UFC 282: Light heavyweight title remains vacant following a split decision draw.
Jan Blachowicz drew Magomed Ankalaev via split decision (48–47, 46–48, 47–47), at UFC 282 on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, live from the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
“I have to watch the fight again but I did not win the fight. I might not have lost the fight. I do not feel that I’m the winner,” said Blachowicz, who then took the mic in the middle of Joe Rogan’s interview with Ankalaev and told them to give him the belt.
“I don’t know what to say, I want that fight. I want my belt. I can’t choose the judges who sit over there but I won this fight. I want my belt. It does not matter if I felt pain, I did everything to get this victory,” said Ankalaev.
UFC 282: Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev: Round-by-round recap
Ankalaev took the middle of the Octagon to open the fight. The two fighters traded kicks. Ankalaev landed a counter right. The two continued to trade leg kicks as both fighters remained somewhat cautious to let their hands go. When the two fighters did trade hands, Ankalaev used his speed advantage to score more often than Blachowicz.
The two fighters continued to trade kicks to start the second round. Blachowicz landed a big body shot. The two fighters both wanted to throw counters with neither wanting to take the lead. Ankalaev landed a big shot. Blachowicz landed another leg kick that dropped Ankalaev briefly. Blachowicz landed a combination but Ankalaev landed a powerful counter. Ankalaev went for a takedown but it ended in a clinch against the fence.
Blachowicz continued to attack Ankalaev’s leg with kicks. The damage from repeated leg kicks had taken its toll. Ankalaev continued to push forward with his strikes but every time he got close, Blachowicz threw a leg kick. By the midway point of the round, Blachowicz had compromised both of Ankalaev’s legs. The two engaged in a clinch after Ankalaev tried changing levels. A cut was opened up on the outside of Ankalaev’s eye. There was a brief stoppage following an illegal knee to the groin from Ankalaev. The round ended with Ankalaev landing his first takedown.
To start the fourth round, Blachowicz landed an uppercut as Ankalaev went for a takedown, leading to another clinch. From the clinch, Ankalaev landed a knee. Both fighters landed punches following the break. Ankalaev landed a big takedown and started throwing punches from Blachowicz’s guard. Blachowicz transitioned to his stomach and then his hip as he attempted to get to his feet. Ankalaev was unable to take Blachowicz’s back but was able to drag him back to the canvas. Ankalaev landed a big elbow and finished the round with a big combination of strikes.
The fifth round opened with a hug. Blachowicz slipped as Ankalaev shot in. Ankalaev took advantage and ended up on top of Blachowicz. From the side, Ankalaev started reigning down punches. Blachowicz had his right arm caught and was struggling to defend himself. Ankalaev moved back into the top position and continued to land a combination of strikes and elbows. The round ended with Ankalaev throwing strikes.
The main event of UFC 282 was originally supposed to feature light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka and former champion Glovier Teixeira in a rematch of their UFC 275 fight. However, Prochazka was forced to undergo shoulder surgery and vacated the championship.
With Prochazka injured and Teixeira unwilling to accept an opponent change on short notice, the UFC was forced to create a new main event for the vacant championship. Former champion Jan Blachowicz and fourth-ranked Magomed Ankalaev agreed to fight less than three weeks prior to UFC 282.
After losing the light heavyweight title to Teixeira at UFC 267, Blachowicz returned in his last fight, stopping Aleksandar Rakic. The victory was Blachowicz’s sixth victory in his previous seven contests. The Polish fighter entered with a career record of 29=9 with 18 finishes.
Since losing his UFC debut against Paul Craig, Ankalaev won nine straight fights. In his last fight, Ankalaev knocked out Anthony Smith at UFC 277. The victory moved Ankalaev to 18-1 with 10 knockouts.