This weekend is about the UFC light heavyweight title – even without the participants who were originally supposed to fight for the gold.
Former champion Jan Blachowicz will face Magomed Ankalaev in UFC 282’s main event on Saturday in Las Vegas. The winner will take home the vacant UFC 205-pound title. Jiri Prochazka relinquished the belt with a shoulder injury and his scheduled challenger (and former champion) Glover Teixeira is likely next in line for the Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev winner.
Blachowicz and Ankalaev were supposed to fight in a title eliminator in the co-main event, but now they will fight for the title in a five-round bout.
Blachowicz (29-9) has won six of his last seven fights. The Polish fighter’s only loss during that period came against Teixeira, who defeated Blachowicz for the title at UFC 267 in October 2021. Blachowicz, 39, defeated Dominick Reyes to win the title at UFC 253 in September 2020 and then successfully defended it against Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in March 2021.
Ankalaev (18-1) has won nine times in a row. The Dagestan-born fighter will come off a second-round TKO from Anthony Smith at UFC 277 in July. Ankalaev, 30, has just one UFC loss in his debut fight against Paul Craig in 2018, a fight he won until Craig caught him in a triangle choke with a second remaining in the fight.
In the co-main event, fan favorite Paddy Pimblett meets Jared Gordon in an easy matchup. Pimblett (19-3) has a total of five straight wins, including his first three at the UFC. The 27-year-old Englishman is a former featherweight champion of the Cage Warriors. Gordon (19-5), a 34-year-old New Yorker, has won four of his last five fights.
Also on the card is Darren Till, who takes on Dricus Du Plessis at middleweight.
Watch Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap all the action or watch the fights live on ESPN+ PPV.
Running Fight: Men’s Featherweight: Bryce Mitchell (15-1, 6-0 UFC, +115) vs. Ilia Topuria (12-0, 4-0 UFC, -135)
UFC 282 Results
Men’s Bantamweight: Raul Rosas Jr. (7-0, 1-0 UFC) def. Jay Perrin (10-7, 0-3 UFC) by submission (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
18-year-old Rosas’ fighting future began with two records: first becoming the youngest fighter to compete in the UFC, then becoming the youngest to win the Octagon.
Rosas made it look easy. He brought the fight to the canvas within the first minute and immediately regained control, which he retained before rear-naked-choking Perrin for the tapout at 2:44 of Round 1. Then, in his post-match, the undefeated Rosas displayed the attitude of a veteran Interview, saying, “Dana! Fifty g!” He requested a bonus from UFC p[resident Dana White “so I can buy my mother a minivan and she can give me a ride to the [UFC Performance Institute].”
How young is Rosas? When he was born on October 18, 2004, Robbie Lawler, who was set to compete on that map before injury knocked him out, already had six fights under his belt in his UFC career.
Perrin, a 29-year-old from Lowell, Massachusetts, has lost all three of his UFC fights and his record fell to 10-7.
Heavyweight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik (13-4, 7-4 UFC) def. Chris Daukaus (12-6, 4-3 UFC) by KO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
It had been more than a year since Rozenstruik had added a KO win to his resume. This streak ended with vigor on Saturday.
Rozenstruik, 34, flashed Daukaus from the opening bell and put him away in just 23 seconds. He immediately injured Daukaus with a jab, a left hook and a jumping knee. Another right hand placed him on the canvas and the fight was waved off. It was a throwback to the 2019 version of Rozenstruik, who finished off three consecutive opponents in under a minute.
Daukaus from Philadelphia has had a very rough run lately. After starting his UFC career with a four-fight win streak, Daukaus has now suffered three straight KO losses. Rozenstruik grabs a two fight skid with the win.
Middleweight: Edmen Shahbazyan (12-3, 5-3 UFC) def. Dalcha Lungiambula (11-6, 2-5 UFC) by TKO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
Edmen Shahbazyan finishes off opponent Dalcha Lungiambula in front of a hyped Vegas audience.
Shahbazyan was once one of the top contenders on the UFC roster, protégé to Ronda Rousey on his way to a championship.
The last two years haven’t been kind to him. But changes – more than a year off, a new gym and a new manager – seem to have steered Shahbazyan in the right direction. He earned a TKO victory over Lungiambula at 4:41 of the second round with a sharp display of hitting.
“I’m glad I took this break to improve,” said Shahbazyan. “I moved to Vegas. I guess I’m Vegas Edmen now.”
Shahbazyan left Glendale Fighting Club for Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and now has Dominance MMA’s Ali Abdelaziz as his manager. He had not fought since November 2021. Shahbazyan started a riot with a knee that injured Lungiambula and a right hand put the opponent down. Some swarm, grind and mash ready-made things.
