Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will stage its final pay-per-view (PPV) event of 2022 as UFC 282 is set to go down later TONIGHT (Sat., Dec. 10, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the event will be a Light Heavyweight title fight as Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz vie for the vacant strap. In the co-main event, Paddy Pimblett will battle Jared Gordon in a Lightweight affair.
How To Watch/Stream UFC 282
Start Time (United States)
- ESPN+ PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT start on ESPN+ (order it here).
- “Prelims” undercard (late): 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT start, streaming online via ESPN+ and simulcast on ESPN2 in the United States.
- “Prelims” undercard (early): 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT start, streaming online via ESPN+ and simulcast on Fight Pass in the United States.
You just never know when an opportunity will knock. Originally scheduled to co-headline the event, Ankalaev and Blachowicz were catapulted into the main event slot for the chance to win the vacant Light Heavyweight bout after the now-former champion, Jiri Prochazka, suffered a devastating injury. Blachowicz has been longing for his chance to get the belt back he lost to Glover Teixeira, and now he has the opportunity to do so, even though it came as a result of unfortunate circumstances. But, his quest to regain UFC gold is going to be an arduous task to say the least because in his way is perhaps the hottest fighter competing at 205 pounds at the moment.
Winner of nine straight, Ankalaev got off to a rocky start to his UFC career, losing to Paul Craig via third-round submission in 2018. Since then, he has looked like a man possessed, earning five knockout wins along the way, including taking out former title contenders Anthony Smith, Volkan Oezdemir and Thiago Santos. He only has one loss in his entire mixed martial arts (MMA) career, boasting a highly-impressive 18-1 record. While Blachowicz may have the “Polish Power” going for him, Ankalaev has dynamite in his hands, as well. And he has shown he can take a punch. It might not be the best idea to get into a slugfest with Blachowicz, so we can expect this fight to hit the ground several times where it could be a stalemate. Blachowicz has several submission victories while Ankalaev has none; however, his grappling is top notch and his only loss was via submission. It’s really a tossup and making a prediction will be a tough one if you’re a betting person.
There really isn’t a whole lot to criticize here. While we would have expected a stacked card to end 2022 from UFC, several injuries did take this PPV event down a notch. But, the fights that remain should be fun, competitive and entertaining as we get ready to close out the year.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
The main event was set to feature Jiri Prochazka defending his belt against Glover Teixeira, but after he suffered a torn shoulder the bout was obviously scrapped. Prochazka ultimately opted to vacate his belt and, to everyone’s surprise, Teixeira was not given the chance to fight for the belt against Ankalaev or Blachowicz ... or was he? Whatever the reasons may be, Ankalaev and Blachowicz now have the chance to win UFC gold.
Alexander Gustafsson was set to face Ovince Saint Preux, but was removed from the event for an undisclosed reason. Philipe Lins agreed to step in to face “OSP,” but he was forced out of the event, too. A second replacement in the form of Antonio Trocoli was put in place, but was forced out because of visa issues. As a result, Saint Preux was yanked from the card.
After failing to make weight for his Flyweight fight against Vinicius Salvador, Daniel da Silva was removed from the card due to an undisclosed illness. Salvador was removed from the event altogether, but we’d like to think UFC will pay him his show money for making weight.
Other than Prochazka’s unfortunate injury, Bo Nickal was forced out of his official UFC debut bout against Jamie Pickett with an undisclosed injury. Also, Robbie Lawler suffered an undisclosed injury a few weeks prior to the event and was taken out of his fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio. Now, “Gente Boa” will do battle against Alex Morono — winner of four straight — who agreed to a Catchweight fight of 180 pounds. Ponzinibbio is in desperate need of a win after dropping two straight.
There will be several UFC newcomers at this event, including Raul Rosas Jr, the youngest UFC fighter ever — signed to a contract at just 17 years old. Rosas Jr. is undefeated (6-0) with five stoppage wins to his credit, four in the very first round. He will be taking on Jay Perrin, who has come up short in his first two fights with the promotion.
Erik Silva is out to make the best of his opportunity, but 35 years of age isn’t exactly an ideal age to be making a UFC debut. Winner of eight straight, “The King” has seven stoppage wins on his resume, so the man can get the job done once he puts his foot on the gas. He has only been a professional for six years, but he has already done enough to get to the big show after shining on the Contender Series. He will face off against T.J. Brown, who is a paltry 2-3 so far inside the Octagon.
Cameron Saaiman made his MMA debut in 2019 and he has been on a tear ever since, racking up six straight wins, finishing all but one of his six opponents, and learning directly under the tutelage of current UFC contender, Dricus du Plessis. He will be facing off against fellow UFC newcomer, Steven Koslow, who has an even more impressive start to his MMA career. That’s because he has submitted every single one of his opponents in the very first round. That said, you may not want to blink once the opening bell sounds in this one.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
We have already discussed several undercard fights in the section prior, so let’s dive in to see the rest of the action, shall we?
In the Heavyweight division, Jairzinho Rozenstruik will try to recapture some of the magic that made him a fighter to look out for early on in his UFC career when he takes on Chris Daukaus. Daukaus has been stopped in his previous two fights, while “Bigi Boy” has also lost two straight to Alexander Volkov and Curtis Blaydes. All told, Rozenstruik is just 1-3 in his last four fights.
Joaquin Buckley has been unable to build off the momentum he picked up thanks to his viral knockout of Impa Kasanganay in 2020, despite collecting a 4-2 record since then. He has a chance to boost his stock when he battles Chris Curtis, who is out to get back into the win column after he had his eight-fight win streak snapped by Jack Hermansson this past summer.
In the Featherweight division, Billy Quarantillo will take on Alexander Hernandez, who will be making his 145-pound debut. Over the last four years, Hernandez has alternated wins and losses to the tune of a 4-4 record, which just won’t cut it in the stacked Lightweight division. With a record of 4-2, Quarantillo is still fairly young in his UFC career and hasn’t been able to build much traction himself since he is just 2-2 in his last four fights. A win over Hernandez would be huge for his stock moving forward.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
There was one point in time when Edmen Shahbazyan was considered the future of the MIddleweight division. Dubbed “The Golden Boy” and training with Ronda Rousey at the peak of her career, the hype was real around Shahbazyan, who had won 11 in a row to kick off his career, which included an impressive showing on Contender Series and three first-round submissions to begin his UFC career. Then the competition got a bit tougher and Shahbazyan has now lost three in a row to Jack Hermansson, Derek Brunson, and Nassourdine Imavov, getting stopped in two of those outings. I highly doubt he will get cut if he suffers his fourth straight loss, but he needs a win for his sake if he doesn’t want to lose whatever confidence he has left. He will be facing Dalcha Lungiambula, who is also on a three-fight losing streak.
Interest Level: 8/10
Pimblett is trying his hardest to solidify himself as the next big thing for UFC, winning his first three fights via stoppage, and earning post-fight bonuses in all of his victories. He has a mouth on him ala Conor McGregor, and so far into his young UFC career he has backed it up. Whether it’s getting into it with MMA media or other fighters during press conferences, no one is off limits to “The Baddy.” His next challenge on his way to superstardom is a tough fight against Jared Gordon, who is coming off a big win over Leonardo Santos at UFC 278. While talented, Gordon is one of several fighters that will seemingly always be those that take up roster spots. I am not clowning on him one bit, but the star power hasn’t been there six years into his UFC career. And that’s okay. But, if he can take out Pimblett, it will do wonders for his career. Just take a look at Nate Diaz. One can not deny that his star power exploded after he made McGregor tap at UFC 196. While I am not saying that will happen to Gordon, it won’t hurt his cause.
Darren Till is truly at a crossroads in his UFC career. He got off to a promising start by winning five of his first six fights. Since then, he has only gone 1-4, losing to Tyron Woodley via submission and to Jorge Masvidal via knockout in back-to-back contests. He squeaked out a split decision win over Kelvin Gastelum, and then went on to lose two straight against Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson, which means he could easily be on a five-fight losing streak. Where it’s gone wrong for “The Gorilla” is a mystery, but he needs to fix whatever is causing his slump if he doesn’t want to find himself outside of the Octagon looking in. He has a tough challenge ahead of him in the form of Dricus du Plessis, who is currently on a five-fight win streak, which includes winning his first three fights inside the Octagon. A win over Till would be huge for him, but a loss would be more devastating for “The Gorilla.”
Bryce Mitchell is one of UFC's most unique characters. He has a wild personality and his, “I don't give a f—k what you think of my beliefs” attitude has made you either love him or hate him. All of that aside, “Thug Nasty” can scrap, racking up a perfect 15-0 MMA record, which includes six straight wins inside the Octagon. Against Ilia Topuria, however, he will be facing his toughest test to date. Topuria is undefeated at 12-0 and has won all four of his fights inside the Octagon, three via knockout. Both men have the potential to be huge stars for the promotion, and the winner here takes a huge step forward while the loser suffers a major setback. This is my early pick for “Fight of the Night.”
UFC 282 PPV Main Event On ESPN+:
205 lbs.: Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev
UFC 282 PPV Main Card On ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon
180 lbs.: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Alex Morono — (not Robbie Lawler)
185 lbs.: Dricus du Plessis vs. Darren Till
145 lbs.: Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria
UFC 282 ESPN2/ESPN+ ‘Prelims’ Card (8 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus
135 lbs.: Jay Perrin vs. Raul Rosas Jr.
185 lbs.: Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
185 lbs.: Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley
205 lbs.: Ovince Saint Preux vs. Antonio Trocoli— CANCELED (details here)
UFC 282 ESPN+ Early ‘Prelims’ Card (6:30 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
145 lbs.: T.J. Brown vs. Erik Silva
125 lbs.: Daniel da Silva vs. Vinicius Salvador— CANCELED (details here)
135 lbs.: Cameron Saaiman vs. Steven Koslow
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 282 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPN2/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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