Magomed Ankalaev had seemingly won the title against Jan Blachowicz, but the judges declared the UFC 282 main event a draw.
Following Jiri Prochazka’s unfortunate shoulder injury and relinquishing of the belt, Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Blachowicz was elevated to an interim title fight, headlining UFC 282.
Magomed Ankalaev controlled the center of the Octagon early on. He worked behind his kicks first and foremost. Blachowicz was not as active as Ankalaev, but was landing when he threw. Ankalaev whipped a head kick that Blachowicz blocked. The round was controlled by Ankalaev, who kept Blachowicz at a comfortable distance.
Both fighters came out swinging in the second round, but nothing of significance landed. A body kick down the middle connected for Blachowicz, trying to turn the tide in the early going. A heavy hook pushed Ankalaev back and Blachowicz was finding more success on the feet after a quiet first round. An exchange in close favored Blachowicz. Low kicks were adding up for Blachowicz and one staggered Ankalaev. Ankalaev shot for a takedown, grabbing a single leg and eating many short punches as punishment. Ankalaev switched stances and pushed Blachowicz against the cage to end the round after landing a few leg kicks to the opposite leg.
Ankalaev came out with his original stance and Blachowicz quickly made him regret that with a kick. A long right landed for Ankalaev, who was starting to regain his composure. A few jabs connected for Ankalaev but a big leg kick had him hobbled on both legs. Blachowicz whipped another kick and Ankalaev was reduced to grappling against the cage. A knee below the belt paused the action, but a takedown for Magomedov followed when action resumed, ending the round on top.
Ankalaev closed the distance to start the fourth, working his way to a takedown. Ankalaev held Blachowicz in guard, eventually working to his back. Blachowicz survived but ate shots near the end of the round. Ankalaev’s comeback from his injury in the second round was being fully realized.
Blachowicz stumbled at the beginning of the final round and Ankalaev took advantage. Ankalaev pinned him against the cage and began dropping bombs. Blachowicz wasn’t able to get free and was stuck on his back. Ankalaev rode out the fight with consistent punches and top control.
After a confusing decision, a draw was announced and the belt remained vacated.
Magomedov Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz Fight to a Split Draw (48-46, 46-47, 47-47)