As we close in on the final UFC Pay-Per-View event of the year, there is a thick layer of excitement in the air surrounding this Saturday’s matchups at UFC 282.
With Jiří Procházka vacating the light heavyweight title due to a devastating shoulder injury, the path has been paved for an excellent main event battle between the legendary Polish power of Jan Błachowicz and Russia’s Magomed Ankalaev.
Błachowicz first captured the 205-pound crown from a vacant status back in 2020, when he defeated Dominick Reyes with a second-round knockout at UFC 253. From there, he defended his title once by serving Israel Adesanya the first loss in his MMA career. Błachowicz would go on to lose his belt to a determined Glover Teixeira in October 2021, due to a rear naked choke in the second round.
With the light heavyweight gold once again in his line of sight, Błachowicz feels his is ready to reclaim his rightful status as world champion. But, with Ankalaev standing in his way, many feel that his greatest test in the octagon is yet to come.
As of late, Ankalaev has been ripping through the ranks of the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He suffered the only loss on his record back in 2018 when he slipped into a triangle choke courtesy of Paul Craig. Since then, he has gone on to defeat high level competitors such as Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Volkan Oezdemi. Additionally, Ankalaev is on a nine-fight win streak, with five of those wins coming by way of knockout.
With the light heavyweight belt on the line, Błachowicz will hope to put an end to the win streak of Ankalaev and place himself back at the top of the rankings, while Ankalaev looks to prove that he is the future of the division.
— UFC (@ufc) December 9, 2022
In addition to the main attraction this Saturday, fan favorite Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett will have his work cut out for him in the lightweight co-main event when he faces former Northeast regional champion Jared “Flash” Gordon.
Since making the jump from Cage Warriors to join the ranks of the UFC, Pimblett has recorded three wins, none of which have made it past the second round.
Gordon, who joined the UFC back in 2017, has seen his share of ups and downs within the organization, but at UFC 282 he will look to derail the hype train of “The Baddy”.
All respect heading into Saturday!
— UFC (@ufc) December 9, 2022
here’s the fight card, when and where to watch:
- Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev; For the vacant UFC light heavyweight title
- Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon; Lightweight
- Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio; Welterweight
- Darren Till vs. Dricus du Plessis; Middleweight
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria; Featherweight
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus; Heavyweight
- Raul Rosas Jr vs. Jay Perrin; Bantamweight
- Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula; Middleweight
- Chris Curtis vs. Joarquin Buckley; Middleweight
- Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez; Featherweight
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Antonio Trocoli; Light heavyweight
- T.J. Brown vs. Erik Silva; Featherweight
- Vinicius Salvador vs. Daniel da Silva; Flyweight
- Cameron Saaiman vs. Steven Koslow; Bantamweight
Date: December 10
Time: Early Prelims 5:30 p.m. ET, prelims 8 p.m. ET, Main card 10 p.m. ET