UFC 282 goes down this weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event, Jan Blachowicz takes on Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira were originally scheduled to fight for the light heavyweight title, but the bout was cancelled after the champ pulled out due to injury and vacated the title. The Brazilian was offered a vacant title fight against Ankalaev but he couldn’t make a deal with the UFC, resulting in Blachowicz vs Ankalaev, which was originally scheduled to co-headline the event.
UFC 282: Blachowicz vs Ankalaev Analysis And Prediction
Ankalaev is currently on a nine-fight winning streak, with his most recent win coming against Anthony Smith by second round TKO, whereas Blachowicz has won six out of his last seven fights, with his loss coming at the hands of Teixeira in their title fight. The Russian is extremely well-rounded with world class wrestling and solid kickboxing. Blachowicz is a very technical kickboxer with immense power in his strikes. He’s also a very solid grappler, with nine submissions wins to his name.
In his fight against Teixeira, Blachowicz struggled against his grappling and was choked out in the second round. While Ankalaev isn’t a submission specialist like Teixeira, his wrestling is good enough to take Blachowicz down and control him there. Not only that, but Ankalaev is also very hard to hit on the feet. He’s very versatile and has a lot of striking tools in his arsenal, which will trouble the Polish powerhouse.
Statistically, Ankalaev has a slight edge as he lands more than three and a half significant strikes per minute on average whereas Blachowicz lands three and a half. Ankalaev absorbs just over two significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Blachowicz absorbs close to three. Both fighters are very even when it comes to grappling as far as stats are concerned, but Ankalaev certainly has the technical edge.
Blachowicz vs Ankalaev will be a very tactical battle while it lasts, but expect the younger fighter to finish the job within the first couple of rounds.
Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev by TKO
Jan Blachowicz (+235)
Magomed Ankalaev (-280)
Who do you think will win the vacant light heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev?