MMA Fan’s Guide To The 2022 FIFA World Cup

It’s that time again! The world cup of association football is back and it’s off to Qatar (and all it’s many problems) we go for a month of overpaid divas trying to act like they are hurt when barely touched – which is basically the exact opposite of MMA on both counts of pay and posture. As always, I’m here with my expertise in watching both sports to help my MMA pals who only tune in for the big tournaments and want a point of reference between kicking balls and, well, sometimes also kicking balls. Anyway, here we go!

Group A: 

Qatar

Fighter equivalent – CM Punk

Not very nice, not very good. Don’t belong here and probably won’t last long. 

Odds ‐ 250/1

Ecuador

Fighter equivalent – Paul Craig

Maybe a little surprising how well they do, but are worth taking seriously all the same. 

Odds – 150/1

Senegal

Fighter equivalent – Rob Font

Will hang in there with anyone but the biggest tasks are likely beyond them. 

Odds – 80/1

Netherlands

Fighter equivalent – Max Holloway 

Extremely talented in all areas, will be right around the very top but will probably be second best in 2022. 

Odds ‐ 12/1

Group B: 

England

Fighter equivalent ‐ Colby Covington 

Obnoxious and cocky but almost reached the pinnacle not too long ago. Probably won’t again. 

Odds ‐ 7/1

Iran

Fighter equivalent – Jay Perrin

Might not still be at the big show by the time you read this.

Odds – 500/1

USA

Fighter equivalent – Austin Vanderford 

Their women are better.  

Odds – 100/1

Wales

Fighter equivalent – Matt Brown

Entertaining overachievers, but their golden years are probably in their last embers. 

Odds – 100/1

Group C

Argentina

Fighter equivalent – Jon Jones

Back once again to take on the heavyweights. Undoubtedly possess one of the greatest individual talents ever, but will it be enough after all these years? 

Odds – 13/2

Saudi Arabia

Fighter equivalent – Marcelo Rojo

Didn’t even know they were in the competition 

Odds  – 500/1

Mexico

Fighter equivalent – Michael Venom Page 

Looks great taking on minnows over in America, probably won’t translate to world level. 

Odds  – 100/1

Poland

Fighter equivalent – Michel Pereira

Unbelievable striking will always give them a chance, but only a chance. 

Odds – 100/1

Group D:

France

Fighter equivalent – Alexander Volkanovski 

A well-oiled, superbly talented and effective winning machine. The biggest challenge now lays ahead. 

Odds – 11/2

Australia

Fighter equivalent – Ryan Hall

Will try very hard but would be better off in another sport. 

Odds – 300/1

Denmark

Fighter equivalent – Belal Muhammad 

Way better than anyone gives them credit for. Solid in all areas and very hard to beat. 

Odds – 28/1

Tunisia

Fighter equivalent – Justin Tafa

Delighted just to be here. 

Odds – 300/1

Group E:

Spain

Fighter equivalent – Kamaru Usman

One of the best in the world for a long time but can they climb the mountain again?

Odds – 8/1

Costa Rica

Fighter equivalent – Jamie Pickett

About to be absolutely destroyed 

Odds – 1000/1

Germany

Fighter equivalent – Leon Edwards

One of the best in the world based on being extremely well rounded and have no holes. Will probably be in championship contention for a while. 

Odds – 10/1

Japan

Fighter equivalent – Darren Elkins

Tough, exciting and lacking in high-end quality. 

Odds – 200/1

(Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Group F:

Belgium

Fighter equivalent – Conor McGregor 

A fantastically talented outfit, possibly past their best. But are they? We’ll see. 

Odds – 12/1

Canada

Fighter equivalent – Nasrat Haqparast 

Kinda looks like someone a bit better. 

Odds – 250/1

Morocco

Fighter equivalent – Sean Brady

Significantly more talent than they are given credit for but probably too soon to challenge. 

Odds – 200/1

Croatia

Fighter equivalent – Stephen Thompson 

A talented, solid crew who fell short last time and might be a little too old now. 

Odds – 40/1

Group G:

Brazil

Fighter equivalent – Francis Ngannou 

The real heavy hitters. Exciting, historic and about to enter an era defining moment. 

Odds – 4/1

Serbia

Fighter equivalent – Anthony Smith

Technical and tough as hell but lack that x-factor to reach the top. 

Odds – 100/1

Switzerland

Fighter equivalent – Katlyn Chookagian 

Always in the mix, always consistent but never the best. 

Odds – 80/1

Cameroon

Fighter equivalent – Kevin Holland

Flawed but fun. 

Odds – 200/1

Group H:

Portugal

Fighter equivalent – Luke Rockhold 

Still think they are the best, past their prime. 

Odds – 12/1

Ghana

Fighter equivalent – Jorge Masvidal 

Had a brief exciting spell a while back, kinda forget they are around now. 

Odds – 250/1

Uruguay

Fighter equivalent – Chito Vera

We know they are good, but not sure how good. 

Odds – 50/1

South Korea

Fighter equivalent – James Gallagher 

Underrated and positive with a loyal fan base but Injury could harm them. 

Odds – 250/1

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma