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UFC 282 ‘Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sherdog's live UFC 282 coverage will begin Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Steven Koslow (136) vs. Cameron Saaiman (135)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Saaiman (-320), Koslow (+265)

Round 1

The final UFC pay-per-view card of the year kicks off right here inside of the T-Mobile Arena, with an even dozen matches from stem to stern. The early prelims begin with a pair of undefeated newcomers and serious finishers, as these youngsters combine for 11 stoppages across their 12 wins. The first of three South Africans tonight takes center stage as Saaiman (6-0, 0-0 UFC) makes his first walk, and he greets fellow newcomer and submission artist Koslow (6-0, 0-0 UFC). The first assignment of the night goes to referee Chris Tognoni, and the bantamweights touch ‘em up to get the event started. Saaiman leads the dance with a sweeping low kick, and he hops back before Koslow can touch him. Saaiman pushes out a side kick, and he is quick to block a high kick that slaps off his guard. Koslow reaches out with another head kick, and it makes him stumble as it clatters off Saaiman’s protection. Koslow absorbs a low kick, shoots through the hips and puts Saaiman on his back. When he hits the ground, Koslow is fast to advance to half guard, and he wriggles his arm out of a kimura setup to push down with heavy shoulder pressure. When Koslow attempts to pass, Saaiman utilizes his left leg with a rubber guard in hopes of setting up a shoulder lock or triangle. Koslow takes advantage of this by hopping to half guard, and he shifts straight into mount. As he lifts himself up to get a dominant position, Saaiman turns the tables right on top and flips Koslow to his back. When Koslow lands, he throws his legs up for his own rubber guard, as he is a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and starts hunting for a triangle choke. Saaiman sits up and tries to buck out of the setup, and he lowers himself down to disallow Koslow from wrapping him up. Saaiman sneaks a short elbow out when he breaks the lock around his waist, and he thumps a few more down. Koslow slips his left leg up again flexibly to scare Saaiman from opening up with ground-and-pound, and he positions the other leg to tie something up. This allows Koslow to sit up, but Saaiman bowls him back over with a guillotine choke. Koslow scrambles, and in the process, Saaiman hops around to take his back as Koslow attempts to stand. Saaiman hangs on and falls out the back door, and he cannot grip his opponent before landing. Koslow drops down several powerful blows and elbows, but Saaiman explodes with seconds to spare. The wild round ends with Saaiman on top.

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Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Koslow
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Koslow
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Koslow

Round 2

The second round opens with a glove touch, and neither man looks worse for wear after nearly five minutes of dynamic grappling. Koslow blocks a high kick and crashes forward early, looking for a possible double-leg takedown. The South African keeps his hips spread wide, but he falls over as they tumble to the mat. Koslow falls to his back, and he latches on to a guillotine choke that is suddenly tight. Saaiman stays composed, abandons his try to take top position, and stands back up. “The Pillow” attacks for another guillotine, but Saaiman is wise to it and stands up with the wall at his back. Saaiman unloads with two close knees to the jaw, and Koslow appears to be a bit wobbled, but the latter pushes through to complete the takedown. Saaiman looks to explode, but Koslow cinches his legs up to ground him. Saaiman rolls through in hopes of escaping, and gives up his back momentarily but winds up on top. Koslow, with his leg awkwardly caught between his opponent’s, gets belted with a few punches. The American scrambles, and Saaiman follows him and takes him from behind to get both hooks in. Koslow looks to move to his stomach, and Saaiman follows him every step of the way and flattens him out. The South African tries to pull for an armbar from an odd angle, but this results in them moving back to their feet. As Koslow enters for a takedown on his knees, Saaiman blasts him in the face with an illegal knee. Tognoni takes a moment to determine that he will call the replay official, and after he does, he calls in the doctor. The replay official confirms this was a foul, and Koslow is in a bad way trying to shake out the cobwebs during the pause time. Koslow asks Tognoni about the foul, and affirms that the knee struck him square in the face. Koslow declares that he is struggling to see as he takes more time, and he tells Tognoni that he still would like to continue. Tognoni deducts one point from Saaiman for the blatantly illegal knee, and Saaiman nods and is apologetic about it. Koslow is still clearly compromised, and he asks Tognoni for his position back but cannot have it due to the deduction, and then confusedly tells Tognoni not to worry about it. To the best of his ability, Koslow recovers to keep going, and Tognoni clocks them in. Koslow thanks this with a diving takedown effort, and a nasty responsive elbow from Koslow rips open a cut on the corner of Saaiman’s left eye. Saaiman stuffs the takedown and spams several head kicks, and he spins with a wheel kick that does not land. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 9-9
Ben Duffy scores the round: 9-9
Tyler Treese scores the round: 9-9

Round 3

The final frame starts with a sporting glove touch, and Saaiman backs off to fire off a few kicks. The South African wings a spinning kick that collides with the guard, and this spur Koslow into shooting for a double. The attempt fails, and Saaiman spins around to thwart the try and take Koslow’s back. The American looks to turn things around and hunt for reversals, but Saaiman hangs on tight to his back. Koslow sits up, grabs a leg and sweeps his man enough to put Saaiman on his back. The fighters are warned for eye gouges, and Koslow sits up to drop down hammers. As soon as he does, Saaiman turns him over and gets on top. Koslow gives up his back as he looks to escape, and this allow Saaiman to pound on him on the side of the head. Koslow appears to be fading when he attempts to spin around, and Saaiman sits back to slug Koslow in the face repeatedly. Koslow stands up and gets kneed in the face, and Saaiman marches him down and smashes him with another knee on the chin. Saaiman pours it on with a barrage of punches, mixing in ferocious knees, and Koslow is stunned and wobbling back to the fence. The onslaught of the South African does not desist, and his bombardment of knees and punches force Tognoni to step in and halt the fight for a standing TKO. In what could have a been a draw had they reached the final bell with no 10-8s registered, Saaiman takes the judges out of the equation and notches his fifth knockout across seven wins.

