UFC 282 went down last night (Sat., Dec. 10, 2022) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which left several fight fans disappointed as a result of a wacky night of judging. In the pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev fought to a split draw (recap), leaving the Light Heavyweight title vacant and paving the way for Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill to fight for it at UFC 283 (full details here). In the co-main event, Paddy Pimblett picked up a highly-controversial unanimous decision win over Jared Gordon, while Ilia Topuria absolutely dog-walked Bryce Mitchell in a Featherweight affair (highlights).
Winner: Paddy Pimblett
Who He Should Face Next: ... Matt Frevola?
Let me start off by saying that I firmly agree that Pimblett lost the fight against Gordon, just like everybody else (sans the judges), but here we are. “The Baddy” will now move onto the next phase of his career, which should be a tougher match up, but it likely won’t be because if his performance against Gordon was any indication, he isn’t ready for the cream of the crop just yet ... not even close. As for as what could realistically be next for “The Baddy,” that is a tough call, one I admittedly struggled with. So, I opened up my Twitter account and decided to see what the masses were thinking and one name who came up consistently was Matt Frevola. “Steamrolla” has won two straight and is 4-3-1 inside the Octagon. Nothing to boast about, but nothing to hang one’s head low over, either. If UFC isn’t ready to give Pimblett someone close to the Top 15, then give him Frevola, who will bring the fight and give Paddy a good challenge and even quite possibly take him out. Am I in love with this suggestion? Not really. But, if you have a better one I am all ears.
Winner: Santiago Ponzinibbio
Who He Should Face Next: Robbie Lawler
Ponzinibbio and Lawler were originally set to collide at this event before “Ruthless” was forced out with an undisclosed injury. But, after “Gente Boa” took out late replacement, Alex Morono, the only logical step to take is to re-book Lawler versus the Argentinean sometime in 2023, assuming “Ruthless” can return in a suitable timeframe.
Winner: Driccus du Plessis
Who He Should Face Next: Andre Muniz
du Plessis picked up a dominant win over Darren Till in “Sin City,” forcing “The Gorilla” to tape to a face crank in round three after beating him from pillar to post in the opening five minutes (highlights). With his sixth straight win (fourth inside the Octagon) in his back pocket, du Plessis can expect to crack the Top 10. But, while he has been looking great as of late, we can’t forget about Andre Muniz, who has also been putting in major work, albeit quietly, in the Middleweight division. Muniz is on a nine-fight win streak and is undefeated (5-0) inside the Octagon. He is currently ranked No. 10, so a fight between these two rising studs to see who levels up in the rankings should be a banger.
Winner: Ilia Topuria
Who He Should face Next: Arnold Allen
The best performance of the night, in my humble opinion, was Topuria’s dominant victory over Bryce Mitchell. I mean, he absolutely big-brothered him all night long. That victory is more than enough to catapult him into the Top 10 ... maybe even Top 5 (he currently sits at No. 14). Afterward, Topuria called out Brian Ortega, which is a bold callout to say the least. But, it’s a fun fight that I, as well as everyone else, would be down for. But, Ortega is still healing from a bum shoulder so let’s shelve that idea for the timebeing. If we are ready to put him up against the Top 5, then Allen makes sense. Giga Chikadze, Chan Sung Jung and Calvin Kattar are all coming off losses, and Josh Emmett will face Yair Rodriguez for the interim title at UFC 284, leaving Allen as the only logical option. Like Topuria, Allen has been on a roll and actually has twice as many victories inside the Octagon as Ilia (10).
For complete UFC 282 results and coverage click here.