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Reasons To Watch | UFC 282: Blachowicz vs Ankalaev

Take A Look At Some Of The Biggest Storylines For UFC 282: Błachowicz vs Ankalaev In Las Vegas

After a wild turn of events that saw former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka relinquish his title due to a shoulder injury, Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev fill the main event slot and battle for the vacant strap.

Blachowicz is a former champion himself, holding the light heavyweight title as recent as October of last year, up until losing it to Glover Teixeira at UFC 267. Ankalaev has slowly climbed his way to the top of the division, amassing nine straight victories dating back to 2018.

In the co-main event, Liverpool’s Paddy Pimblett can improve to 4-0 inside the Octagon against Jared Gordon, who is coming off an impressive win over Leonardo Santos at UFC 278 in August.

The rest of the card features numerous UFC veterans, as well as a highly anticipated featherweight matchup between grappler Bryce Mitchell and the hard-hitting Ilia Topuria.

As fight night approaches, here’s the biggest reasons why you should tune in to UFC 282: Błachowicz vs Ankalaev:

Return Of Legendary Polish Power

Jan Blachowicz | Best Moments
Jan Blachowicz | Best Moments

One half of UFC 282’s headliner features Poland’s Jan Blachowicz, a hard-hitting light heavyweight that’s stopped many elite athletes and past champions. The former champ is most recently coming off a TKO victory against Aleksandar Rakić, who suffered a knee injury early in the third round.

Before that, Blachowicz lost his light heavyweight title to Glover Teixeira, Prochazka’s original opponent before their cancellation from the event. So, although his last two performances weren’t as electric as some in the past, let’s not forget how dominant Blachowicz was and still is in the UFC light heavyweight division.

Flashback to July 2019, when Blachowicz squared off with former champion Luke Rockhold. Early in the second round, Blachowicz broke away from the clinch and landed a massive left hook that sent Rockhold flying to the mat. This was the start of the “legendary Polish Power.”

Free Fight | Jan Błachowicz vs Corey Anderson 2

Six months later, Blachowicz was back in the Octagon against Corey Anderson, someone he faced and lost to five years earlier. This time around, Blachowicz exacted his revenge the best way he knows how, a huge right that ended the fight as soon as it landed.

Blachowicz continued his rise, defeating former title challenger Dominick Reyes in dominant fashion to win the vacant light heavyweight title, then defending the strap and spoiling Israel Adesanya’s quest to become a two-division champion.

Jan Blachowicz has an opportunity to reclaim light heavyweight gold Saturday, December 10, at UFC 282 against Magomed Ankalaev.

Rising Stars Hit The Main Stage

Captivating English fans twice at the O2 Arena in London, Paddy Pimblett gets an opportunity to do the same in Las Vegas, when he looks for his fourth consecutive victory inside the Octagon in the co-main event at UFC 282.

When Pimblett comes to town, it’s not just a fight, but a spectacle. One of the most entertaining fighters on the UFC roster, Pimblett’s fun personality, accompanied with exceptional results make him a fan favorite and a contender to watch out for in the lightweight division. At UFC 282, he faces Jared Gordon, who’s won four of his last five since suffering a loss to former 155-pound champ Charles Oliveira in 2019.

Bryce Mitchell | Creating A Life Worth Living
Bryce Mitchell | Creating A Life Worth Living

Even though he won’t be in his native England, expect many fans at T-Mobile Arena to be on their feet when Pimblett dances his way to the Octagon.

Also on the main card, Bryce Mitchell and Ilia Topuria square off in a highly anticipated featherweight matchup. Mitchell has won 15 of his 16 professional mixed martial arts bouts and is coming off his most impressive win to date against Edson Barboza, where he showed off more than just his grappling.

Mitchell has nine submissions in his career, none better than his win against Matt Sayles in 2019, where he won via twister, only the second in UFC history. The submission won UFC Honors’ Submission of the Year.

Ilia Topuria | Top Finishes
Ilia Topuria | Top Finishes

Topuria, despite starting his career as a grappling-heavy fighter, has shown destructive power on the feet in his last three outings, defeating Jai Herbert, Ryan Hall and Damon Jackson all by vicious knockout. In March, Topuria showed that he can withstand some damage before dealing his own. After losing the first round to Herbert, Topuria landed a massive right that sent Herbert flying to the mat. This terrifying power makes his matchup with an elite grappler in Mitchell a must see for any fight fan.

Also, recent Dana White’s Contender Series grad Raul Rosas Jr. makes his UFC debut against Jay Perrin. The 18-year-old is the youngest athlete currently in the UFC and has high aspirations of becoming the youngest UFC champion in history, a record currently held by Jon Jones at 23.

Veteran Favorite Till Returns To The Octagon

Darren Till makes his return to the Octagon after a 15-month layoff. Taking the UFC by storm in 2015, Till defeated legend Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson to cap off a six-fight unbeaten run, making him next in line to challenge then-champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 232.

Order UFC 282: Blachowicz vs Ankalaev

Suffering defeat via submission in the second round, Till will try to get his career back on the right trajectory against relative newcomer Dricus Du Plessis. The South African has won all three of his UFC bouts, each better than the last, and will try and earn a place in the Top 10 at 185 pounds if he can stop the former title challenger.

Big Names Fill The Rest Of The Card

Joaquin Buckley: The Kick Heard Around The World
Joaquin Buckley: The Kick Heard Around The World

If you thought all the athletes just covered wasn’t enough, big names and popular UFC athletes take up the rest of the main card and prelims.

The featured prelim features a heavyweight matchup between No. 9 Jairzinho Rozenstruik and No. 11 Chris Daukaus. Both fighters were unsuccessful in their last two Octagon appearances, but with 11 knockouts to each of their names, it may be safe to assume that this fight won’t be going the distance.

To kick off the prelims, No. 14 middleweight contender Chris Curtis squares off with Joaquin Buckley. Curtis comes off a loss to Jack Hermansson in July but was riding an eight-fight win streak including six KO finishes. Buckley also enters this contest coming off a loss, but his highlight reel, which includes his epic spinning back kick against Impa Kasanganay, speaks for itself, making this matchup a highly intriguing battle between powerful strikers.

UFC 282: Blachowicz vs Ankalaev

UFC 282: Błachowicz vs Ankalaev took place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass