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Blachowicz vs Ankalaev UFC 282 preview & best bets – December 10

UFC betting tips

Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Blachowicz +240 at Bovada | Ankalaev -303.03 at Bovada
When Saturday, December 10 – main card from 7pm EST
Where T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas United States
Watch Live ESPN+ PPV (US), BT Sport (UK), Main Event (AU)

The MMA focus returns to Las Vegas for UFC 282 and an interim light heavyweight title fight between Polish giant Jan Blachowicz and surging Russian contender Magomed Ankalaev.

Jan Blachowicz (29-9-0) is a likeable, humble, modest fighter whose career appeared set to conclude without any great fanfare. Most of his UFC record was solid yet unremarkable, until he suddenly got on a winning run that started in June 2019. He knocked over Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo Souza, and Corey Anderson in quick succession to set up a title shot for the vacant light heavyweight belt.

In 2020 at the age of 37, he parlayed years of hard work into an upset title victory over Dominic Reyes. The second-round knockout was the stuff of every athlete’s dream and delivered life-changing prize money and unexpected stardom. While not an especially technical fighter, Blachowicz has knock out power in both hands, knows how to mix up his attack, and can be a hard man to stop. He also possesses a solid ground game as displayed in his title defence win over Israel Adesanya.

Blachowicz relinquished his belt to another UFC veteran in Glover Texeira at his second defence in 2021 when the Brazilian submission specialist sunk in a rear naked choke in the second round. Blachowicz bounced back with a win over fancied contender Aleksandar Rakic, and nobody can begrudge the Pole another shot at UFC gold. We suspect he may be underestimated going into this bout.

Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-0) is another warrior from the Russian region of Dagestan with an impressive winning record. Ankalaev’s only professional loss occurred back in 2019 when he was submitted by Paul Craig. Since then, Ankalaev has worked steadily through the grades to find himself in a position to claim a title. Another heavy hitter with knock out power, the Russian also knows how to grind out a decision victory as evidenced by recent wins over Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos on points.

Like his forerunner Khabib Nurmagomedov, Ankalaev is a Sambo fighter who combines solid striking with a dominant wrestling style. He had a long amateur career in Russia, winning numerous gold medals in the 93 kg class before making his professional debut. His movement around the octagon can be a bit limited at times, and he does not fight very effectively going backwards. This makes him susceptible to a blitzing approach, although his record suggests this has not been fully exploited by opponents.

Ankalaev has a fearsome reputation, but that is unlikely to affect the no-nonsense Blachowicz. It will be interesting to see if the men respect each other’s power or opt to stand and trade, which is certain to result in an early finish. Of the two, Ankalaev is more likely to try and pace himself across the scheduled five rounds. It will also be fascinating to see who shoots for a take-down first and the outcome of such a tactic.

Betting markets are very convinced that the younger, fresher Ankalaev has an edge over Blachowicz, but we are less sure. We will be betting on the upset, backing Blachowicz straight up and to win via knock out. The Pole only needs to land one big punch to swing this bout in his favour, and with this unlikely second chance at UFC gold, he might be in a mood to let his fists fly and shock the fight world again.

Jan Blachowicz to win


Jan Blachowicz to win via Knockout


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