The Official Result

Cameron Saaiman def. Steven Koslow R3 4:13 via TKO (Knees and Punches)

T.J. Brown (145.5) vs. Erik Silva (146)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Brown (-110), Silva (-110)

Round 1

Moving right along, Glory MMA-trained Brown (16-9, 2-3 UFC) will have to compete without chief corner James Krause at his back tonight. While he hopes to even his UFC record to .500, he comes blows with the debuting Silva (9-1, 0-0 UFC). The 145ers are joined in the cage by referee Mark Smith, who clocks them in as they touch gloves. Brown marches forward and drills Silva in the face with a short right hand to answer a leg kick, and he powers forward to pursue a takedown. Silva defends with his back to the wall with a guillotine choke, and this allows him to get his wits about him after getting his bell run in the opening seconds. Brown isolates the leg to attack a single-leg takedown, and he pops his head out and slams Silva to the mat to prevent a guillotine from getting locked down. Silva scoots his way to the fence as Brown slugs in him the face, and “Downtown” sneaks a hook around to partially take his foe’s back. Brown grinds his forearm on the chin when not punching Silva in the face, but Silva turns the tables and pulls Brown’s own legs out. Brown defends with a kimura in an effort to sweep, but the Venezuelan sees it coming and stops it from getting anywhere. Brown leans forward to again turn things around, pushing Silva back and going after his own takedown. This leads to both men getting upright, but Silva speedily trips his opponent and dumps him on his back. Brown recovers his guard after a few seconds of ground-and-pound, and he threatens with a leglock to keep Silva honest. Silva grabs the fence to stand back up, and Brown presses him against the cage and grabs it as well to keep Silva stuck against it. Brown uses his full body weight to squeeze his man against the chain links, and Silva tries to muscle out but gets kneed in the chest a few times. A knee from Brown gets Silva’s attention, and they scramble, hit the ground, and bounce back up. They break, and Brown starts to let his hands go. Silva does the same, and they bust one another in the chops and touch gloves. Silva surges forward to follow a right hand and take Brown down, and Brown powers his way up to blast Silva in the face with a right hand on the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Silva
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Silva
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Silva

Round 2

The rounds begins with a brief slugfest, and Silva misses a flying knee and gets his chin checked by a right hand. The Venezuelan backs off to load up on a high kick, and he stings Brown a few times. Brown fires right back and gets kicked in the side. When Brown hits him hard, Silva ducks down and executes a takedown. Brown closes up his guard, but this does not prevent Silva from slashing him in the face with a fierce elbow. As Silva sits up to land more ground-and-pound, Brown times a reversal to take Silva’s side and back with a hook in. Silva works to the fence to put it at his back, and he stays leaned on it so that Brown cannot slither the other leg around the waist. Brown drills his man with several left hands as he hangs on to Silva, and he threatens with a one-arm rear-naked choke. Brown attempts to complete the choke, but the leverage is not there and Silva signals a thumbs-up. Brown tries another rear-naked choke from this angle, and Silva is not at all concerned. The Venezuelan starts laughing at Brown, and they share a moment before Brown puts Silva on his back. Silva keeps moving and looks to wall-walk, but this lets Brown completely take his back. When Brown takes the back, he starts fishing for a rear-naked choke, but it is not under the chin and Silva looks more bored than worried. Silva rides out the round with a thumbs-up to Smith.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Brown

Round 3

The featherweights meet in the middle, but it is Brown who is the immediate aggressor as he clocks Silva with a right hand and a knee. The Venezuelan falls to his knee, but he springs back up and knees Brown in the face to hurt Brown. Brown uses this opportunity to suck Silva’s legs out and plant him on his back, and he lands in half guard while hunting for a kimura. Silva wriggles his arm out, leading Brown to attempting an arm-triangle choke. Silva looks to sit up, and he recovers his guard while getting punched in the face. “Downtown” shows the prehistoric-looking Silva how we do things downtown, elbowing him repeatedly and busting open a cut on his face. Brown transitions to an arm-triangle as he attempts to step over to claim mount, and he gives up on the submission to keep position. When Silva turns to his side, Brown grabs hold of an arm-triangle choke, and he locks it down and moves to mount. Brown slides to the side, and it is academic at this point with his shoulder and vice-like grip squeezing the life out of his opponent. Silva tries to wrap his arm under his knee, and then considers going out on his shield, but he opts to tap out instead and live to fight another day. Brown has successfully performed his first finish in the UFC, for his first overall since hitting an arm-triangle over three years ago on the Contender Series.

The Official Result

T.J. Brown def. Erik Silva R3 3:41 via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)

Alexander Hernandez (145.5) vs. Billy Quarantillo (146)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Quarantillo (-165), Hernandez (+140)

Round 1

The abbreviated early prelims wrap up with a featherweight contest as high-volume striker Quarantillo (16-4, 4-2 UFC) welcomes ex-lightweight mainstay Hernandez (13-5, 5-4 UFC) to his lower division. Both men are searching for a key win, and one man should achieve it in the next 15 minutes or less. They touch gloves as referee Chris Tognoni watches on, and Quarantillo lashes out with a low kick. Hernandez responds in kind, and Quarantillo walks him down with a one-two. Hernandez backs off to fling another low kick, and he blocks a swinging punch that whizzes at his head. Hernandez plods forward and walks into a punch, and he gets off a body kick up close. “The Great Ape” connects with a low kick, and Quarantillo catches a subsequent body kick but gets popped in the chops before setting it down. Quarantillo jabs to the head and body, while Hernandez swings for the bleachers. A low kick from Quarantillo gets checked, and Hernandez defends it but falls to his seat. Hernandez recovers well enough to stand, and he pursues a double and plants Quarantillo on his back. Quarantillo tries to push off the fence without grabbing it, and he traps Hernandez’ neck to slow him down. Quarantillo attempts to sit up, and Hernandez belts him in the face a few times before changing levels to set Quarantillo back down. The Floridian defends with his back on the wall as Hernandez doggedly goes for takedowns, and Hernandez is warned for fence grabs. Quarantillo looks for a counter trip, but Hernandez greets him with a clean elbow. Quarantillo breaks free but is bloodied up from the blows, and he finds more coming at his face. Quarantillo draws blood with a few right hands, slicing open the cheek of “The Great Ape.” Hernandez explodes into action, leaping forward to tackle Quarantillo over, and he lands to immediately go after an arm-triangle choke. Hernandez sits up with one single elbow, and this rips Quarantillo’s forehead wide open. Blood immediately pours from the wound, but Quarantillo is not defeated, as he throws his legs up to possibly set up a triangle choke. Hernandez ignores the sub setups to work Quarantillo over with ground-and-pound, opening the cut a little further. Hernandez lets him back up, and the two slug it out to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hernandez
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Hernandez
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Hernandez

