UFC 282 arrives this Saturday, the final Pay-Per-View event for the promotion in 2022, and the penultimate card of the year.
It was not, however, the card matchmakers had originally envisioned.
Gone was Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira, the fight that UFC 282 had been built around. A somewhat unnecessary but wholly welcome rematch after their highly entertaining first meeting in June, Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 fell victim to the champ’s recent shoulder injury. Well, former champ, as Prochazka relinquished the title, paving the way for Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev to ascend to main event status, with gold on the line.
Gone too was Robbie Lawler, dropping out last minute, with Alex Morono stepping in to face Santiago Ponzinibbio. Ovince St. Preux went through a full three opponents before he too fell off the card, not because of injury but because there was simply no time left to find him opponent number four.
That left Paddy Pimblett, all of three fights into his UFC career, to carry a whole lot of promoting ahead of UFC 282. Against the soft-spoken Jared Gordon, that was a tall order. And while Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria may be the best fight on the card, it wasn’t getting the attention it deserved.
The full UFC 282 card breaks down as follows:
UFC 282: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev
Light Heavyweight: Jan Błachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev – for the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship
Lightweight: Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon
Catchweight (180lb): Alex Morono vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Middleweight: Darren Till vs. Dricus du Plessis
Featherweight: Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria
Heavyweight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus
Bantamweight: Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Jay Perrin
Middleweight: Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
Middleweight: Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley
Early Preliminary Card
Featherweight: Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
Featherweight: T.J. Brown vs. Erik Silva
Flyweight: Vinicius Salvador vs. Daniel da Silva
Bantamweight: Cameron Saaiman vs. Steven Koslow
Ahead of UFC 282, tune in for the pre-fight press conference — a live stream is available above.