With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best fights from November 2022: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s Fight of the Month award for November.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.
Nominee: Michael Trizano def. Seungwoo Choi at UFC 281
Trizano and Choi came out looking from the finish the moment the fight began. They landed simultaneous left hooks and knocked each other down in a wild scene, and the action just picked up more and more from there. It was clear Trizano had the edge in power, though, and he managed to floor Choi one final time to force the referee to step in during the final seconds of the opening frame.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 13, 2022
Nominee: Dustin Poirier def. Michael Chandler at UFC 281
Poirier, a former interim lightweight champion, returned from a title-fight loss when he earned a third-round submission win over Chandler after a bloody back-and-forth affair that earned Fight of the Night honors.
— UFC (@ufc) November 13, 2022
Nominee: Alex Pereira def. Israel Adesanya at UFC 281
Another chapter is etched in the book of Israel Adesanya (23-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) vs. Alex Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) – with similar twists and turns – but this time it happened in the octagon with a UFC belt changing hands.
After a tit-for-tat striking battle, Pereira rallied to score a standing TKO stoppage of Adesanya in the fifth round, helping him capture the UFC middleweight title and move to 3-0 in head-to-head combat sports encounters with Adesanya.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 13, 2022
Nominee: Christian Lee def. Kiamrian Abbasov at ONE on Prime Video 4
Lee had the opportunity to become a two-division champion, and nearly came up short against now-former welterweight champ Kiamrian Abbasov. However, Lee dug deep and pulled off one of the best comebacks of the year. In the fourth round, Lee unloaded a barrage of punches before getting an easy takedown. From there, Lee postured up and emptied the tank until the fight was stopped.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) November 19, 2022
Nominee: Larissa Pacheco def. Kayla Harrison at 2022 PFL Championships
The third time was the charm for Larissa Pacheco (19-4), who upset Kayla Harrison to take the two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time PFL champion’s zero from her record.
The win was a big upset. Pacheco was a +529 underdog on average across major online sportsbooks after losing to Harrison twice in 2019. The Brazilian made major strides, though, and managed to outwork Harrison for three of five rounds to win a unanimous decision and claim the $1 million season prize.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) November 26, 2022
The winner: Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
Poirier and Chandler promised to be one of the best fights of the year, and it certainly met, and perhaps even exceeded expectations.
The sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden was louder than ever for this one, as both lightweights have a big reputation for being exciting, all-action fighters. After a wild war that stretched into the final round, fans were treated to an instant classic which concluded with former interim lightweight champ Poirier winning by submission.
The first round saw a brief feel-out process but quickly escalated into an all-out war.
Chandler began the fight with a wide stance, bouncing in and out of striking range as Poirier studied his movement. Chandler began to open his striking game, connecting with hard punches. Keeping Poirier guessing, Chandler changed levels to threaten a takedown. Although it was stuffed, the striking output continued, putting Poirier in trouble.
As Poirier covered up from the flurries, Chandler got the takedown he was looking for earlier. Poirier worked his way back up, but was suplexed back to the mat. They returned to the feet, and that’s when chaos ensued.
Poirier, who looked to be hurt, began putting together hard combinations to rock Chandler. An all-out slugfest followed until the end of the round, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. Both fighters returned to their corner bruised and bloodied.
In the second, Chandler brought Poirier to the mat early with a nice takedown, and began working from guard. Not resting on his back, Poirier threw up a triangle and sliced with elbows.
After scrambling, Chandler ended up on the back of Poirier, looking for a rear-naked choke. This would prove to be a moment of controversy, as Poirier would later accuse Chandler of a fish hook, putting his fingers in his mouth to pull for extra leverage.
Although Chandler couldn’t get the submission, he would continue on to land hard ground and pound until the end of the round.
With five minutes left to work, Poirier controlled the center of the cage early, pressing ahead with strikes. Chandler lifted for a huge slam, but somehow, Poirier avoided big damage and scrambled to take the back. After adjusting position, Poirier locked in a rear-naked choke submission and Chandler had no choice but to tap.