Blachowicz and Ankalaev will square off for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 282 this Saturday in Las Vegas. The fight was supposed to be three rounds before Jiří Procházka’s shoulder injury made the bout a title matchup.
Glover Teixeira offered to face Blachowicz in a rematch following Procházka’s withdrawal, but the UFC had other plans. Now, Blachowicz will have the chance to re-claim the 205lb throne against the surging Ankalaev.
Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev figures to be a great fight for the UFC’s final pay-per-view of 2022. While Volkanovski is a few weight classes below the two contenders, he’s keeping a close eye on the UFC 282 headliner.
Alexander Volkanovski Weighs In On Jan Blachowicz/Magomed Ankalaev
During a recent breakdown on his YouTube channel, Volkanovski praised Ankalaev ahead of UFC 282.
“Losing only once in a career like that is no joke,” Volkanovski said of Ankalaev. “He’s a good fighter, he can get the finish, he can even wrestle. I don’t think either of them can really capitalize on the wrestling…I feel like it might be more of a standup battle. Who would I lean towards? I lean towards Ankalaev. I think he’s proved himself and again a wrestler like that, he’s pretty defensively sound as well on the feet.”
Ankalaev has been on a roll with nine straight wins, including most recently over former title challengers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. He’s also picked up wins over Nikita Krylov and Volkan Oezdemir as he looks to become the next Dagestan-born UFC champion.
Blachowicz defeated Aleksandar Rakić via injury stoppage back in May to get back in the win column. He lost the belt to Teixeira at UFC 267 last year.
As Teixeira waits in the wings, Blachowicz and Ankalaev will fight to cement themselves as the UFC’s light heavyweight champion.
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