Magomed Ankalaev discusses his UFC 282 training camp which was filled with injuries.
Title contender Magomed Ankalaev returned home to a hero’s welcome despite not winning the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 282. His bout against Jan Blachowicz was called a draw as the main event on Dec. 10. That night was the first time in ten fights that Ankalaev did not get his hand raised. He came into this title fight with nine wins in a row, and although he only learned that he would be fighting for the title on short notice, jumped at the chance at UFC gold.
The UFC 282 main event was supposed to be a title fight between Jiří Procházka and Glover Teixeira, but with Procházka pulling out with injury, the fight between Blachowicz and Ankalaev was elevated to a title fight. The fight was scored a split draw and the title remained vacant.
Magomed Ankalaev is now reflecting on his UFC 282 fight and training camp
Ankalaev has returned home to Dagestan following the fight and was met with hundreds of fans. He was asked about the fight by a local news reporter and explained that he believed he had done enough to be called the victor.
“Of course, I’m happy that people came out to support me. They were obviously worried for me,” he said via Red Corner MMA on YouTube. “We did everything we could. 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. It definitely hurt, I had the worst training camp of my life to come into that fight, I had a lot of injuries but nevertheless, we agreed to fight. I think we did enough to get my hand raised,” he said. “I am more motivated to prove myself now soon will take that belt.”
Ankalaev is still a force in the division and could perhaps find himself in another title-shot situation in the near future. Whoever wins in Brazil will either fight Procházka when he is back from injury or perhaps will see Ankalaev as the number-one contender.