In astonishing scenes after UFC 282’s headline act, Jan Blachowicz admitted the judges were wrong to award him a split draw. It was a remarkable act of sportsmanship from the Polish fighter, who felt he had not done enough to beat Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant light-heavyweight title.
‘It does not matter that I felt pain in my legs, I did what was needed to get this victory. I always do what I have to do to adjust, I can do it all. ‘I don’t know if I’m going to fight for this organisation again, I don’t know what happened.
During the Russian’s post-fight interview in the octagon with Joe Rogan, he said: ‘I don’t know what to say, I won that fight. I can’t choose the judges, where is my belt, I won this belt.
‘I don’t know what else to say. I honestly don’t know what to say.’ Their conversation, done through an interpreter, was briefly interrupted by Blachowicz, who went over to say magnanimously that they should give the belt to Ankalaev.
But the Dagestani changed his strategy to wrestle more and dominated the later rounds convincingly. There will no doubt be an inquest into the judging in Las Vegas, especially as there was also controversy in the co-main event.
‘Give the belt to Ankalaev,’ he was heard saying. Rogan then replied: ‘You think the belt should go to Ankalaev? I agree. Jan Blachowicz is an honourable man ladies and gentlemen.’ In the fight itself, Blachowicz had some early success and compromised the legs of Ankalaev with low kicks.
Paddy Pimblett was awarded a unanimous decision win over Jared Gordon, but many fans and fighters took to social media to claim it was a ‘robbery’.