Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) final pay-per-view (PPV) event of the year went down last night (Sat., Dec. 10, 2022), as UFC 282 took place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the event was a Light Heavyweight title fight that saw Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz fight to a split draw (see the scorecards). In further action, Paddy Pimblett defeated Jared Gordon in a decision many felt should have gone the other way, another wacky and questionable call from the judges.
Biggest Winner: Ilia Topuria
The opening fight of the pay-per-view (PPV) main card featured two talented contenders in the Featherweight division, both coming in undefeated as Bryce Mitchell — who had won 15 straight — battled Ilia Topuria, who was 12-0 coming into the event. And while many expected the fight to be competitive, it was anything but. Indeed, Topuria absolutely rag-dolled “Thug Nasty,” proving that he is simply on another level by dominating Mitchell before eventually executing a beautiful arm-triangle choke in the second round. Now that he’s handed Mitchell his first defeat, Topuria can expect to crack the Top 10 in the coming week, which will set him up for bigger and better fights moving forward, making his run toward the Top 5 and to the title that much closer. Now, if only UFC would give him half the PR love as they are giving this guy.
Runner Up: Dricus du Plessis
du Plessis remained undefeated inside the Octagon, scoring a huge submission win over Darren Till, forcing “The Gorilla” to tap via a face crank in round three after utterly and completely dominating his foe in round one. Round two was a bit more competitive, but du Plessis proved superior once the dust settled and has now won six in a row, including his first four fights inside the Octagon. He should move into the Top 10 after this fight, and will get a tougher challenge for his next outing. “Stillknocks” has shown he has the tools to hang with some of the best that the 185-pound division has to offer thus far, now he has to prove he can take it to the next level.
Honorable Mention: Raul Rosas Jr.
Rosas Jr. made history by becoming the youngest fighter ever to fight for UFC at 18 years of age, topping it off by making a splash in his UFC debut. Indeed, Rosa Jr. dominated Jay Perrin and eventually forced him to submit in the first round thanks to an air-tight, rear-naked choke. He improves to 7-0 and in his first UFC fight proved that he has huge potential to make waves in the Bantamweight division. A better UFC debut couldn’t have been scripted for the young man.
Biggest Loser: Darren Till
Once considered a legit contender, Till now finds himself at a major crossroads in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. Coming into the event, “The Gorilla” was adamant he was feeling the best he’s ever had, which was good news to his fans’ ears because he was coming in having lost four of his last five fights, including two in a row. But, it didn’t take long for him to find himself in some trouble as du Plessis absolutely mauled him in the first round, tagging him repeatedly from the jump, which almost prompted the referee to jump in and stop the fight. He had better luck in round two, but midway through round three he found himself in a precarious position that allowed du Plessis to sink in a rear-naked choke that forced Till to tap rather quickly. That is now three straight losses for Till, dropping him to 1-5 since 2018. Where he goes from here is unclear, but I don’t think we will see a quick turnaround from the British brawler because he will likely take some time off to figure out exactly what’s going on with him and if he believes he can actually turn it around.
For complete UFC 282 results and coverage click here.