The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to us tonight, December 10, 2022, for UFC 282, an absolutely stacked event headlined by a vacant UFC light-heavyweight championship bout between no. 3 ranked Jan Blachowicz (29-9) and no. 4 ranked Magomed Ankalaev (18-1).
This was originally intended to serve as tonight’s co-main event. However, Jiri Prochazka was forced out of his immediate rematch opposing former champion Glover Teixeira with a nasty shoulder injury. Considering this terrible news, he vacated his title and now these two are fighting for it in the five round main event of the evening.
Jan Blachowicz is coming off a TKO victory over Aleksandar Rakic earlier this year in May, and he came into tonight’s championship bout having gone 6-1 in his last seven, and 10-2 in his last 12 (four knockouts, two submissions).
Magomed Ankalaev on the other hand came into tonight having won his last nine-straight fights (five knockouts), and he’d only ever lost to Paul Craig, who he dominated for well over 14 minutes prior to being wrapped up in a triangle choke in the final seconds.
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Continue reading to see how this somewhat anticlimactic championship main event went down:
Official Result: Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev results in a split draw (48-47 Blachowicz, 48-46 Ankalaev, 47-47)
Both men look very sharp through the first five minutes; Blachowicz wins most of the earlier exchanges because of his leg kicks, and Ankalaev begins to find his timing midway through the round. He’s clearly the quicker party of the two.
Though Ankalaev looks great early on in the second, Blachowicz badly hurts him with a leg kick, and follows it up with several more, severely compromising Ankalaev’s leg and mobility.
Ankalaev looks good to begin the third as well, but he’s been forced to switch stances via the damage to his leg courtesy of Blachowicz’ kicks. But, Blachowicz buckles Ankalaev’s other leg as well. Now both of Ankalaev’s legs are in rough shape, things aren’t looking very good for him right now.
Ankalaev shoots in on a number of takedowns, though he misses his first six attempts. He is however able to tie Blachowicz up along the fence following the shots, accumulating some control time, and giving his legs a break from the beating they’ve taken.
Ankalaev is able to secure his first takedown of the fight with about one minute left in the third round, and he remains on top until the buzzer sounds.
Blachowicz looks a little fatigued at the start of round four, and Ankalaev begins to take over in this stretch. Less than two minutes in, he secures a takedown and mauls the former champion for the rest of it. Blachowicz tries to get back to his feet, where he gets his back taken, before being put on his back once again.
Ankalaev blitzes Blachowicz at the start of the fifth and final round, bullying him down to the mat in the first ten seconds. He remains on top for the entire five minutes, trapping Blachowicz’ hand, reigning down some heavy ground and pound for much of it.
It’s too bad we didn’t conclude the night with a UFC light-heavyweight champion being crowned, the title will remain vacant. What a fight between these two, it’s such a rare thing for any fight to end in a draw, let alone a five round fight.
This becomes the fifth UFC championship fight to end in a draw.
One could certainly say Magomed Ankalaev did enough to win this fight, and you’d think an immediate rematch would be a no brainer, as Jiri Prochazka won’t be ready to return for some time.
However, Dana White is deciding to go with Glover Teixeira versus Jamahal Hill for the vacant title in Brazil, stating so at the post-fight press conference.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.