UFC 282: Magomed Ankalaev-Jan Blachowicz title fight ends in bizarre split draw
LAS VEGAS — There will be no light heavyweight champion for at least several months after Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz, inexplicably, fought to a split draw Saturday in the main event of UFC 282 at T-Mobile Arena in their bout for the vacant title.
Judges scored it 48-46 Ankalaev, 48-47 Blachowicz and 47-47. The belt became vacant last month when champion Jiri Prochazka vacated it after a serious shoulder injury that could keep him out for up to a year.
Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev is just the 5th draw in UFC championship history.
It joins Uno-Penn, Edgar-Maynard, Woodley-Thompson, and Figueiredo-Moreno.
— UFC (@ufc) December 11, 2022
The UFC ordered Ankalaev and Blachowicz to fight for the vacant belt and it appeared that Ankalaev had done enough to win. Yahoo Sports had it 48-47 for Ankalaev, giving him Rounds 1, 4 and 5.
But the judges’ couldn’t agree and everyone was stunned by the outcome. That included Blachowicz.
He said he didn’t feel he won and the belt should be given to Ankalaev.
Ankalaev was fighting back tears as he walked back to the locker room after pouring his heart out in the cage. He felt he’d won the fight and couldn’t understand the scoring.
“I don’t know if I’m going to fight for this organization again because I don’t know what happened,” he said.
Earlier, he said, “I won that belt. I don’t know what to say.”
Ankalaev’s strikes carried the day early, but Blachowicz was chopping at Ankalaev’s legs and caused Ankalaev to struggle to stand and pivot.
Ankalaev did what he had to do and took Blachowicz down in the fourth and then for most of the fifth, keeping him there.
But on a night filled with great fights, the card was marred by highly dubious decisions. Paddy Pimblett won the co-main event 29-28 on all cards though most observers felt Jared Gordon won.
It didn’t seem as if it could get more bizarre, but it did in the main event.