UFC 282 | Blachowicz Vs. Ankalaev

BOXING - MMA

The main event of UFC on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas featured a split five-round draw between former champion Jan Blachowicz (29-9-1) and Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-1). Despite Derek Cleary’s 48-46 score for Ankalaev, referee Mike Bell gave the fight to Blachowicz. A split draw was reached after a third judge, Sal D’Amato, gave it a score of 47-47.

Blachowicz seemed to raise Ankalaev’s hand in apparent defeat right after the fight ended. In fact, if not for a dominant fifth round, Ankalaev would have lost the fight. Ankalaev won the bout with a score of 10-8 from judges Cleary and D’Amato. If they hadn’t, Ankalaev would have lost by a vote of 2-1.

The championship fight was defined by a dramatic shift in momentum in the fourth round. Because of the damage Blachowicz’s kicks did to Ankalaev’s lead right leg in the second round, the southpaw was forced to switch to an orthodox stance for the rest of the fight. Peppering Ankalaev’s legs, Blachowicz continued to have a lot of success.

As the fight progressed into the fourth round, Ankalaev began to focus almost exclusively on wrestling as a strategy. Taking aim at Blachowicz’s hips, he fired, pinning the latter against the fence. Eventually, Blachowicz wore out from all the grappling and spent the majority of the last two rounds on his back. Once again, Ankalaev was especially strong in the fifth round.

UFC Stats report that Ankalaev landed 182 more strikes than Blachowicz. More than 11 minutes of control time were accrued by him, while Blachowicz had none. In contrast to Blachowicz, who didn’t even try a single takedown, he only succeeded in two of ten attempts.

Ankalaev’s winning streak of nine bouts was snapped by the draw. After losing the championship to Glover Teixeira by submission in 2021, Blachowicz won the May rematch with a technical knockout victory over Aleksandar Rakic.

HIGHLIGHTS

Magomed Ankalaev calls out judges after split draw vs. Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282