January ended with a bang as Francis Ngannou defended his UFC heavyweight throne against Ciryl Gane, and set the tone for 2022. But there are quite a few must-see MMA fights in February, including at UFC 271 and Bellator 275.
Here’s a look at five fights in Feb. that you really can’t miss.
5 must-see MMA fights in Feb.
Israel Adesanya (21-1) vs. Robert Whittaker (23-5) II – UFC 271
Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker II is a much-anticipated rematch for the UFC middleweight title. In their first fight at UFC 243, Adesanya rolled over Whittaker and won the title via second-round knockout. That marked the only loss for the Aussie since 2014, and he’s followed up by looking tremendous in wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum. “The Last Stylebender,” meanwhile, remains unbeaten at 185 pounds. Something’s gotta give.
Rafael dos Anjos (30-13) vs Rafael Fiziev (11-1) UFC Vegas 48
Rafael Fiziev has made plenty of noise in the lightweight division in recent outings. He’s won five in a row, and in his past four, has earned two “Performance of the Night” and two “Fight of the Night” bonuses. The only thing he’s missing is a win over a big name, and former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos qualifies. The 37-year old, meanwhile, has reached the point in his career where he needs to prove he’s still elite every time he fights, and he’s coming off a 15-month layoff to boot.
Neiman Gracie (11-2) vs. Logan Storley (12-1) – Bellator 274
The first five-round non-title main event in Bellator history headlines the company’s second event of the year. Both fighters have something to prove in this bout. Neiman Gracie blitzed his way to wins in each of his first seven Bellator fights but is just 2-2 since. Including a losing effort against then-welterweight champion Rory MacDonald. Logan Storley is a three-time NCAA All-America wrestler out of Minnesota who is fast reaching that point in which a prospect needs to prove he is becoming a contender, and this is his best chance to do so. It’s a clash of All-American wrestling versus Gracie jiu-jitsu.
Gegard Mousasi (48-7-2) vs Austin Vanderford (11-0) – Bellator 275
Gegard Mousasi is one of the game’s most enduring stars and looks to make the second successful defense of his second reign as Bellator middleweight champion. At Bellator 275 in Dublin Ireland, he squares off with Austin Vanderford — best known as Mr. Paige VanZant — has earned this title shot by winning all five of his Bellator fights, but he’s making a huge jump in competition. Mousasi is crafty and skilled everywhere. This will be the ultimate test of Vanderford MMA knowledge thus far.
Beneil Dariush (21-4-1) vs. Islam Makhachev (21-1) – UFC Vegas 49
February’s final UFC card is headlined by a scorching-hot lightweight matchup. Dagestan’s Islam Makhachev has won nine in a row, including submission victories in his past three. Beneil Dariush, who has been with the UFC since 2014, has finally turned the corner to becoming a legit contender, rattling off seven straight wins. The winner of this is likely to be the top contender for whoever has the division title after Charles Olveira and Justin Gaethje face off at UFC 274 in May.
–Field Level Media