December 31, 20218 Minutes

Top 5 New UFC Fighters To Look Out for in 2022

    1. Paddie "The Baddie" Pimblett

As Dana White famously says, “If you don’t know, know you know…” this most definitely applies to UFC lightweight newcomer, Paddie “The Baddie” Pimblett who earned his nickname along with the title of double champ for the European Cage Warriors promotion-the same promotion that Conor McGregor was the original double champ before vacating his titles to take over the double champ titles in the UFC.  

Paddie Pimblett voraciously stepped into that role for Cage Warriors by quickly becoming a fan favorite with his wild first round knockouts, precision, speed and showmanship.

He taunts his opponents with his famous mantra, ” I’m a Scouser. We don’t get knocked out!”. Pimblett’s highly-anticipated UFC debut ended with a wild first round knockout that Pimblett delivered in devastating fashion after recovering from getting wobbled and hurt in the 90 seconds of the fight. The hype train for Paddie “the Baddie” Pimblett is real and its moving fast. He’s got the hair, the knockout power and the personality to fast track his name. He’s already landed a seven figure deal with Barstool Sports, putting him at the top of our list of the top 10 rising new UFC stars in 2021. Watch Paddie Pimblett’s UFC debut highlights.

"I've said it once before and I'll keep saying it over and over again...I'm a Scouser. We don't get knocked out."

— Paddie "The Baddie" Pimblett

2. Terrence McKinney "T.Wrecks"

Like Pimblett, it takes a rockstar of a fighter to get on this list with just one fight, but when that one fight ends in seven seconds, it’s no surprise that Terrance McKinney landed here after his knockout of Matt Frevola in June. His compelling backstory of overcoming literal death (he overdosed twice) combined with his uplifting personality and one punch knockout power and it’s no surprise that fight fans are excited to see where “T.Wrecks” goes next. Check out his UFC 7-second knockout debut.

"5 years ago I overdosed and died (twice). Two years ago I made it to the UFC Contender Series and lost, but three weeks ago, I made my UFC debut and set a record. Don't let your mistakes and losses define you. Every day is new day to be better than you were."

— Terrence "TWrecks" McKinney

#3. Chris "Huggy Bear" Barnett

Chris Barnett set the roof on fire at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, by taking out UFC veteran, Gian Villante with a spinning wheel kick to the head, and then swarming the native New Yorker with huge unanswered strikes to the head to earn the finish midway through the second round.

Given the fact that Barnett who competes at the maximum allowed Heavyweight of 264, nobody hade ever considered that Barnett would end the fight the way he did until he pivoted, spun, and connected his heel with Villante’s head all the while keeping his hand perfectly positioned on the ground for balance. He capped off the performance with a celebratory “”fatman” front flip that had the crowd roaring in laughter and delight. His post-fight interview with Joe Rogan following the victory, won-over the hearts of all in attendance by graciously asking if Vallante could stay for his interview just so that he could called on the MSG audience to give it up for the retiring Villante. His walkout dance to the octagon was a whole celebration in itself and had UFC commentator Daniel Cormier in hysterics.  An over-the-top performance in the cage and a gracious and enthusiastic performance on the mic from “Beast Boy” aka Huggy Bear had us all saying, “Welcome to the Huggy B show!” as he secured his first UFC victory.

Watch Chris Barnett’s spectacular spinning heel knockout.

"If you looked at this guy in his underwear, there is no way you would say that he was gonna win this fight with a wheel kick to the head. That was crazy!"

— Joe Rogan on Chris "Huggy Bear" Barnett's UFC debut KO

#4. Ian Garry

Former Irish Cage Warrior Welterweight Champion, Ian Garry has been all the rage in the UFC since making his debut at Madison Square Garden at UFC 268. He won the Cage Warriors Welterweight Belt in June and by August, had re-located to South Florida to start training for his UFC debut this past November at UFC 268. Confidence is not an issue for Ian. He’s got a lot of confidence and he should. He’s incredibly skillful and he’s got that “I am the man” mindset. While tons of fighters before Ian have come into the Octagon on their debut full of hype and confidence and still have gotten shut down, this wasn’t the case for Ian Garry. While he suffered some minor setbacks in the first round and was behind, he quickly turned things around for himself by ending the fight in the first round with a counter hook that knocked his opponent down to the ground, where Ian followed up with a relentless barrage of punches until the ref called him off of his downed opponent. His post-fight speech with Joe Rogan was pretty epic too, in it he credits his presence in the UFC to a “former wise Irishman who came before him to take over..”. Ian Garry claims the Irish are back and that they are not here to take part, but to takeover…again. The future looks pretty dang bright for Ian “The Future” Garry. Check out the behind the scenes and highlights of his UFC debut.

"A wise Irish-man once walked into this Octagon and said, 'We're not here to take part. We're here to take over.' The Irish are back and this is the take over part 2. The Future is here."

— Ian "The Future" Garry during his UFC debut octagon interview

#5. Alex Pereira

Former 2x Glory Kickboxing Champion, Alex Pereira has been preparing for years to make his UFC debut. He is the only man to that current middleweight defending champ, Israel Adesanya has been knocked out by in his entire career. Now that the two are rivals in the UFC, this should make a interesting title climb for Pereira since making his UFC debut at Madison Square Garden at UFC 268 in fantastical fashion with a flying knee knockout. Check out Alex Pereira’s knockout highlights here

‘In the next four fights I hope to see him"

— Israel Adesanya on Alex Pereira's UFC debut KO