UFC 282 was a whirlwind for the Light Heavyweight division.
First and foremost, the original champion Jiri Prochazka blew out his shoulder just days before the event. He voluntarily vacated his title as a result, and his timeline for a return is generally unclear. As a result of the injury, Glover Teixeira was left without a dance partner, and the co-main event of Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Blachowicz was elevated to a five-round title fight and head of the pay-per-view (PPV).
The fight itself proved hugely competitive. Blachowicz dominated the early going with his brutal low kicks, but Ankalaev stormed back to take the latter half of the fight on the strength of his wrestling. The judges ruled the bout a draw — much to Ankalaev’s chagrin — and the division was left without a champion.
Now, Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira will decide the title’s fate. It’s completely out of left field!
At any rate, one of the stranger moments in this entire odd ordeal was UFC color commentator Joe Rogan pressing Jan Blachowicz for his thoughts immediately after the fight concluded. Blachowicz tried to express that he needed time to think and recover from the 25-minute fight, but eventually he offered up that he didn’t feel like he won the fight.
Well, Blachowicz has had about a week now to reflect and watch the fight over. He’s not demoralized at all but motivated about just how close he came to capturing gold for the second time. Now, he promises a return.
“I saw the fight, I’ve heard a lot of in-depth analysis of this bout and this only confirmed to me how close I was to winning this. I was only one point away from the victory! I don’t feel empty anymore after what happened. I’m angry with myself! #LegendaryPolishPower will come back soon”
Blachowicz’s next move isn’t entirely clear. A rematch with Ankalaev is definitely possible and would make sense, but UFC President Dana White wasn’t exactly thrilled with their first fight. Alternatively, Anthony Smith is now without a dance partner, so if “Polish Power” is looking for a reasonably quick return to action, that could be the fight to make.