Round 2

Tognoni calls in the doctor to check on the cut on Quarantillo’s head, but it is not a fight-ending gash over his left eye. Quarantillo starts off the round aggressively, and he throws a head kick and follows it with a few punches. When Hernandez replies with a couple punches, Quarantillo jumps with a kick and gets grabbed midair and pushed to the ground. Hernandez gets on top, but he cannot keep Quarantillo there, as Quarantillo fights his way back up and separates. The two featherweight trade jabs, and Hernandez changes levels but gets kneed in the chin by the taller Quarantillo. Hernandez absorbs a few more knees and is once more warned for fence grabs, and he elects to isolate Quarantillo’s right leg and lift him in the air. Quarantillo keeps his balance and stays upright with his back to the wire, and he breaks off and pushes out several jabs. Hernandez meets him with jabs of his own, and he gets swept with a low kick. When he stands, Quarantillo hunts for a guillotine choke, and Quarantillo goes after a double to change things up. When that fails, Quarantillo pursues a single-leg entry, and he abandons this to land body shots and tag Hernandez up top. A few punches appear to surprise Hernandez, who desperately shoots for a takedown. The momentum has shifted, as Quarantillo stands him up and marks him up with a long series of punches. Quarantillo leaps at him with a superman punch, and he tees off on Hernandez with a combination before securing a single and placing Hernandez on his seat. Quarantillo pushes Hernandez over and slams his fist on the side and back of his head, and Tognoni thinks about stopping it for the foul but lets it play on as Quarantillo adjusts his trajectory. Hernandez muscles his way back to his feet, but Quarantillo is battering him with punch after unanswered punch. Hernandez is barely on his feet and out of gas, and Quarantillo breaks a clinch to smash Hernandez in the face with an elbow. Quarantillo lays into a spent Hernandez with a knee that doubles him over, and he continues his tornado of knees, fists and anything else at his disposal until Tognoni rescues Hernandez from the unrelenting beating. Quarantillo turned up the pace and put Hernandez away in impressive fashion, while reminding the division that he is still very much a factor.

The Official Result

Billy Quarantillo def. Alexander Hernandez R2 4:30 via TKO (Knees and Punches)

Joaquin Buckley (185.5) vs. Chris Curtis (186)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Buckley (-155), Curtis (+135)

Round 1

The UFC 282 ESPN prelims chose violence to open them up, as middleweight strikers Curtis (29-9, 3-1 UFC) and Buckley (15-5, 5-3 UFC) are sure to throw leather with high intensity for as long as they can. With 27 knockouts combined, referee Jason Herzog and the smelling salts may be needed by the bout’s end if fight fans are lucky. The sluggers that have developed some bad blood before their match do not touch gloves, as they would rather introduce their fists to one another’s faces first. The fighters are tense and not willing to release much of note early, tossing single strikes at one another like head kicks. Curtis splits the guard with a jab, and he sits down on a low kick. Buckley answers with one of his own, and this back-and-forth of similar strikes continues. Buckley jabs to the head and body, and he hops back from a one-two that zips straight at him. Buckley crowds his man with a few short punches, and when Curtis escapes, Buckley whips a low kick that slaps hard on the lead leg. Curtis gets one-two through, and Buckley surges forward in hopes of getting that back after getting stung. Curtis stays light on his feet and escapes, while keeping a high guard to defend against the heavier strikes hurled at him. Buckley mixes his strikes up with a body shot, and he whiffs with the lion’s share of a combination that ends with a glancing head kick. Curtis intercepts an advancing Buckley with an inside thigh kick that skips into the groin, and the fans shower them with boos until realizing it was a foul. Curtis apologizes and Buckley recovers, and they return to throwing single strikes when resuming. Buckley just misses with a head kick, and Curtis starts talking to him. Curtis fires off a jab and a right hand, and Buckley tries to reply with five heavy punches that largely collide with the guard. The jabs from Curtis lead to Buckley pawing at his eye, and Buckley tries to chop down the lead leg. Buckley remains busy but walks into a body kick, and he gets cracked as he strikes. Curtis smiles at him and blocks a pair of hefty uppercuts, and he shells up when Buckley fires off a combo that concludes with a head kick. When Buckley’s punches up top miss, he goes after the body with a salvo. The round ends right as Buckley connects with a handful of body shots.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Buckley
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Buckley
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Buckley

Round 2

Curtis is quick to claim the center of the cage, and Buckley leads off with kicks to the body on the outside. Curtis walks Buckley down and jabs several times, eliciting reactions out of his opponent. Curtis walks through the heavy blows to snap the head back with straight punches, and Buckley is throwing everything he has into power shots. Curtis’ guard and head movement largely keep him out of harm, but Buckley crashes the pocket and catches him at the end of a left hook. Curtis looks to play counter, and Buckley beats him to the punch with a combo. Curtis snaps out a left hand, and Buckley strings three punches together before absorbing a low kick. They land alternating hooks at the same time, and Curtis rolls when retreating as Buckley pours on the pressure. Two nasty hooks to the body slam into Curtis’ side, but he catches Buckley leaping at him with a left. Buckley loads up and connects, forcing Curtis into action with a responsive head kick. Buckley chains a long series of punches together off the guard, and he is feeling himself. Curtis blocks and catches a head kick and unloads a brutal left hand that knocks Buckley clean off his feet, and Buckley might be out when he hits the ground. “New Mansa” snaps back into action, and he throws his legs up and tries to swing off his back, but Curtis is measured and he drills his foe with ground-and-pound. Buckley goes out again, and the punches knock him back conscious once more as Herzog is paying close attention but giving Buckley a great deal of leeway. Knowing the finish is right there for the taking, Curtis hammers the nail with hammerfists, putting Buckley out once and for all. Although Buckley comes back to seconds later and appears upset with Herzog about the stoppage, he was knocked out two or three times before the finish materialized. Curtis has bounced back from his first UFC defeat in big way, and he is all smiles after the back-and-forth battle.

The Official Result

Chris Curtis def. Joaquin Buckley R2 2:49 via KO (Punches)

Dalcha Lungiambula (185.5) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (185.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Shahbazyan (-280), Lungiambula (+235)

Round 1

Once a surging contender, Shahbazyan (11-3, 4-3 UFC) has his back against the wall after three straight humbling losses. The 25-year-old took a long time off and changed camps from Glendale Fighting Club to Xtreme Couture in hopes of a new beginning, and this path will officially start when he faces fellow powerhouse Lungiambula (11-5, 2-4 UFC). This fight that could last 15 seconds or 15 minutes will be officiated by referee Chris Tognoni, who observes the two men touching gloves first. Shahbazyan leads off with a jab, and he swats away a body kick. Two punches come over the top from “The Golden Boy,” who follows the strikes with a low kick. Lungiambula swings and misses with a kick, and the fighters in alternating stands hand-fight without throwing much. Shahbazyan stings his man with a right hand over the top, but it is one-and-done without any subsequent effort. Shahbazyan dodges a counter and lands two right hands to the head and body, and Lungiambula springs into action and leaps in with heavy swatting punches. Shahbazyan works the body with a right hand and a kick, hoping to take some of the power out of the man known as “Champion.” Lungiambula blocks a head kick, and they both get off loud body kicks. Shahbazyan swings a kick to the midsection and then goes up high with the other leg, and he ducks out of the way when looping hooks fly over his head. Lungiambula sits down on a thudding body kick, and Shahbazyan answers him in their slow-paced version of Paco vs. Frank Dux from “Bloodsport.” Unlike that fight, Lungiambula choose to shoot in for a takedown, and Shahbazyan bounces off the fence as he hops away to defend it. Shahbazyan turns him around in the clinch and knees to the body are traded, and the two stall out in this position with short strikes offered from each. Shahbazyan partially absorbs a knee to the groin, complains, and when that falls on deaf ears, he pushes off. After the lull in action, Shahbazyan dodges a head kick just in the nick of time. Lungiambula swings for the bleachers, falling over in the process, catching Shahbazyan with a few punches but missing with most. The horn sounds, and Lungiambula throws one more punch that misses by a matter of inches, and Tognoni admonishes him.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Shahbazyan
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Shahbazyan
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Shahbazyan

