UFC 279: Alateng Heili Cruises Past Chad Anheliger

Chad Anheliger vs. Alateng Heili, UFC 279
Chad Anheliger vs. Alateng Heili, UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Canadian bantamweight Chad Anheliger was in search of yet another victory in the octagon as part of the UFC 279 early prelims. Matched up with Alateng Heili, both men were looking for their second consecutive win inside the octagon.

Heili entered the night off a win over Kevin Croom, which snapped a two-fight winless streak (one loss, one draw) for the Mongolian. Anheliger had won ten straight overall, an impressive streak regardless of promotion.

The Canadian’s run of good fortune would come to an end Saturday, however.

The preliminary card scrap opened with plenty of feeling out and single strikes, particularly right hands. Both men connected with jabs, but nothing much in the way of significant strikes connected early. Anheliger fired a right over the top, but moments later, he was backpedaling off a Heili connection. Near the midway mark, Alateng Heili cracked the Canadian with a left hand that drew an immediate reaction from both the crowd and Anheliger. Heili was in the driver’s seat with less than two minutes in the round, and clipped a bloodied Anheliger once again. Anheliger was hurt, in full defensive most, though he would land once swinging blindly trying to create space and buy some recovery time.

Chad Anheliger was in need of a fresh start in round two. He would connect with a left just under two minute into the round. But it was Heili leading the attack, working the body and landing his jab. The left hand continued to be successful for the Mongolian, and Anheliger was soon retreating again.

Come round three, Anheliger was able to press a little. But he was fighting from behind, almost certainly down on the scorecards. Heili’s movement was just too good; Anheliger’s strikes were hitting air more often than not. He remained in the fight, however, putting the pressure on, but with a minute remaining was in need of a finish. Instead, Heili landed a takedown, which Anheliger briefly defended with a choke — but the takedown was completed, and cemented the victory, never really in question, for Alateng Heili.

Official Result: Alateng Heili def. Chad Anheliger by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)