Jan Błachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev Ends in Split Draw at UFC 282; Title Still Vacant

Alex BallentineDecember 11, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 10: (R-L) Magomed Ankalaev of Russia punches Jan Blachowicz of Poland in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 282 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 10, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

After five hard-fought rounds between Jan Błachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282, the judges declared a split draw, and the light heavyweight championship remains vacated.

Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN

Two of the three judges scored the fifth round for Ankalaev 10-8, resulting in the draw and the 48-46. Mike Bell scored the first three rounds for Jan, resulting in the 48-47 for him, no 10-8 round by Mike Bell in the fifth.

This marked only the fifth time in UFC history a title fight has ended in a draw:

UFC News @UFCNews

Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev is just the 5th draw in UFC championship history. It joins Uno-Penn, Edgar-Maynard, Woodley-Thompson, and Figueiredo-Moreno. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC282?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC282</a>

Błachowicz showed right away that it wouldn't be an easy night for Ankalaev. He landed left kicks that forced the 30-year-old to switch stances early, setting up a storyline that would play a role throughout the fight.

Matt "The Steamrolla"Frevola @SteamRollaa

Jan is chopping him down!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PolishPower?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PolishPower</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC282?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC282</a>

The Polish veteran turned up the heat with the low kicks in the second round. Ankalaev was clearly hobbled, although he continued to throw punches that landed as well.

An already intriguing fight became even more interesting when Ankalaev finally got his first takedown in the third round. He controlled Błachowicz for the final parts of the third round, and a new path to victory was forged.

Ankalaev wasted no time in getting the fight to the mat in the championship rounds. He controlled most of the fourth and fifth rounds with his ground game, slowly accumulating damage and making his case to take the title.

Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA

I don't think we got a bunch of new Magomed Ankalaev fans walking out of here tonight, but he got the job done. And after looking totally hobbled midway through.

The result throws the light heavyweight division into even more chaos. The main event was originally slated to be a rematch between Jiří Procházka and Glover Teixeira. However, a serious shoulder injury led Procházka to vacate the belt.

Ankalaev was supposed to fight Teixeira for the championship, but he turned down the bout citing Ankalaev's southpaw stance, per ESPN's Brett Okamoto. He wanted more time to prepare for the unique challenges the Russian presents.

Instead, the UFC replaced Teixeira with Błachowicz, who happened to win the belt the last time it was vacated.

Now, there's a bit of a logjam as Teixeira was expecting to fight the winner of the bout. Now there is no winner to fight.

"I think I'll fight the winner of the two because I'm still the No. 1 contender," Teixeira told Okamoto. "But they can take anybody they want. They can take someone not even ranked to fight for the title because it's their company. I don't know what they're going to do, but I'm here. The plan is to fight the winner. I've earned that."

Procházka will need time to heal, so there is some time for the division to get sorted out before he returns.