Shahbazyan, still only 25, ended a triple losing streak with the win. The California native went 4-0 with three finishes early in his UFC run. Lungiambula, a 35-year-old Congo-born fighter, has lost four in a row and five out of six.
Middleweight: Chris Curtis (30-9, 4-1 UFC) def. Joaquin Buckley (15-6, 5-4 UFC) by KO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
Chris Curtis knocks out Joaquin Buckley in Round 2 of their fight in Las Vegas.
Curtis is known as “The Action Man,” but for a round and a half it was Buckley who brought the action. Although Curtis was the more accurate forward and was well guarded by his defense, Buckley’s buzzsaw of aggression led the dance.
Curtis turned and walked over to his bread and butter, countering and immediately turning the tide. The 35-year-old from Las Vegas caught a buckley kick and, while holding the leg with his right hand, unloaded a straight left hand that dropped his opponent, resulting in a KO on the canvas at 2:49 round 2 led.
The win put Curtis back on track after his eight-fight win streak ended in July. Buckley, 28, from St. Louis, has lost back-to-back.
Men’s Featherweight: Billy Quarantillo (16-5, 5-2 UFC) def. Alexander Hernandez (13-6, 5-5 UFC) by TKO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
Billy Quarantillo ends Alexander Hernandez in the second round of their prelim at UFC 282.
The man they refer to as “Billy Q” is known for his entertaining style, and that was the case once again in a second-round finish.
New York’s Quarantillo finished off Hernandez with standing punches against the fence at the 4:30 mark. The finish came after Quarantillo stuffed several takedown attempts from Hernandez and had to pay for the failed attempt with his knees on his body.
As Hernandez grew tired of the body shots, Qurantillo wanted to pour it on his feet. In an extended sequence, he caught Hernandez with an uppercut, a Superman punch, and a rush along the fence. Hernandez tried to survive and fire back, but eventually the volume built up to the point that it had to be stopped.
The 34-year-old Quarantillo overcame a challenging first round in which Hernandez elbowed open a deep gash above his left eye. His wrestling defense was a key to turning the tide, and he has now won five of his seven UFC appearances.
Featherweight Men: TJ Brown (17-9, 3-3 UFC) def. Erik Silva (9-2, 0-1 UFC) by submission (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
TJ Brown defeats Erik Silva with an arm triangle in Round 3 to wow the crowd at UFC 282.
Brown had some storage chaos at UFC 282, but he didn’t let it affect his performance. Near the end of a back-and-forth battle, Brown was able to get into top position, switch to an arm-triangle choke, and force Silva to tap at 3:41 of the third round. Brown had trained with James Krause at Glory MMA in Missouri, but the UFC has banned Krause as part of a betting investigation and fighters have been told to distance themselves from him or they will not be able to compete in UFC events. Krause wasn’t in Brown’s corner.
Brown immediately shook Silva’s right hand to start the fight. The two exchanged large shots and tussles throughout the fight. But Brown was able to put himself in a superior position at the top and move to submission.
Brown, 32, has won three of his last four fights. The Arkansas native is a graduate of Dana White’s Contender Series. Silva, a 35-year-old Venezuelan-born fighter who trains in Costa Rica, made his UFC debut after earning a contract with the Contender Series.
Men’s Bantamweight: Cameron Saaiman (7-0, 1-0 UFC) def. Steven Koslow (6-1, 0-1 UFC) by TKO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)
Two undefeated 135-pounders opened the night with a fight that did what grappling-heavy fights rarely do: elicited cheers instead of boos from MMA fans who fight just for us. But after the fighters traded advantages on the mat in entertaining scrambles for much of the fight, the crowd finally got what they wanted when Saaiman injured Koslow’s feet with a flurry in the third round, scoring the TKO by 4:13 .
For Saaiman, a 21-year-old from South Africa, it was his UFC debut. He has had a finish in six of his seven wins.
still to come:
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jan Blachowicz (29-9, 12-6 UFC, +220) vs. Magomed Ankalaev (18-1, 9-1 UFC, -270)
Lightweight: Paddy Pimblett (19-3, 3-0 UFC, -240) vs. Jared Gordon (19-5, 7-4 UFC, +200)
Catchweight (180 lbs): Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-6, 10-5 UFC) vs. Alex Morono (22-7 1 NC, 11-4 1 NC UFC)
Middleweight: Darren Till (18-4-1, 6-4-1 UFC, +160) vs. Dricus du Plessis (17-2, 3-0 UFC, -190)
https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/35218716/ufc-282-jan-blachowicz-vs-magomed-ankalaev-live-results-analysis UFC 282 Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev: Live results and analysis