Best UFC 282 Bets: Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev Picks

Trent Reinsmith
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Best UFC 282 Bets: Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev Picks
  • What: UFC 282: Błachowicz vs. Ankalaev
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, part of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area, United States
  • When: 5:30 EST  December 10th, 2022

The UFC returns to Las Vegas for its next pay-per-view event. The promotion's light heavyweight title is up for grabs in the main event of that fight card, UFC 282. In the headlining bout, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz faces Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant title. The original main event for UFC 282 was a rematch between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira, but a shoulder injury forced Prochazka to drop out of the event. Facing a lengthy recovery, Prochazka vacated the title. With Teixeira wanting additional time to prepare for a new opponent, the UFC opted to book Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev for the vacant title.

Also on the main card is a lightweight bout between rising star Paddy Pimblett and Jared Gordon. Former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler faces Santiago Ponzinibbio, Darren Till matches up against Dricus du Plessis, while the pay-per-view portion of UFC 282, which streams on ESPN+, sees Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria.

Before we dig into the UFC 282 betting breakdown, check out the best online UFC betting sites in 2022 and the latest UFC online betting odds.

Can Jan Blachowicz beat Magomed Ankalaev to regain the UFC light heavyweight title?

While the Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev matchup is not the one the fans or the UFC wanted to headline this event, it is still a worthy UFC light heavyweight title fight. Blachowicz is the No. 2 fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings. At the same time, Ankalaev checks in at No. 3. Blachowicz is 29-9 in his career and coming off a knockout win over Aleksandar Rakic. Meanwhile, Ankalaev has an 18-1 career record. His last outing was a TKO win over former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith.

I expect a technical striking battle between these two, which gives Ankalaev the advantage. Ankalaev is a patient fighter who tends to use the early moments of his fights to gather information and put together a game plan for the later rounds. This approach has him operating from distance, using jabs and kicks to score points while avoiding the offense of his foe. Ankalaev has better offensive striking numbers and superior striking defense numbers as well as strong takedown defense.

Blachowicz has the power to knock out his opponent in this fight, but he's going to struggle to get into that range for him to achieve that goal. I see Ankalaev's steady approach giving him the decision win in this matchup.

OSB Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev to beat Jan Blachowicz.

Magomed Ankalaev To beat Jan Blachowicz

Can Paddy Pimblett continue his climb at lightweight?

Paddy Pimblett looks to continue his march up the lightweight rankings when he faces Jared Gordon in the co-main event of the UFC 282 pay-per-view card. Pimblett is an exciting and charismatic fighter, but he is a fighter who has exploitable gaps in his game. Most of those wholes are in his defensive striking. He carries his chin high, he leaves himself open to counters and he tends to willingly engage in brawls. The good thing for Pimblett is that Gordon has not had a knockout win since 2017. Gordon is a tough fighter and he will give Pimblett a test at UFC 282, but I don't see him as someone who has the overall skillset to defeat Pimblett. I think the best bet is for Pimblett to win via decision.

OSB Prediction: Paddy Pimblett to beat Jared Gordon.

Paddy Pimblett To beat Jared Gordon

Does Robbie Lawler have enough left in the tank to beat Santiago Ponzinibbio?

Robbie Lawler has one win since 2017 and that came in 2021 to a version of Nick Diaz who did not look all that prepared to fight at a UFC level. Lawler, the former UFC welterweight champion, is 40 and his record since December 2017 is 1-5. Meanwhile, the 36-year-old Santiago Ponzinibbio is 3-3 over the same time. Neither of these men is in their prime, but Ponzinibbio is much closer to the best version of himself at this point in his career. Lawler is a tough and game fighter, but he is not on the same level of his opponent in this matchup. The best bet in this welterweight scrap is for Ponzinibbio to win via decision or knockout and I'm leaning via KO.

OSB Prediction: Santiago Ponzinibbio to beat Robbie Lawler.

Santiago Ponzinibbio To beat Robbie Lawler

Can Darren Till end his losing skid against the surging Dricus du Plessis?

Darren Till has not fought since Derek Brunson submitted him in September 2021. Overall, Till is 1-4 since September 2018, but it's important to look at who those losses came to: Brunson, former UFC middleweight champ Robert Whittaker, ex-UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley and two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Jorge Masvidal. Dricus du Plessis is a good fighter, who has five-straight wins, but he is not as good as the fighters Till has lost to.

Till is the better technical striker of these two, but Du Plessis has high output, knockout power and throws from unconventional angles. In addition, Du Plessis has the threat of takedowns in his game and Till is not great on the ground.

I think Till's injuries and the baggage that comes with them will also give Du Plessis a mental advantage in this fight. The one concern is that Du Plessis will have a slow start like he did in his July win over Brad Tavares. Even with that, I think the best bet in this middleweight contest is Du Plessis to win via decision.

OSB Prediction: Dricus du Plessis to beat Darren Till.

Dricus du Plessis To beat Darren Till

Who moves forward at featherweight, Bryce Mitchell or Ilia Topuria?

The UFC 282 pay-per-view card opens with a featherweight contest between the No. 9 ranked Bryce Mitchell and the No. 14 ranked Ilia Topuria. The 28-year-old Mitchell is 15-0 in his career and coming off a decision win over Edson Barboza. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Topuria has a career record of 12-0. His most recent fight was a knockout win over Jai Herbert. Mitchell was initially scheduled to face Movsar Evloev in a main event fight in November, but injury knocked the No. 10 ranked Evloev from the event. The UFC then booked Mitchell opposite Topuria in a three-rounder on this card.

Losing those two rounds hurts Mitchell. He is the superior grappler and has cardio that can wear out his opponents over 25 minutes. With that advantage gone in this fight, Topuria gains a bit of an edge. A skilled fighter with three straight knockout wins to his name, Topuria is likely to jump out to an early lead in this contest and his power should allow him to score points early. In addition to his striking, Topuria is no slouch on the ground. This is excellent matchmaking, but I think Topuria is the more well-rounded fighter and in a three-round fight, he will pick up a decision win.

OSB Prediction: Ilia Topuria to beat Bryce Mitchell.

Ilia Topuria To beat Bryce Mitchell

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your UFC betting:

Meet the author

Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith leverages over twenty years of MMA expertise in his coverage of UFC betting and analysis. His writing has been featured by major outlets including USA Today, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and more. Trent specializes in previewing UFC mat...

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