Who Will Be the UFC Heavyweight Champion at the End of 2022?

Who Will Be the UFC Heavyweight Champion at the End of 2022?

Mixed martial arts can be extremely unpredictable. That’s why there is a new heavyweight champion as we head into 2022. Francis Ngannou (16-3) was one of seven new undisputed UFC champions in 2021.

He will have his work cut out for himself quickly as Ngannou takes on interim heavyweight champion Cyril Gane (10-0) in UFC 270 on January 22.

The big question is can Ngannou make it through a whole year as the champ? If not, who will be the UFC heavyweight champion at the end of 2022?

Current UFC Heavyweight Champion

As mentioned, Ngannou became the new heavyweight champion in 2021. He defeated Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 back on March, 27, 2021.

The native of Cameroon joined UFC in 2015. At 6-foot-4-inches tall, Ngannou is big and powerful. His first UFC loss was to Miocic, but he would get another shot at him and the heavyweight belt. He didn’t let that opportunity slide by.

Ngannou is the favorite at +225 to be the champ at the end of the year. He is a -115 favorite at most sportsbooks to beat Gane later this month.

The Contenders

Right behind Ngannou is Gane, who will have the opportunity to dethrone the champ in just a few weeks. Gane, 6-4 and 245 pounds, can rival Ngannou in size.

Gane, who is given +275 odds to the champ at year-end, has recent wins over Derrick Lewis, Alexander Volkov, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik who are sixth, seventh, and ninth on the betting board to be the heavyweight champ at the end of the year.

After Gane, there is Curtis Blaydes who is 15-3 overall in his career. One of those three losses was to Ngannou, who won by TKO early in the first round. Blaydes is listed at +600.

The only other real contender is Miocic, who has held the heavyweight title on two different occasions. Regarded by many as one of the best ever in UFC history, Miocic is listed at +650. He is 20-4 and is ranked No. 2 in the UFC heavyweight division.

Longshot

If there is a longshot among the group, it could be Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The 6-2, 257-pounder was 10-0 before losing three of his last five fights. He took Gane to five rounds before losing a decision. Rozenstruik did the same with Blaydes losing by decision in his last fight, UFC 266 back in September 2021.

Rozenstruik is listed at +1800 and is a fighter to watch. He is a kickboxing champion with 76 wins during his career. A total of 64 of those victories were by knockout. If he gets a shot, he can take anybody the distance which would give him a chance at being the UFC heavyweight champion at the end of 2022.

Odds to Be UFC Heavyweight Champ End of 2022

Francis Ngannou +225

Cyril Gane +275

Curtis Blaydes +600

Stipe Miocic +650

Jon Jones +650

Derrick Lewis +700

Alexander Volkov +900

Tom Aspinall +1600

Jairzinho Rozenstruik +1800

Chris Daukaus +2500

Tai Tuivasa +2500

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