts of the year.

Discounting interim titleholders, the UFC currently has a total of 12 champions on its roster, but which of those champions is likely to lose their titles in 2022?

2021 saw some genuine shockers in terms of who was able to capture gold inside the octagon, with a handful of the most unlikely champions crowned. Naturally, only time will tell if they can continue to hold onto their titles in 2022.

With that considered, here are the five UFC champions who are most likely to lose their titles in 2022.

#5. Julianna Pena – UFC women’s bantamweight champion

After upsetting Amanda Nunes, can Julianna Pena hold onto her bantamweight title in a potential rematch?
After upsetting Amanda Nunes, can Julianna Pena hold onto her bantamweight title in a potential rematch?

When Julianna Pena defeated Amanda Nunes in December, taking her UFC bantamweight title in the process, the result was immediately declared one of the greatest upsets in MMA history.

Sure, Pena had predicted exactly how the fight would go, right down to Nunes gassing out somewhat in the second round, but still, very few fans expected ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ to pull it off.

So can Pena hold onto her title throughout 2022? In all honesty, for as dramatic as her win over Nunes was, it feels doubtful.

Firstly, nothing that Pena had done in the octagon prior to her win over ‘The Lioness’ suggested that she was a capable titleholder. In fact, while she defeated Sara McMann to set up her title shot, the fight before that had seen her submitted by kickboxer Germaine de Randamie.

It seems highly likely that Pena’s first title defense will come in a rematch with Nunes. While she looked fantastic in their first meeting in December, the prior accomplishments of ‘The Lioness’ should make her a hot favorite to regain the gold.

If Pena can defeat Nunes again then she could well go onto have a surprisingly dominant title reign. However, even if she pulls the victory off, dangerous fighters like Irene Aldana and Ketlen Vieira seem capable of potentially dethroning her.

With that in mind, then, it seems likely that ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ will lose her title in 2022, even if she’s proven the doubters wrong before.

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