Round 2

The middleweights meet in the middle without a glove touch this time, and Lungiambula reintroduces him with a whipping kick to the ribs. Lungiambula chases with a one-two, and he stuns Shahbazyan with a short right hand. Shahbazyan answers with a power right of his own, and Lungiambula ignores it and throws his whole body into a looping left hand that misses the mark widely. Lungiambula cracks his man with a left hand, and the punch bounces off the head and hits the groin in an unusual ricochet. Shahbazyan is upset with the perceived foul, and Tognoni calls it and lets Shahbazyan recover. They get back to it after about a minute break, and they continue to swing single haymakers at one another. When they clash together throwing so hard, Shahbazyan connects with a knee to the chin, and Lungiambula answers with a head kick that wobbles “The Golden Boy.” Lungiambula slowly plods forward as Shahbazyan skirts away on the outside, and he wings power strikes with bad intentions. Shahbazyan responds with a right hook and a body kick, and he gets back on his bike. Lungiambula walks him down and connects twice, and he smacks the body with a kick. Shahbazyan fires off a right hand and a head kick, and Lungiambula dives forward after taking a subsequent body shot for a level change. Shahbazyan answers this with a ferocious knee right on the chin, and Lungiambula is stung. Shahbazyan unleashes a fury of knees and punches, knocking Lungiambula against the wall and hurting him badly. Lungiambula loosely responds with a right hook that misses the mark, and Shahbazyan blasts him with a knee and is on him like a cheap suit, forcing a desperate Lungiambula to his knees. Shahbazyan unloads with punches to the side of the head as he tries to put his man away, and Lungiambula is stuck and just trying to protect himself without moving. This is enough for Tognoni to intervene, as he feels “Champion” is no longer intelligently defending himself. Shahbazyan claims that he is back, and that he is “Vegas Edmen” now, having put an end to a rough skid with a second-round stoppage.

The Official Result

Edmen Shahbazyan def. Dalcha Lungiambula R2 4:41 via TKO (Punches)

Chris Daukaus (242.5) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (261.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Rozenstruik (-170), Daukaus (+145)

Round 1

About 505 pounds of heavyweight will clash in a contest that practically guarantees one man will be staring at the lights when it’s all over. Both Rozenstruik (12-4, 6-4 UFC) and Daukaus (12-5, 4-2 UFC) post identical knockout rates of 92%, and they have both struggled as of late to protect their jaws. If history is any indication, this one may not last very long. Referee Mark Smith is on high alert for what is next to come, although the fighters show respect by clapping hands before looking to lop the other’s head off. Daukaus walks forward and smashes Rozenstruik in the face with a right hand, and this activates “Bigi Boy.” Rozenstruik surges into action with a right hand counter, and he slips a left hand to sting Daukaus. Rozenstruik leaps forward with a knee, and this bowls Daukaus over without hurting him. Daukaus climbs back to his feet and gets nailed with several more punches, and he tries to fire back but Rozenstruik is bulldozing him. Daukaus takes a few more on the chin and manages to escape, but his legs are not completely with him. The Suriname-based striker practically sprints at the damaged Daukaus to detonate a bomb of a left hand on the chin, and Daukaus collapses and rolls to his side on the mat, completely defeated. Smith intervenes, but Rozenstruik does not plan on following up on the assault, as he knows his work here is done tonight. In under 30 seconds, Rozenstruik is back on the map with a vengeance.

The Official Result

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Chris Daukaus R1 0:23 via KO (Punch)

Jay Perrin (136) vs. Raul Rosas Jr. (136)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Rosas (-230), Perrin (+195)

Round 1

A UFC record will break as soon as referee Herb Dean clocks these fighters in, as Rosas Jr. (6-0, 0-0 UFC) will officially become the youngest fighter to compete in the Octagon at the age of 18. The high schooler meets New Englander Perrin (10-6, 0-2 UFC), who wants to spoil the newcomer’s big day by recording his first win in the UFC. The bantamweights opt not to touch gloves, and instead Rosas rushes forward to slap a low kick. Perrin ignores it to reach the 18-year-old with a left hook, and he hops out of the way when Rosas comes at him. Rosas eats a few more punches and shoots in for a takedown, and he elects to lift Perrin all the way in the air to try to put him down. Perrin keeps his balance, but Rosas redoubles his effort and dumps him to the floor. In a flash, the youngster takes the back of his opponent, and does not get scraped off when Perrin leans him into the wall. Perrin looks to shake and buck him off, but this is not meant to be, as Rosas secures the back control with both hooks in and flattens Perrin out. Perrin defends when Rosas goes after a rear-naked choke, but he cannot stop “El Nino Problema” from locking in a body triangle. Perrin stands straight up and leans with his back to the cage, and Rosas does not stop attacking the neck. The choking arm does not slide under the chin, but Rosas does not care, as Perrin drops to his knees. The 18-year-old squeezes with all his might on the face, and Perrin leans down to bounce his head off the mat, and he frantically taps out to what looks like a face crank before the forearm can even sink under the chin. After the fight concludes, Perrin goes to squash the beef that had developed between the two, and Rosas is happy to accept to oblige. Rosas is now the youngest victor in UFC history, putting on a practically flawless performance to get a tap a little after the midpoint of the first round. In his post-fight interview, Rosas calls for UFC head Dana White to give him a post-fight bonus so that he can buy his mother a minivan so she can drive him to training.

The Official Result

Raul Rosas Jr. def. Jay Perrin R1 2:44 via Submission (Face Crank)

Bryce Mitchell (146) vs. Ilia Topuria (146)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Topuria (-135), Mitchell (+115)

