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UFC 282 thrown into chaos as Prochazka withdraws from main event

UFC star Jiri Prochazka

The UFC 282 main event between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira has been cancelled following a serious shoulder injury to the reigning champion. The damage is so severe that Prochazka may be sidelined for up to a year.

The Czech fighter did the noble thing by opting to vacate his belt and allow the division to progress in his absence. Prochazka won his title in a wild fight with Teixeira in June 2022, and the pair were set to run it back at UFC 282.

Replacing the main event will be a clash for the interim belt between former champion Jan Blachowicz and no.3-ranked contender Magomed Ankalaev. The latter has forged a formidable 18-1-0 record with recent wins over fellow contenders Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Volkan Oezdemir and will be favoured to prevail.

Teixeira was surprisingly omitted from the replacement fight and said he felt “disrespected” by the decision. The Brazilian was approached to fight Ankalaev for the interim title but had requested the fight be pushed back to UFC 283 to allow more time to prepare for the new opponent. This request was denied, and Blachowicz was called in.

Blachowicz and Ankalaev shape up very well in physical attributes, both standing tall and possessing knockout power. Ankalaev is the younger man at 30, while Blachowicz is 39 years of age and has been involved in some wars over his long career.

Ankalaev has long been regarded as a potential champion. Should he win, the tiny region of Dagestan will add another name to its honour role after Islam Makhachev claimed the lightweight belt at UFC 280.

UFC 282 is set for December 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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