UFC 282 was a solid pay-per-view. The light heavyweight headliner saw no (!) new champion crowned, and the lightweight co-headliner ended with a highly controversial decision.
The preliminary portion of the card started with Cameron Saaiman getting his first UFC win with a third-round TKO over Steven Koslow. It was not an easy win for ‘MSP,’ who was deducted a point for an illegal knee on ‘Obi Won Shinobi The Pillow,’ but he removed the need for the judges with a flurry of punches and knees. You should pay attention to this undefeated prospect!
T.J. Brown locked up an arm-triangle choke on Erik Silva. ‘Downtown’ went to the ground with the ‘King,’ moved from mount to the side and squeezed until Silva tapped. Fun fact: That was his first UFC finish!
Billy Quarantillo did Billy Quarantillo things against Alexander Hernandez. Was he involved in a potential ‘Fight of the Night’? Check. Was he bloodied in the process? Check. Did he pull off a comeback? Check. Great win for Quarantillo!
Chris Curtis sent Joaquin Buckley to the shadow realm with a left hand and follow-up ground-and-pound for a second-round KO. The ‘Action Man’ started off low in his output, but he wound up finding a home for the perfect counter on ‘New Mansa,’ who is now on a career-worst two-fight losing streak.
Edmen Shahbazyan returned to the win column in exciting fashion. A knee up the middle was the beginning of the end, as the ‘Golden Boy’ stunned Dalcha Lungiambula. The ‘Champion’ covered up, but Shahbazyan swarmed him and got the second-round TKO.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik needed 23 seconds to dispatch Chris Daukaus. 23 seconds! ‘Bigi Boy’ fired off punch after punch and Daukaus went down immediately. WOW! Raul Rosas Jr. was successful in his debut, submitting Jay Perrin by first-round rear-naked choke. No wonder his nickname is ‘El Nino Problema’ because he is going to be a problem in his UFC career.
The main portion of the card saw Ilia Topuria maul Bryce Mitchell! ‘El Matador’ staved off takedowns from ‘Thug Nasty’ and popped him with powerful punches. And then, Topuria took Mitchell to the ground, found the arm-triangle choke and got the tap. That was an excellent performance!
Dricus Du Plessis vs. Darren Till was a scrap! ’Stillknocks’ appeared to be on his way to a first-round finish, but the ‘Gorilla’ survived and returned fire to a now-gassed opponent. Both fighters exchanged, but Du Plessis shot in for one final takedown and submitted Till with a rear-naked choke. You can expect Du Plessis to be in the top ten by Monday. As for Till, this is his third consecutive loss and he revealed he tore his ACL. Not sure where he goes from here, but hopefully he has a speedy recovery.
Santiago Ponzinibbio was losing to Alex Morono until he scored a scary KO in the third and final round! The ‘Argentine Dagger’ was sent to the canvas, bloodied and down on the judges’ scorecards against ‘The Great White’. Out of nowhere, Ponzinibbio uncorks a right hand from hell that temporarily rearranges Morono’s face. Another right hand followed, and that was it.
Paddy Pimblett earned a unanimous decision over Jared Gordon, but it was not without controversy. The ‘Baddy’ told UFC color commentator Joe Rogan that he was confident he won the first two rounds against ‘Flash,’ but fans and pundits disagreed. The word “robbery” made its rounds on social media, so that should tell you how well the Pimblett vs. Gordon decision went over.
Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev had a very close fight. The Polish fighter found success early, using his leg kicks to brutalize Ankalaev. And they were working! The Russian fighter was compromised, as evidenced by his limping and brief hopping on one leg. Ankalaev realized that his best course of action to avoid any further damage would be to get Blachowicz to the ground, so he did. Once on top of the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Ankalaev controlled Blachowicz and landed some big shots. In the end, the fight ended in a split draw. WHAT!? Blachowicz told UFC color commentator Joe Rogan he thought Ankalaev got the nod. Ankalaev was upset that he didn’t get the nod. Everyone else was confused. What an unfortunate ending to an otherwise great night of fights.
Performance of the Night: Cameron Saaiman, TJ Brown, Billy Quarantillo, Chris Curtis, Edmen Shahbazyan, Raul Rosas Jr., Ilia Topuria, Santiago Ponzinibbio
Fight of the Night: Dricus Du Plessis vs. Darren Till