Round 1

In this main card opener, only one undefeated fighter will remain shortly. Entering into his seventh outing as a UFC fighter, “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (15-0, 6-0 UFC) would very much like to spoil the fellow perfect record of Topuria (12-0, 4-0 UFC), all while sporting special camouflage fight shorts. Topuria does not receive special apparel, but he does celebrate a 92% finish rate that could play a factor very soon. 2022 Referee of the Year award winner Marc Goddard is on the call for this important featherweight pairing, and the fighters he oversees do not bother touching gloves first. Topuria stays low, and he wades forward into action. After Mitchell leads off with a kick to the knee and a side kick, Topuria blasts the Arkansas native in the face with four powerful punches. Topuria digs into the lead calf with a kick to force an immediate stance switch, and Mitchell shoots in for a takedown that fails. Topuria meet him in the middle and catches Michell cleanly with a right hand, and Mitchell responds with a few solid jabs and a low kick. Topuria connects with a right hand down Broadway, and Mitchell replies with a left. The single hooks from Topuria get around the guard and get Mitchell’s attention, with his right finding the target again and again. Mitchell tosses out a front kick that aims at the face, and he shoots for a failed takedown that Topuria easily avoids. As they clash together, a cut opens on the inner left eyebrow of the American. Mitchell lines up two punches and changes levels for a low single, but Topuria springs away to push his back to the wall. Topuria nearly turns things around, forcing Mitchell to drop to a knee, and ultimately stopping the entry. Mitchell releases the clinch and gets off a body shot, but Topuria rings his bell with an overhand right. “El Matador” throws two punches so hard he stumbles, but Mitchell does not capitalize on this and instead allows Topuria to return to striking stance. Topuria dodges a kick and uses head movement to work his way in, and Mitchell crashes forward and practically tackles Topuria to put him on his back. “Thug Nasty” lands in half guard, but Topuria pulls him back to the guard and boxes the ear from off his back. Mitchell scores a few punches, but Topuria stings him with a left hand off his back. Mitchell rides out the top position until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Topuria
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Topuria
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Topuria

Round 2

Mitchell starts the second round rushing forward, but ultimately he walks into two lightning-quick punches. Mitchell attempts to respond with a side kick, but Topuria pushes it aside and stuffs a takedown try. When Mitchell stands up, Topuria nails his man in the face with a pair of strikes. Mitchell recovers and gets backed off by the swinging offense of his opponent, and they clash together again and may bump heads, but Mitchell cannot ground him with another effort. Mitchell looks to time the overhand right with takedown tries, but time and time again, he falls short. Topuria overthrows a punch, and Mitchell gets his attention with a short combo that fires up the crowd. Topuria sets up an uppercut with two punches to follow it, and he knocks the Arkansan off his feet and down to the mat. Topuria leaps down to possibly pull off a neck-based choke, but a bloodied Mitchell welcomes this so that he can set up a scramble or go for a submission. Topuria does not let him off the hook, bludgeoning him repeatedly with thunderous blows until Mitchell works his way up. Mitchell attempts to get a takedown when Topuria is laying into him, but Topuria throws him over to the mat like a kid wrestling with his dad. A deflated Mitchell tries with all his might to turn or twist, and he manages to sit up. This is not the best position for him, as Topuria snatches on to a seated arm-triangle choke and hurls Mitchell back down, with the submission exceptionally tight. The submission specialist Mitchell, who had won 15 fights as a pro – the loss the UFC claimed took place on “The Ultimate Fighter” and was an exhibition match – surrenders for the first time in his career. This is a massive victory for Topuria, who stamps himself as a featherweight contender and calls for a UFC card in Spain.

The Official Result

Ilia Topuria def. Bryce Mitchell R2 3:10 via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)

Dricus Du Plessis (185) vs. Darren Till (184.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Du Plessis (-180), Till (+155)

Round 1

While Till (18-4-1, 6-4-1 UFC) is undoubtedly plummeting, with no wins since 2019, his surging opponent du Plessis (17-2, 3-0 UFC) is quite the opposite, posting five wins including four finishes since then. Either these trends both continue, or they see a sharp change in fortune, and referee Mark Smith will be here for it no matter how it shakes out. The 185ers both hoping to stay around the top 15 of the division do not decide to touch gloves before engaging, and Till begins the fight as the aggressor. Till walks forward with a heavy left hand, and du Plessis intercepts Till and takes the fight down. Till works to the side of the cage so that he can get back up, and du Plessis smashes him in the side of the head with surprisingly heavy punches. Till signals a thumbs-up to Smith that he is fine, but du Plessis continues to clobber him with punches. Smith tells Till to fight back, and du Plessis holds Till’s right arm from behind to stop him from defending the blows. Du Plessis keeps Till grounded on one knee and works him over with left hand after left hand, and he knees the thigh for emphasis. Till attempts to stand, and du Plessis hurts him with ferocious left hands. Till tells Smith to not intervene, and du Plessis changes things around and batters Till with his right hand. Till frees his other arm and defends against a double-leg, but du Plessis scoops him off the ground and takes his back in a scramble. The South African secures a body triangle, and Till complains punches are landing to the back of the head. Du Plessis beats on Till until he decides to take a choke, and he pulls for a power rear-naked choke. When that fails, du Plessis changes the grip to the other side, and Till’s face is showing massive swelling from the punishment absorbed thus far. Till lowers himself to his back, with du Plessis holding on from behind, and the body triangle tightly squeezes the waist while looking for a choke. Till courses with adrenaline and explodes to get up, and he snatches on with a guillotine choke out of nowhere. Du Plessis rolls all the way around to survive the choke, and they both get back up. Till scores a heavy elbow, and he tackles du Plessis to the floor. Till delivers heavy punches from on top, and du Plessis manages to push off and get back up, where he takes Till to the mat. The round ends with du Plessis on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 du Plessis
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-8 du Plessis
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 du Plessis

Round 2

Till’s left eye is swollen badly but the second round begins. Du Plessis defends from an early Till surge, who walks his man down and lands a few punches. Du Plessis pushes off the fence and circles away, looking loose while Till is focused and lining up punches. The South African just misses with a knee, and he gets popped with a left hand with his own punches coming slower. Till stings him with a one-two, and Till pushes off with his fingers outstretched to jam a finger in the eye. Du Plessis says he is fine and implores them to keep going, and Till accepts this and scores a few punches and a low kick. Du Plessis answers with a leg kick, and he gets sniped with a left hand and walks into an elbow. Till is calm in front of his man, and he walks forward with a heavy knee that clips du Plessis. “Stillknocks” keeps his wits about him and crashes forward to secure a double-leg takedown, and he puts the former welterweight title challenger on his back. Till powers his way back up and pushes out of a clinch without much concern, seemingly the far fresher man, and he paws out with a front kick and a long right hand. Du Plessis whiffs on a high kick, and they hand-fight while Till comes out swinging. Till times a left hand over the top that knocks du Plessis back, and Till dodges the strike that soars past him. Till connects with a one-two, and he marks the body with a front kick and hops back from a superman punch from du Plessis. Till aims a left hand over the guard, and it misses the mark by a matter of inches. Till kicks low and punches high, with a one-two connecting cleanly and getting du Plessis’ attention. Till marches in with a standing elbow, and du Plessis leaps forward with a single that allows him to plant Till on his seat. Before “The Gorilla” can stand, he gets shoved over flat on his back and grimaces. Du Plessis, with top control for 45 seconds left, attempts a guillotine choke, only to bail on it so he can land punches. Du Plessis jumps over to gain dominant position, and he rolls for a foot lock. Till punches him in the posterior until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Till
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Till
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Till

