LAS VEGAS — There will be no light heavyweight champ for at least several months after Magomed Ankalayev and Jan Balashovich inexplicably fought a separate draw Saturday in the main event of UFC 282 at T-Mobile Arena in their bout for the vacant title.
The judges scored Ankalayev 48-46, 48-47 Blakhovich and 47-47. The belt became vacant last month when champion Jiri Prochazka left it after a serious shoulder injury that could keep him out for up to a year.
The UFC ordered Ankalaev and Blakhovich to fight for the vacant belt and it looked like Ankalaev had done enough to win. Yahoo Sports got it 48-47 for Ankalaev, giving him rounds 1, 4, and 5.
But the judges did not agree and everyone was stunned by the result. This included Blachowicz.
He said that he did not feel that he had won and that the belt should be given to Ankalaev.
Ankalaev was fighting back tears as he walked back to the locker room after pouring his heart out into the cage. He felt that he had won the battle and could not understand the scoring.
He said, “I don’t know if I’ll ever fight for this organization again because I don’t know what happened.”
Earlier he said, “I earned that belt. I don’t know what to say.”
Ankalaev’s blows continued early in the day, but Balashović was slashing both of Ankalaev’s legs and causing Ankalaev to struggle to stand up and spin.
Ankalaev did what he had to do and took Blachowicz on the fourth and then the fifth, keeping him there.
But on a night full of big fights, it was marred by very questionable decisions. Buddy Pemblett won the co-main event 29-28 on all cards although most observers felt Jared Gordon won.
It’s not like it could get any weirder, but it did in the main event.
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