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Joaquin Buckley punches Nassourdine Imavov of Russia in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at The Accor Arena on September 03, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
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Significant Stats | UFC 282: Błachowicz vs Ankalaev

Get A Closer Look At The Metrics Behind Some Of UFC 282's Biggest Matchups.

(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book and Fight Metric as of December 8, 2022, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)

 

Main Event: Jan Błachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev

Jan Błachowicz

Jan Blachowicz of Poland celebrates his KO victory over Corey Anderson in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Santa Ana Star Center on February 15, 2020 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Jan Blachowicz of Poland celebrates his KO victory over Corey Anderson in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Santa Ana Star Center on February 15, 2020 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 6 knockdowns (tied-4th), 53.3% takedown accuracy (3rd all-time among LHW), 54.4% significant strike defense (8th)

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What It Means: Most people point toward Błachowicz’s “Legendary Polish Power,” but the former champ is a well-rounded athlete. He has a rock-solid grappling game where he can threaten submissions or maintain control. In the clinch, he digs strikes to the body well and is dangerous off the break. His power isn’t just in his hands. He has a good kicking game from range and dedicates attacks to the body frequently. 

Magomed Ankalaev

Magomed Ankalaev of Russia reacts after defeating Anthony Smith in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 277 event at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Magomed Ankalaev of Russia reacts after defeating Anthony Smith in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 277 event at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 54.7% significant strike accuracy (tied-6th all-time among LHW), 86.4% takedown defense (5th all-time among LHW), 2.14 strikes absorbed per minute (2nd)

What It Means: Ankalaev is a technically proficient striker, and he is precise in his attack. He is powerful and accurate and does not try to force a finish. He has a diverse attack, mixing in front kicks and rangy attacks to mute any countering offense from his opponent. If he decides to mix things up and take the fight to the ground, he has good top control and pressure, which helps him wear on his opponents.

MORE ANKALAEV: Top Finishes | Greatest Hits | Athlete Profile

What to Look For in the Fight: A lot of this fight will be determined by the pace and range and who sets those barometers early. Błachowicz has the reach advantage, so he’d be well served striking from range, and if Ankalaev starts to find success, initiating a clinch to slow the fight down a little bit. For Ankalaev, he has a bit of a blueprint from Glover Teixeira’s win over Błachowicz when the Brazilian took the title off him, which involves patient grappling and working to the finish. Ankalaev has a bit more diversity in his attack than Teixeira, so he could overload Błachowicz before shooting in for a takedown. 

Co-Main Event: Paddy Pimblett vs Jared Gordon

*Paddy Pimblett

Paddy Pimblett of England punches Jordan Leavitt in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: (L-R) Paddy Pimblett of England punches Jordan Leavitt in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on July 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 4.19 strikes landed per minute, 1.88 takedowns per 15 minutes, 5:20 average fight time

 

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What It Means: “The Baddy” is an out-and-out fighter. He is a technically varied and unpredictable striker who is particularly dangerous when blitzing forward, but where he really shines is in grappling exchanges. He has incredible dexterity with his limbs that allow him to pull off some sweeps and exhibit control in unconventional positions. 

Jared Gordon

Jared Gordon punches Danny Chavez in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Jared Gordon punches Danny Chavez in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 58.4% significant strike accuracy (3rd all-time among LW), 5.81 strikes landed per minute (8th all-time among LW), +2.17 striking differential (5th all-time among LW)

What It Means: Gordon is a hard-nosed, fundamentally sound fighter who can excel in grimy affairs. He has a well-rounded skill set and breaks up the rhythm of a fight well when he mixes things up, but on the feet he has shown a patient and methodical game. 

Coach Conversation | UFC 282: Blachowicz vs Ankalaev

What to Look For in the Fight: At times, Gordon is a tough fighter to get a read on early, and Pimblett has shown a habit of starting slowly. If Gordon applies some pressure quickly, he might get himself on the front foot and stay one step ahead. Pimblett might have to initiate a few clinch situations to cause scrambles where he could find a submission. This should be a well-rounded contest.

Other Fights to Watch (Bryce Mitchell vs Ilia Topuria, Joaquin Buckley vs Chris Curtis)

Bryce Mitchell

Bryce Mitchell | Creating A Life Worth Living
Bryce Mitchell | Creating A Life Worth Living
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Key Stats: 51.4% top position percentage (1st all-time among FW), 55.4% control time percentage (3rd all-time among FW), 52.9% takedown accuracy (tied-6th all-time among FW) 

What It Means: Mitchell is a ferocious, grappling-based fighter who loves to, as he puts it, “slow cook opponents to the bone.” “Thug Nasty” has some tricky and creative striking, which he throws freely as he is supremely confident in his wrestling and jiu jitsu. He has a quirky rhythm when attacking submissions, but he does well to maintain control while chasing the finish. 

Ilia Topuria

Ilia Topuria | Top Finishes
Ilia Topuria | Top Finishes
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Key Stats: 7:08 average fight time, 3.15 takedowns per 15 minutes, 100% takedown defense

What It Means: Topuria is a wound-up ball of power and finishing instinct, and since entering the UFC, he has found that knockout touch. Despite having great grappling credentials and the submission record to vouch for it, Topuria’s power has shined the brightest in the Octagon. Topuria does well to mix attacks up to the body before coming back upstairs to end a combination, and he lands with devastating impact.

What to Look For in the Fight: This fight is either going to show who the superior grappler between featherweight prospects is, or it’s going to turn into a standup affair should their skills on the mat cancel each other out. Mitchell is a little more of a kicker than Topuria, but Topuria has a better track record (and highlight reel, for that matter) when it comes to finishing fights on the feet. 

Joaquin Buckley

Joaquin Buckley trains in Paris France on August 31 2022. (Photo by Zac Pacleb/Zuffa LLC)

Joaquin Buckley trains in Paris, France on August 31, 2022. (Photo by Zac Pacleb/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 4 KO/TKO wins (tied-2nd all-time among MW), 1.16 knockdowns average per 15 minutes (3rd), 9:41 average fight time

What It Means: “New Mansa” is the definition of a knockout artist. Although a little undersized, Buckley is explosive, powerful and relentless on the feet. He mostly attacks with his hands, and when he can get inside and land hooks and uppercuts, he often rocks opponents with a flurry. At distance, he has a variety of kicks to the body and legs, and he’ll throw a spinning back kick if he gets his rhythm right. His game has rounded out a bit, and he can win clinch situations and return to the center where he can continue to headhunt.

Chris Curtis

Chris Curtis punches Jack Hermansson of Sweden in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on July 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Chris Curtis punches Jack Hermansson of Sweden in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on July 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 6 strikes landed per minute, 6.39 strikes absorbed per minute, 10:36 average fight time

What It Means: Curtis is an experienced, veteran fighter whose style fits his moniker of “Action-Man.” He looks to strike and wants to get into bang out-brawls with the confidence in his chin and his own power that he’ll come out on top. Curtis’ right hand, whether off a counter or set up in a combination, is packed with power, although he does have a good kicking game, as well.

What to Look For in the Fight: In every Buckley fight, distance is key. Buckley often has to pick and choose his explosions, which can lead him to getting countered when he bounces into range. Curtis has made a habit of catching his opponent in these moments and off breaks, so Buckley will have to be mindful. That said, Buckley is a creative striker with one-punch power.

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