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‘It was mistranslated’ - Magomed Ankalaev clarifies post-fight interview at UFC 282

The one-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger is clearing up what seemed to be a desire to leave the world’s largest MMA promotion, following a split draw against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282. 

Magomed Ankalaev says his post-fight interview at UFC 282 was mistranslated.

When the judges’ scorecards were read after his fight against Jan Blachowicz this past Saturday, Ankalaev was shocked to hear it ruled a split draw.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Ankalaev through a translator in his post-fight interview. “I won that fight. Why didn’t I get my belt? I don’t know what to say.”

Two of the three judges had Blachowicz up against Ankalaev heading into the fourth and fifth rounds, where the Russian fighter erased most of his deficit with a wrestling-heavy performance. Derek Cleary scored it 48-46 for Ankalaev, Mike Bell scored it 48-47 for Blachowicz, but Sal D’Amato had it even at 47-47, resulting in the split draw.

Losing out on the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship frustrated Ankalaev, who seemed to suggest he may not fight in the promotion again because of the poor judging.

“I always do whatever I have to do to adjust,” said Ankalaev. “If I’m losing in the standup, I’ll go down to grappling and wrestling; if I’m losing the wrestling, I’ll stand up. I can do both things, but I don’t know if I’m going to fight for this organization again, because honestly, I don’t know what just happened.”

However, it turns out Ankalaev said nothing about not fighting in the promotion. In a statement to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting, the 30-year-old said he was done fighting in Las Vegas, not the UFC.

“It was mistranslated, I said I didn’t want to fight in this city anymore,” said Ankalaev. “Because the judges were horrible. I won this fight. Not one person online said I lost this fight. Even Jan Blachowicz said I won this fight. I get it. After the second round, my knee was gone but I still fought. I bit down on my mouthguard and I did the best I can. This fight can only help me grow and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

A new UFC light heavyweight champion will be crowned next year, but neither Ankalaev nor Blachowicz are involved. Instead of an immediate rematch, UFC president Dana White booked Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill for UFC 283 in January.