Round 3

The crowd goes wild to begin the final round, and the two hug it out to start it out. Till feints and fakes to draw out reactions from his foe, while du Plessis stands in front of him doing little else besides throwing a telegraphed left hook. Du Plessis walks into a front kick and wings a right hand that clatters off Till’s chin, and they hand-fight until Till strides in with a left hand over the top. Till splits the guard with an uppercut, and they both throw wild punches that swipe over the side of their heads. Du Plessis snaps the head back with a left hand, and he throws a low kick that bounces off the cup. Smith gives Till a few seconds to recover, and Till tells him he is good to go. Till rips the body with a kick, and du Plessis attempts to reply in kind but misses the mark. Till swats away a leaping uppercut, but gets shaken up with a clean jab and a left hand on the way in. Du Plessis scores a left and a right as Till looks for answers, and he hits a double-leg takedown like a hot knife through butter and instantly secures mount. Till turns to his belly, and as soon as he does, the South African latches on to a rear-naked choke that is not beneath the chin. An exhausted Till does not have the wherewithal to fight it off this time, as du Plessis is wrenching on his jaw with all his might, and he taps out on the shoulder. “Stillknocks” has registered the biggest win of his career in a wild back-and-forth outing, in the process earning his 17th finish in 18 career victories.

The Official Result

Dricus du Plessis def. Darren Till R3 2:43 via Submission (Face Crank)

Alex Morono (179.5) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (179.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Ponzinibbio (-175), Morono (+150)

Round 1

On short notice, the flashy striker Ponzinibbio (28-6, 10-5 UFC) takes on a different opponent than expected, and also competes up 10 pounds from where he expected. He meets fellow action fighter Morono (22-7, 1 NC; 11-4, 1 NC UFC) in what should be a sure-fire banger, and referee Jason Herzog is ready. Happy to be fighting tonight, the two strikers bump fists before proceeding, thus launching their 180-pound catchweight contest. Ponzinibbio is amped up but does not throw much in the way of early offense besides a couple jabs. Morono swats him away with a left hand, and Ponzinibbio continues to pressure him. The Argentine throws solid kick to the calf, and Morono hops forward to strike but hits air. Morono tries to reach with a one-two, and he sits down with a leg kick before getting jabbed in the midsection. The two show ample respect for one another, and Ponzinibbio hurls a single overhand right and ducks when one in response whizzes past him. Morono gets in a right hand and spins with a back fist, with the latter colliding off the guard. Morono plants a huge right hand behind the ear, but Ponzinibbio wears it well and continues to aim to the body. “The Great White” sticks and moves, absorbing a low kick as he escapes, but he cannot get out of the way of another Ponzinibbio body shot. Morono attempts a two-punch combo, but it is his jab that lands flush. A right hand from Morono sneaks around the guard, and he rips the body with a heavy kick. Ponzinibbio drills the midsection with a right hand, and he follows it with a left and a crushing calf kick. Morono’s calf already appears to be swelling, and he throws caution to the wind with winging punches. The Fortis MMA fighter lands a right hand and they bump into one another in an exchange, and a cut has opened up on the corner of the left eye of his adversary. As Ponzinibbio lands a body shot, the crowd starts to boo, which prompts the two fighters into throwing hands. Ponzinibbio connects with a right hand, spins with a back fist, dodges one that comes back at him, and drops Ponzinibbio with a short right hand on the inside. Ponzinibbio recovers and makes it to the end of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Morono

Round 2

The two touch ‘em up to begin the second frame, and they trade jabs. Morono pushes out a front kick and paws out a left, and he ignores a punch to his body. Ponzinibbio gets inside to land two punches, and Morono trips on the way out and takes an awkward step. Ponzinibbio continues to work the body from the outside, and Morono responds with a front kick up the middle. A huge right hook from Ponzinibbio zooms past the late replacement fighter, and Ponzinibbio is loading up on his shots but not landing with much of note. Morono runs forward to plant a right hand on the chin, and “Argentine Dagger” falls to his seat and jumps right back up to signal that he is fine. Ponzinibbio fires back with two looping punches, and two more bounce off the guard. Morono’s lead leg appears slightly compromised from a few kicks and the fight thus far, but he still manages to get strikes in. Ponzinibbio targets that calf with another thudding kick, and Morono responds with a front kick and a spinning wheel kick. Neither find their home, but they keep Ponzinibbio honest. The blood starts to trickle out of the left eye of Ponzinibbio, and he bites down on his mouthpiece and slugs “The Great White” in the face with an overhand right. Ponzinibbio keeps targeting the body, and he chains overhand hooks one after the other as Morono backpedals. Morono spins with a back elbow, and the blow careens off the guard without doing much more than push his man back. Ponzinibbio swings for the bleachers, and Morono just misses with a short right hand that put his man down in the previous round. The two throw hands right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Morono

Round 3

Hands are clapped to open up the final frame, and the strikes come from both fighters. Ponzinibbio blasts the calf with another kick, forcing Morono to spin with a back fist that is blocked. Seeing that Morono may be fading, Ponzinibbio advances with lunging, looping punches. Morono looks to check a kick aimed low, but this opens a left hand from Ponzinibbio. Morono responds with a booming right hand that stings his man, and he chases Ponzinibbio as Ponzinibbio is hurt badly and backing off in a hurry. Morono walks through a right hook as he walks his foe down, and he scores a right hook on the way in. Ponzinibbio responds with a few power punches, and Morono just misses with a swooping left hook. The two fighters are putting everything they have into their punches, and a few more could be lights out for either man. Morono comes out throwing caution to the wind, and Ponzinibbio answers him with a jab and a blistering right hand that rocks Morono, contorting his face and freezes him in time. With Morono displaying his own version of the stunned “Mortal Kombat” animation with his hands down, Ponzinibbio throws a fastball of a right hand that collides square on the chin. Morono collapses in a heap, and Ponzinibbio finishes the job with two punches while Herzog is sprinting across the cage to step in. What a mighty comeback for “Argentina Dagger,” showing he is still sharp even when likely down on the scorecards.

The Official Result

Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Alex Morono R3 2:29 via TKO (Punches)

Jared Gordon (155.5) vs. Paddy Pimblett (156)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Pimblett (-250), Gordon (+210)

Round 1

The co-main event for this pay-per-view card is an unranked lightweight affair between boisterous Liverpudlian Pimblett (19-3, 3-0 UFC) and his relatively soft-spoken counterpart Gordon (19-5, 7-4 UFC). The UFC wants a star out of Pimblett, and they are building him up in a measured manner instead of throwing him to the top-ranked wolves. Many view Gordon as the next step up in competition. The third man in the Octagon for this pairing is referee Herb Dean, and they do decide to touch gloves even after some back-and-forth between the two. Pimblett crowds the American and kicks the side early, and he fires off a head kick and strings several punches together as Gordon shells up. Gordon, seemingly the smaller man by a wide margin, leaps forward to belt Pimblett in the face with a left hand. Pimblett wears it well and gets rocked with a left hand, and he is retreating as Gordon advances. Pimblett, with his head high and a tall stance, absorbs another left hand and a low kick to mix things up. The two trade leg kicks, with Gordon putting his hips into them as Pimblett resets and fires one off to respond. Gordon sticks “The Baddy” with two more left hooks, and Pimblett darts away and recovers to score two punches. In a flash, “Flash” rocks Pimblett with an overhand right, and he walks through a calf kick to get off another left. Pimblett lines several punches up one after the other, and Gordon blocks some while others split his guard. Pimblett ducks low to avoid a looping punch buzzing his way, and he swats away the arms before Gordon can slug him again. Pimblett jabs and flips out two high kicks in rapid succession, and Gordon keeps his guard high to defend the rest that follows. Gordon absorbs part of a jumping high kick, and he responds with a body kick and a left hook. Pimblett has two punches and a kick bounce off the guard, but his left hand gets through. Gordon does not slow, connecting with a big left and a calf kick. Pimblett pushes Gordon back with a head kick that is blocked, only for Gordon to respond with power. Gordon gets stung with a counter and ducks down for a single, but Pimblett slithers his leg away in time. Gordon marches his man down and lands a left hand, and he counters a takedown by push Pimblett flat on his back. Pimblett threatens with a high guard that does not turn into anything, while Gordon lands a few punches before the horn blares.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gordon
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gordon
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Gordon

Round 2

Gordon claims the center of the cage and advances to throw hands, while Pimblett keeps his range and tosses out high kicks. Pimblett lobs a right hook that skims off the guard, and Gordon chips at the calf a few times. Pimblett gets a head kick through, and he is answered by two swarming punches from his foe. Gordon absorbs a body kick and then takes a front kick so he can close in and club Pimblett in the face with a left, but Pimblett sticks and moves. The Brit sneaks in an uppercut as Gordon gives chase, and Gordon checks a kick and tries to initiate a brawl. Pimblett gets the worst of the exchange and tries to escape out the back door, and he gets his chin checked with a powerful left hook. Gordon grabs hold of a single, and when he puts Pimblett down, Pimblett defends with an arm-triangle choke that is a sort of a side-naked choke, but Gordon is calm and does not fall into danger. Pimblett walks up the cage wall, and short offense on the inside opens a cut on the hairline of “Flash.” Gordon attempts another takedown, and Pimblett stuffs it and punches Gordon in the back of the head repeatedly. Gordon stays pressed tightly to his man before suddenly breaking free and blasting Pimblett in the face with two punches. Gordon gets cracked with a right, but he fires off a left to back Pimblett off. A few Pimblett punches collide with the guard, and they trade low kicks until Gordon pushes forward in pursuit of a takedown. Pimblett defends against the wall and elbows the side of the head until Gordon bails on it, and Gordon grinds his man until Pimblett shoves him away. Pimblett unloads with two punches and sneaks up a head kick, but Gordon is right there to brawl away with him. Pimblett pushes off with his fingers out, and one jams into Gordon’s eye to cause a pause with 15 seconds left in the round. Pimblett receives a hard warning for his fingers stretching out or poking out, and they resume with a slugfest. Pimblett catches Gordon at the end of a right hand, and he loads up on a few punches and a front kick until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gordon
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gordon
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Gordon

Round 3

The lightweights touch gloves to initiate the final frame, and Gordon advances while Pimblett defends a potential takedown. Gordon clasps his hands and dumps the Brit on his face, and Pimblett defends with a kimura. Pimblett climbs back up and is lifted with a knee, and he puts his hands on the mat to take knees on the jaw out of the equation. Gordon aggressively pursues a double, and Pimblett considers a front choke but cannot find the neck when Gordon switches things up for a single. The grind is firmly embraced by “Flash,” who settles for heavy shoulder pressure and takedown tries, while Pimblett is stifled to little more than an elbow or a knee. Gordon suddenly changes levels for a double, and this fails as Pimblett elbows him in the back of the head. Dean calls for the fighters to work, and Pimblett explodes to break away. Gordon scores a left hook, and he powers forward with a second before jamming Pimblett up against the wire. Gordon squeezes and clings to the Brit, and he trips Pimblett out to his knees but cannot ground him. Gordon pursues a double, and he ends up settling to trip Pimblett out and dump him to the floor. Pimblett slides out the back door and looks to take dominant position, but Gordon bursts back upright as Pimblett holds onto him. Pimblett lands a short knee on the inside and gets wrenched to his knees, and Pimblett jumps on to take his back as the fight ends. We have reached the judges’ scorecards for the first time of the night, and scores could definitely go either way depending on how the second and third rounds were evaluated. Either way, the meteoric rise of Pimblett has definitely hit a speed bump in the form of “Flash” Gordon, win or lose.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gordon (30-27 Gordon)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gordon (30-27 Gordon)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Gordon (30-27 Gordon)

The Official Result

Paddy Pimblett def. Jared Gordon via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Light Heavyweight Title Fight:
Jan Blachowicz (204.5) vs. Magomed Ankalaev (205)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Ankalaev (-280), Blachowicz (+235)

Round 1

In this headliner, the vacant light heavyweight strap is on the line, as champ Jiri Prochazka surrendered it due to a severe shoulder injury. Once expecting to fight three rounds tonight, ex-titleholder Blachowicz (29-9, 12-6 UFC) and the streaking Dagestani wrestle-kickboxer Ankalaev (17-1, 9-1 UFC) are now going for five rounds and 10ish pounds of gold. While they are both touted for knockout power, they each post exactly nine knockouts in their respective careers, which account for 31% of the Polish fighter’s victories compared to 53% for the Russian. Whether it all ends by knockout, submission, decision or something else, referee Marc Goddard draws the final charge for this championship contest. The 205-pound challengers – this is a vacant title – stoically refuse to touch gloves to seal the cage around them, and it’s on with the show. Blachowicz moves to the middle of the cage to commence the match, and he backs off when Ankalaev throws a right hand at him. Blachowicz kicks the low calf, and he swats away a jab. Blachowicz sits down on another low kick, and he absorbs a front kick to the breadbasket for his work. Ankalaev jabs at the body, and Blachowicz pursues another calf kick. Ankalaev just misses with a left hand over the top, and he catches Blachowicz with a right hand as the Polish fighter comes at him. Ankalaev measures out with a right hook, and he scoots away before Blachowicz can plunk him with a haymaker. Blachowicz continues his work on the lead leg, and he backs away when Ankalaev bears down on him with a string of punches. The inside kick from Blachowicz irritates his opponent, and he connects with a right hand over the top that bounces off the forehead. The light heavyweights trade in the pocket, and Blachowicz slides back to rip a kick to the body. Ankalaev fires off a head kick after a lull in the action, but this careens off the guard to little effect. When the Russian tries to give chase, Blachowicz backpedals and evades the blows. Blachowicz sinks in another body kick, and Ankalaev counters him and pushes the ex-champ back with a front kick. The front kick from Ankalaev may be his best weapon, as he gets Blachowicz’ attention every time he lands it. Ankalaev barely ducks a left hook on his way forward, and he slaps a body kick home. Ankalaev checks a low kick, and the two tentatively walk one another down until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz

Round 2

The second round opens with a far fiercer exchange, as Blachowicz loads up on punches that miss while Ankalaev chambers and fires off a head kick that skims off the dome. Blachowicz has second thoughts about blitzing, and settles down on a calf kick again. Blachowicz scores a right hand over the top, and he sneaks a left hook around the guard. The Russian sneaks up another high kick, but this too is guarded. The two light heavyweights swing and miss with their kicks, and Ankalaev wings two punches that breeze past the intended target. Blachowicz continues to target the low calf of his adversary, and they clash shins at the same time when kicking. Blachowicz continues his work on the lead leg, and he darts forward with an uppercut to redden the face of the Russian. Ankalaev loads up on a big right hand, but his straight left is far more accurate. Blachowicz gets in sweeping kick to the shin, and this causes a stumble from Ankalaev, who is wearing it. Blachowicz blasts his man with another kick, and Ankalaev falls over briefly before charging forward, Blachowicz whips a kick to the side, and Ankalaev catches it and pushes forward for a possible takedown. Blachowicz tees off with his leg in the air, keeping his balance and belting Ankalaev with unanswered fists. When Ankalaev releases it and backs away, he changes stances. This prompts Blachowicz to attack the newly front calf, and this takes the sting out of an overhand right from the Russian. Blachowicz does not slow down pounding on the calf, and Ankalaev charges for a takedown. He does not get it before the round ends. and he limps back to his corner in serious pain.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz

Round 3

Ankalaev races forward to attack in the third round, and after one landed punch, Blachowicz wrecks his leg once more. Ankalaev wobbles and changes his stance to orthodox, so Blachowicz kicks that other leg. Ankalaev strafes from left to right, pushing out a front kick but getting pushed away from a body kick. Like a lumberjack felling a mighty oak, Blachowicz continues chopping down any leg he can find, and each strike has an appreciable effect. Playing through the pain, Ankalaev wings a huge overhand right that grazes the side of the head, and he rushes forward to throw bombs. No longer willing to sit and get potshotted, Ankalaev steps in to unload with two hooks that Blachowicz eats like pierogis. The Russian continues pressuring forward, but Blachowicz greets him with two leg kicks that nearly down Ankalaev. Ankalaev hops back and considers holding his left leg in the air, only to bite down on his mouthpiece and sling leather. When the blows largely get blocked, he sprints forward for a failed takedown. Blachowicz’ takedown defense holds up and he manages to escape, as Ankalaev kicks him in the chest. Ankalaev eats one more calf kick and walks the former champ down, throwing kicks with both lets. A knee from Ankalaev comes up in the clinch, and Blachowicz groans. Goddard recognizes this and halts the action, as Blachowicz goes to a neutral corner to try to shake it out and adjust his neoprene ankle sleeves. When they resume, Ankalaev re-engages closely to not let Blachowicz kick him again, ending up in the clinch. Ankalaev lifts up a single and dumps Blachowicz to the canvas with 10 seconds to spare, and he gets in two elbows before the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz

Round 4

The championship rounds have arrived, and Ankalaev’s legs may be swollen and welted, but he is good to go. The Russian sprints forward with a surge of adrenaline to swing hammers, and he punches his way into a single-leg entry. Blachowicz meets him on the way forward with an uppercut, and he absorbs a knee to the body when Ankalaev clinches him up. Ankalaev keeps tightly pressed on his man while Blachowicz attempts to escape, and they trade knees on the inside. Ankalaev gets short knees off on the inside, thumping up the body of the former champ. Blachowicz bursts to get away, but Ankalaev races ahead and sweeps him off his feet. Ankalaev lands in the guard of his foe, which closes around his waist, but he does not mind as he punches Blachowicz in the face from this position. Ankalaev cannot get enough space to do much damage from his short shots, but he does take the back when Blachowicz turns. Ankalaev considers attempting his first submission in the form of a rear-naked choke, but settles to drum up punches on the side of the head. Blachowicz returns to a knee, and Ankalaev wrestles him right back down. Ankalaev drops down the occasional left hand while he keeps a leg trapped, sitting comfortably in half guard with Blachowicz pinned to his back. Ankalaev grinds until he finds a way to posture up, and then he stands to rain down a few power punches. The round ends before any serious damage comes from this position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev

Round 5

There is a double glove touch and a hug to start off the last round, and Ankalaev shocks his foe shortly after the embrace with a punch salvo. Ankalaev hurts Blachowicz with a barrage of blows, but his real purpose is to put Blachowicz on his back. The former champ tumbles to his back, and Ankalaev happily jumps on top to pick up where he left off. The crowd showers them with boos as they slow down considerably, with Ankalaev holding on from top position while Blachowicz looks for a low-percentage kimura sweep. Ankalaev easily wriggles his arm out, and he takes an arm away and starts pounding on Blachowicz with left hands. Blachowicz responds with no-look elbows, but there is no steam on them as Ankalaev continues to pound on the downed Polish fighter. Ankalaev hammers with punches and elbows, and a few get through as Blachowicz has his right arm trapped. Ankalaev continues to batter Blachowicz, whose eye is busted open from the strikes, and Blachowicz groans loudly either from frustration, injury or exertion. Ankalaev allows his foe to turn to his back so that he can smack him with left hands, and Goddard tells Ankalaev to stay busy. Ankalaev answers with a number of short elbows, and Jan is stuck on his back taking non-fight-ending punishment. Ankalaev continues his methodical ground-and-pound breakdown, and Blachowicz sits up in hopes of break this up. Ankalaev grinds right to the bitter end, and the light heavyweights have left their grueling match in the hands of the judges. They conclude a night that started strong and fell flat in the marquee attractions.

When the scorecards are read, the crowd is baffled and quite upset. The first scorecard went to Blachowicz by a 48-47 tally, the second read 48-46 for Ankalaev, and the third ended up as a 47-47 for a remarkable split draw. The UFC light heavyweight throne remains vacant, and Blachowicz admits in his post-fight interview that he feels Ankalaev won the fight. When Ankalaev speaks, he demands his title in belief that he should have been the victor, and the ultra-honorable Blachowicz interrupts him to again say that the UFC should give the belt to Ankalaev. An apoplectic Ankalaev declares in his post-fight interview that he may not fight in the UFC again, because the judges took the win away from him. With this event in the books, the UFC has one more this year. We will be here for it, and we hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev (48-47 Ankalaev)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev (49-46 Ankalaev)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Ankalaev (48-47 Blachowicz)

The Official Result

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Blachowicz is Ruled a Split Draw (47-48, 48-46, 47-47)
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