Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz has his return date set.
After losing out on a chance to fight for gold, with Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka widely expected to face off in a rematch early next year, Blachowicz (29-9) will instead face Magomed Ankalaev (18-1) at UFC 282 on December 10, 2022.
The fight, first reported by ESPN, can almost certainly be seen as a title eliminator.
Blachowicz lost his 205lb title to Teixeira last October at UFC 267, but got back in the win column earlier this year. In May, Blachowicz picked up a win over Aleksandar Rakic, who injured his knee in the third round of their main event fight at UFC Vegas 54.
Poland’s Blachowicz, a former KSW champ, won the UFC light heavyweight title in 2020 after the belt was vacated by Jon Jones. He defended it once, against Israel Adesanya, who was moving up in weight in an unsuccessful bid to capture a second title of his own.
Magomed Ankalaev has not lost a fight since his promotional debut, when tapped to a Paul Craig triangle in the final second of their fight at UFC London in 2018. Since then, the Dagestani-Russian has won nine straight fights, the last three all against former UFC title challengers: Volkan Oezdemir, Thiago Santos, and most recently, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
UFC 282 is expected to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10, 2022. The following bouts are expected for the card:
- Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
- Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
- Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
- T.J. Brown vs. Erik Silva
- Dricus du Plessis vs. Darren Till
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus
- Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley
- Daniel da Silva vs. Vinicius Salvador
- Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett
- Cameron Saaiman vs. Ronnie Lawrence
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Alexander Gustafsson
- Jan Błachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev