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Magomed Ankalaev reveals having ‘worst training camp of my life’ before UFC 282 title bout

Ankalaev fought Jan Blachowicz to a split draw at the final UFC pay-per-view event of the year. 

Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282.
Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Magomed Ankalaev was dealing with a few injuries before his first UFC championship opportunity.

According to Ankalaev, he was less than 100 percent during his preparation for Jan Blachowicz, who he fought to a split draw at UFC 282 in December.

“I had the worst training camp of my life coming into that fight,” Ankalaev told Dagestan News (H/T Red Corner MMA). “I had a lot of injuries, but nevertheless we agreed to fight. I think we did enough to get my hand raised.”

Despite having his lead leg compromised by kicks from Blachowicz and being forced to switch stances, Ankalaev rallied and turned to his wrestling for the remainder of the fight. The Russian fighter would control the former champion on the ground, which saw him awarded the fourth and fifth rounds on the judges’ scorecards.

However, the rally was not enough to secure the win for Ankalaev, which resulted in the split draw.

“We did everything we could,” said Ankalaev. “The fight turned out the way it did. Not too noteworthy. We earned the victory, but the judges decided not to give it to us and made it a draw.

“I feel like I did everything to get the victory, but the judges made their decision and there’s nothing you can do,” Ankalaev continued.

A disappointed Ankalaev vented his frustration over the result, wondering why he was leaving the Octagon without the still vacant UFC light heavyweight championship. Now that he has had some time to reflect, he hopes to use the experience as motivation for his return.

“I’m more motivated to prove myself now,” said Ankalaev. “Soon we’ll take that belt. I’ll take a couple weeks for myself, I have some minor injuries. I’ll take care of that then it’s go time.”

By the time Ankalaev returns, a new champion should be crowned. UFC president Dana White announced Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill as the headliner for UFC 283, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for Jan. 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.