UFC 282 Betting Odds And Main Event Preview: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev


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The UFC is back in Las Vegas for its final big event of 2022, and as so often happens, this one is anchored by a main event that’s something of a late change in plans. With reigning light heavyweight champ Jiri Prochazka sidelined by a serious shoulder injury, the UFC has promoted the co-main event bout between former champ Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev to the headlining spot of UFC 282.

And with Prochazka expected to be out for an extended period of time, the title has been declared vacant and up for grabs in this new main event between two top-ranked light heavyweights. Read on for a look at the betting odds from all the main markets on this 205-pound matchup.

UFC 282 Main Event Odds

Magomed Ankalaev () vs. Jan Blachowicz ()

Ever since he embarked on his current nine-fight winning streak in the UFC, Magomed Ankalaev (18-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) has been talked about as a potential future champ in the light heavyweight division. His only professional loss came in his UFC debut, as often happens, and it came in the very last second of a fight he was otherwise winning right up until he got caught in a Hail Mary submission by the wily grappler Paul Craig. Since then, Ankalaev has sliced through the 205-pound class, facing bigger name competition as he climbs closer to the top.

In his last fight, he beat former title challenger Anthony Smith via second-round TKO. Before that, he went five full rounds for the first time in his career to win a unanimous decision over another former title challenger in Thiago Santos.

And while many fans see a first name like “Magomed” and a birthplace somewhere in Dagestan, Russia, and are quick to assume they’re looking at a guy who’s all grappling and no striking, Ankalaev has shown a real range of skills in the UFC. His straight left hand has become an especially dangerous tool in recent years, and his head kicks have been a consistent threat when it comes to setting up finishes.

That said, Ankalaev may not want to get into a long-range kickboxing match with Blachowicz (29-9 MMA, 12-6 UFC). The former champ doesn’t have all that many advantages over the younger Ankalaev, but his kicking game is likely one of them. Blachowicz also has one-punch power in his hands, though here he’ll be the slower fighter by a considerable margin, so the challenge will be finding openings to land without spending all night waiting for that one perfect shot.

The big question is how much wrestling Ankalaev will look to do in this fight. He’s got a solid grappling base, even if he hasn’t built his game around takedowns and top control the way many Dagestani fighters have. Blachowicz is a better grappler than he often gets credit for, but that’s not where he’s most likely to win this fight. He has to avoid getting caught in a spin cycle of takedown attempts if he’s going to have a chance to get his own offense working.

The problem is that Ankalaev has more tools at his disposal for both setting the pace of the fight and deciding where it takes place. Blachowicz, on the other hand, needs Ankalaev to make a mistake in order to find his opening. The good news is, with his punching power, he really only needs that mistake to happen once.

UFC 282 Props And Rounds Betting

Against lesser competition – or against more aggressive fighters who force the action right out of the gate – Ankalaev has shown the ability to start fast. But that’s not necessarily his own natural inclination, and in a big fight like this, especially after he started out preparing for a three-round co-main event rather than five-round championship bout, he may look to control his energy early on while he gets a feel for Blachowicz’s approach.

The line on Ankalaev to win via KO/TKO could be seen as a good choice for a few different reasons, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen in the first round. Blachowicz is a tough, well-rounded fighter, and Ankalaev will probably need to stop him with volume and pace rather than one big shot. A TKO prop bet in rounds 3 or 4 might be a good chance to get long odds on the likely winner. At the same time, Ankalaev can sometimes be too patient while he waits for counter-striking opportunities. It’s not out of the question that these two could mostly nullify each other and end up going the distance, at which point the +215 odds on Ankalaev via decision look pretty good.

If Blachowicz is going to win this fight, he needs to sting Ankalaev early. He doesn’t always have the same pop in his punches later in a fight, especially if his arms get heavy from too much grappling. If he lets Ankalaev lead the dance and find his rhythm, the former champ could be in for a long night.

Full UFC 282 Fight Card

Main Card

Jan Blachowicz () vs. Magomed Ankalaev ()
Paddy Pimblett () vs. Jared Gordon ()
Alex Morono () vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio ()
Darren Till ()vs. Dricus du Plessis ()
Bryce Mitchell () vs. Ilia Topuria ()

Prelims

Jairzinho Rozenstruik () vs. Chris Daukaus ()
Raul Rosas Jr. () vs. Jay Perrin ()
Edmen Shahbazyan () vs. Dalcha Lungiambula ()
Chris Curtis () vs. Joaquim Buckley ()

Early Prelims

Billy Quarantillo () vs. Alexander Hernandez ()
T.J. Brown () vs. Erick Silva ()
Vinicius Salvador () vs. Daniel da Silva ()
Cameron Saaiman () vs. Steven Koslow ()

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How to Watch UFC 282

• Early prelims on UFC Fight Pass & ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET

• Prelims on ESPN 2 & ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET

• Main card on ESPN+ pay-per-view, 10 p.m.



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