In the headliner of UFC 282, the vacant light heavyweight title was on the line. Former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (29-9) was looking to regain his title as he takes on the surging Magomed Ankalaev (18-1).
Originally, these two were set to fight in the co-main event in a title eliminator. However, after Jiri Prochazka was forced to vacate his title due to a shoulder injury, these two moved up to the main event for the vacant championship.
Jan Blachowicz was looking to regain his title after he lost it to Glover Teixeira last year. Blachowicz bounced back well earlier this year when he defeated Aleksandar Rakic.
After losing his UFC debut in the final seconds to Paul Craig, Ankalaev has won nine straight. His last three wins have all come against former title challengers. He looked like a man primed to become champion entering tonight.
UFC 282 Recap
The UFC 282 headliner kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Blachowicz plots forward and lands an outside leg kick. Now an inside leg kick from Blachowicz. Ankalaev looking to land a jab but eats another powerful low kick from Blachowicz.
Jab to the body lands for Ankalaev. Another big calf kick from Blachowicz. Blachowicz is really targeting the leg kicks here early, but then he eats a counter right from Ankalaev. Lead left from Blachowicz lands. Blachowicz steps in and both men throw big shots but miss.
They trade low kicks in the center. Big jab and a left straight from Ankalaev. Another stiff jab from Ankalaev. Right over the top from Blachowicz, but Ankalaev counters well. Power kick to the body from Blachowicz and a jab lands for Ankalaev.
Ankalaev is upping the pressure here with 90 seconds left in the first. High kick from Ankalaev. Powerful body kick from Blachowicz and now Ankalaev lands two straight front kicks to the body. Both men land left straights and Ankalaev goes back to the front kicks to the body. First round comes to a close at UFC 282.
Entering the second and neither man really has the advantage after one at UFC 282. Blachowicz opens the second with two jabs. Blachowicz throws a huge hook and nearly eats a flush head kick from Ankalaev. Both men throwing heat in the opening seconds.
Now the pace slows and Blachowicz lands a low kick. Big right from Blachowicz lands. Lead left from Blachowicz and Ankalaev again goes to the high kick. A lot of feints from both men here. Low kick from Blachowicz lands and the crowd is becoming restless.
Blachowicz pushes forward and lands a couple of really nice uppercuts. Another leg kick from Blachowicz. Big left straight from Ankalaev now. Leg kick from Blachowicz buckles Ankalaev completely. Ankalaev throws a front kick to get him off. However, Blachowicz lands another brutal kick that nearly sits him down.
Ankalaev goes for a takedown but Blachowicz shrugs him off. Stance switch from Ankalaev and now Blachowicz goes to work on the other leg. Ankalaev tries throwing big shots back, but Blachowicz evades. The round ends and it’s definitely Blachowicz’s round at UFC 282.
Entering the third at UFC 282 and all the momentum is with Jan Blachowicz right now. Ankalaev immediately opens with pressure but Blachowicz blasts him with a leg kick. Ankalaev immediately backs up after that brutal kick. He’s trying to bounce but his legs are very rubbery right now.
Body kick from Blachowicz and a low kick. Blachowicz is just stalking him here. Massive right hand just misses from Ankalaev. Beautiful combination from Blachowicz and he finishes with a leg kick. Ankalaev is getting aggressive out of necessity here.
Lots of pressure from Ankalaev. Blachowicz comes forward but eats a combination from Ankalaev. The momentum is starting to turn a little back towards Ankalaev. Two brutal leg kicks from Blachowicz and now Ankalaev is hurt on the other leg. How he’s standing, no idea.
He shoots for a desperation takedown. Two minutes to go and Ankalaev is leaning on Blachowicz against the fence. Blachowicz needs to break away here and he does, but Ankalaev shoots right away again. Blachowicz shrugs him off.
One minute to go in the third. Both men trade jabs and Ankalaev shoots for a takedown. Knee to the groin from Ankalaev pauses the action and he’s likely going to lose the position. Blachowicz lands a kick upon the start and Ankalaev shoots immediately again and he gets the takedown. Ankalaev could be up 2-1 at UFC 282.
Championship rounds at UFC 282 and Ankalaev is going to need to lean on wrestling to win the title. Ankalaev nearly sprints at Blachowicz to start the fourth round. Immediate takedown attempt from Ankalaev and he’s just leaning on Blachowicz against the fence.
Blachowicz tries to break away but Ankalaev is just holding him in place. Knee to the body from Ankalaev. Blachowicz is able to break away, but Ankalaev gets deep on a takedown attempt and he takes Blachowicz down. Three minutes left and Blachowicz is in all kinds of trouble.
Blachowicz tries to work his way to the fence, but Ankalaev is staying on him. Ankalaev gets the back of Blachowicz now with two minutes left in the round. Soft shots from Ankalaev and Blachowicz looks absolutely exhausted here on the bottom.
Blachowicz is just suffocating here in the fourth round. Not a lot of action here near the end of the round. Elbows from Ankalaev and the round is going to come to a close. Dominant round for Ankalaev at UFC 282
Entering the final round at UFC 282 and Jan Blachowicz might need a finish. Something happens in the opening exchange and Blachowicz falls down. He ends up on his back and Ankalaev settles right into the guard. This is a horrible situation for Jan Blachowicz.
One minute already gone and the crowd starts to boo. Not a lot of action outside of Ankalaev holding the top position here. Two minutes into the round and Blachowicz needs to get desperate here. Small shots from Ankalaev and Blachowicz is going no where right now.
Now there’s two minutes left in the round and Blachowicz is still on his back with Ankalaev softening him up. Now Ankalaev is upping the power on his shots. 90 seconds left in the round and Ankalaev is just dominating this final frame.
Short elbow from Magomed Ankalaev. More elbows from Magomed Ankalaev and he looks like he’s going to ride this out at UFC 282. The bell sounds and it could be a 10-8 round for Ankalaev. Magomed Ankalaev is about to be the light heavyweight champion.
Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz fight to a split draw (48-47, 46-48, 47-47)