A night of questionable judging ended in a controversial draw as the main event between Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz failed to provide a new light heavyweight champion at UFC 282 in Las Vegas. Coming into the UFC’s final pay-per-view of 2022, light heavyweight titlist Jiri Prochazka vacated the belt due to injury and the man Prochazka beat for the crown, Glover Teixeira, opted not to compete for the vacant title. That left Ankalaev and Blachowicz to vie for the championship.
Blachowicz unloaded powerful leg kicks early that had Ankalaev switching from southpaw to an orthodox stance in the third to protect a battered right leg. But Blachowicz went to work on his opponent’s left leg prompting Ankalaev to seek the clinch and look for takedowns. He kept Blachowicz penned up against the cage for the latter part of the round and got his takedown just before the end of the stanza. From there it was all Ankalaev as he took Blachowicz down in the fourth and fifth keeping him grounded and landing heavy punches. Though most thought Ankalaev did enough to win, the judges split on the verdict 48-46 for Ankalaev, 48-47 for Blachowicz and 47-47.
The co-main event saw much-hyped lightweight Paddy Pimblett claim an unpopular decision over Jared Gordon.
Black Belt Magazine