Jan Blachowicz's UFC title bout with Magomed Ankalaev ends in split draw | Inquirer Sports
UFC

Jan Blachowicz’s UFC title bout with Magomed Ankalaev ends in split draw

/ 03:30 PM December 11, 2022
 Jan Blachowicz (red gloves) fights Magomed Ankalaev (blue gloves) during UFC 282 at T-Mobile Arena.

Jan Blachowicz (red gloves) fights Magomed Ankalaev (blue gloves) during UFC 282 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS—The UFC’s light heavyweight championship will remain vacant after a title bout between Poland’s Jan Blachowicz and Russia’s Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 ended in a controversial split draw at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The headline event was initially supposed to be a bout between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira, but Prochazka was forced to vacate his title due to a serious shoulder injury.

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After a cautious opening round in which both title contenders took their time sounding each other out, Blachowicz peppered Ankalaev’s front leg with kicks and put the Russian under pressure in the second and third rounds.

Ankalaev responded excellently, dragging Blachowicz to the ground in the fourth and fifth rounds, and appeared to have done enough to secure the victory, before the bout was called a draw – just the fifth draw in UFC history.

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In a rare act of sportsmanship, Blachowicz, who previously held the belt for 398 days between September 2020 and October 2021, said the win should have been awarded to Ankalaev.

“I have to watch the fight again, but for sure, I did not win the fight. I don’t know if I lost the fight, but for sure I’m not the winner,” Blachowicz added.

In the co-main event, Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett beat Jared Gordon in a lightweight bout, but the judges’ unanimous decision in favor of the Englishman failed to adequately tell the story of a bout in which he was pushed to the limit by his American opponent.

“Jared is tough, he’s a tough man,” Pimblett said. “He’s come back, hats off to him. I knew I won the first and second so coasted in the third not wanting to take any stupid risks. I’m not going to lie, I hurt my right foot in the first round.”

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