Video Credit: UFC

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 282


UFC 282 capped off the year for the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday in Las Vegas. The last fight card of the year had plenty of suprises, including the controversial ending of the Main Event bout for the Light Heavyweight title, Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev.


Throughout this year, the UFC has put out plenty of great fight cards full of exciting moments and memorable finishes. As the UFC’s finale of 2022, UFC 282 had plenty of expectations. Despite multiple changes to the main card due to injuries, Saturday’s event still had plenty of matchups that promised a solid finale. With a card that featured the return of Darren Till, Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett, and the vacant light heavyweight title being decided between Blackowicz and Ankalaev, UFC 282 seemed poise to conclude another successful year for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.


“The Gorilla” Makes His Return


UFC 282
Photo Credit: Sportskeeda

UFC marked the first time Darren Till (18-5-1)  had returned to the octagon since his loss to Derek Brunson in September of 2021. Before that, Till had lost four of his last five fights and struggled with multiple injuries. Finally returning to make his long-awaited return at UFC 282, facing up-and-comer Dricus Du Plessis (17-2), Till looked to get his first win since 2020 and resurrect the hype that surrounded him when he first arrived to the UFC.

Plessis started the fight fast as he rushed Till at the start of the first round, and forced him into a compromising position against the fence. With Plessis on his back and delivering punishing hook shots to his face, Till looked as if the long lay-off had taken a toll as he had no resistance to the shots and struggled to get back to his feet for most of the first round. Just as the fight seemed to be over, Till managed to get free from Plessis and forced things back to the feet. Looking to get back into the fight, Till began throwing shots and landing hits that seemed to turn the fight around at the end of the first round.

In the second round, Till continued to land strikes and work his way back from his rough start to the fight. Just as Plessis out-muscled Till on the canvas in the first round, Till was out-classing Plessis striking on the feet to begin the second. The former middleweight contender looked to regain his confidence as he timed out his strikes and landed damaging blows. Plessis, looking fatigued, managed to shoot for a takedown and took the fight back to the canvas towards the end of the round. From there, Plessis secured an ankle lock and had Till back into an uncomfortable spot. With 12 seconds left, Till twisted his body with the direction of the lock and survived till the end of the second round.

Till managed to survive multiple attempts from Plessis to end the fight and seemed to regain some of that former glory that once made him one of the biggest names in the division. But as soon as the third round began, Plessis made quick work to outstrike Till and eventually tackle him back to the canvas where he would submit the England native with a rear-naked choke to end the fight with 2:43 left in the round.


The Baddy Show


UFC 282
Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

As one of the biggest up-and-coming names in the UFC, Paddy Pimblett (19-3) entered the octagon at UFC 282 against Jared Gordon (19-5). With outlandish press conferences and a fast start to his career, Pimblett has drawn comparisons to the most notorious European trash-talker, Conor McGregor. Entering Saturday’s UFC event, Paddy seemed to lean into those comparisons as he promised to end his fourth UFC fight on the feet with a McGregor-like knockout.

But unlike McGregor’s fourth bout, Paddy didn’t end the fight with a first-round knockout. In fact, Paddy the Baddy faced adversity through all three rounds and went the distance in Saturday’s co-main event. Gordan touched up Pimplett multiple times throughout the fight and seemed to have more success on the ground through three rounds.

As the fight concluded, the judges score cards came in, and to the shock of everyone watching, Pimblett won by unanimous decision. Though Pimplett may have done enough to get the victory, a unanimous decision seemed unearned as Gordon seemed to outperform “The Baddy” during multiple moments throughout the fight. Though he secured his fourth victory at UFC 282, Paddy still has a ways to go before he reaches the status of McGregor. 


Nothing Changes after Main Event Title


UFC 282
Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

For the fourth time since 2020, the Light Heavyweight title would go to a new victor as Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev faced off, or at least that was the plan.

Months before Saturday’s card, the original Main Event was scheduled for the former champ, Jiri Prochazka, to take on the former-former champ in Glover Teixeira for a title bout, before Jiri suffered a serious shoulder injury in training and relinquished the belt. Following the injury, the UFC decided to move Blachowicz and Ankalaev’s fight from a three-round fight on the main card, to a five-round title fight headlining the entire night. With both fighters coming in on short notice of the change, Blachowicz, who was the first to claim the vacant belt in 2020, and Magomed entered the octagon with a chance to secure the title.

Beginning the first round, Blachowicz showed his title fight experience and remained focused through the chaos as he began delivering powerful leg kicks to Magomed’s right shin. With Magomed being the younger, faster fighter, Jan found opportunities to land strikes on the Dagestani, despite struggling to close the distance.

Blachowicz continued this strategy through the first two rounds, and in the third, eventually caused serious damage to both of Ankalaev’s legs, forcing Ankalaev to push Jan against the cage in order to survive. Though he came into UFC 282 as a striking ace, Magomed’s Dagestani roots showed as he began to find success grappling Jan after abandoning his striking. Through the last two rounds, Magomed continued to take the fight to the ground and seemed to secure a win after scoring plenty of points with multiple takedowns.

As the two light heavyweights waited eagerly for the decision, many thought Ankalaev did enough to get his hand raised and become the next Dagestani UFC champion. But as the scorecards were read, Bruce Buffer announced that the title fight would be ended in a draw, keeping the 205-pound title vacant, and the light heavyweight division without a champion.

To sum the night up, UFC 282 still was an entertaining night of fights, but may have been a letdown as the final card of 2022. Many disliked the fact that the last two fights were ended in controversial decisions from the judges, as well as seeing a title go unclaimed at the end of the night. Though there are a few more smaller-venue cards before the end of 2022, the final major card of the year might have left a lot to be desired going into the new year.



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