I was sitting at a movie theater, popcorn in hand, watching UFC 282’s main card. I, like many, had been pleasantly surprised by the fights the night had produced. With ten finishes and the judges completely removed from the night until the co-main and main event, the night looked to go off without a hitch. Then the last two fights of the night happened, which completely deflated the entire night.
The judges finally got the chance to get involved and would make sure their presence would be remembered. In the Co-Main event of Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon, the judges unanimously gave Pimblett a controversial 29-28 victory before scoring a split tie in the main event of Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankaleav throwing the Light Heavyweight title into further limbo until UFC 283 when Glover Texeira and Jamahal Hill will fight in Rio for the title.
UFC 282 Judging – Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon
I, unlike many, wasn’t calling this fight a complete robbery right away. I had the fight 19-19 going into the 3rd round and felt as if Gordon may not have done enough output to snag the 3rd round, but I was pretty convinced that Gordon had convincingly won the 1st, and you could make an argument that Pimblett stole the 2nd in the waning moments of the round.
I was shocked to see that two of the three judges had scored the 1st for Pimblett. It’s hard to watch that fight and not believe that Gordon was in complete control of that fight from the opening seconds. Gordon found success early and often with his jab finding Pimblett’s face frequently. Pimblett was undoubtedly pushed to his limits, and though Gordon may have lost on the scorecards, he won in the minds and hearts of fans who will be sure to give him more support down the road in his career.
UFC 282 Judging – Blachowicz vs Ankalaev
As an unapologetic Glover Texeira fan, it was sweet justice to me that this fight ended in a split draw so that Texeira could have a quicker road to the belt. As a major fan of the Light Heavyweight division, this was an absolute disaster. Blachowicz was the early aggressor dictating the flow of the fight with nasty leg kicks that debilitated Ankalaev’s base and commanded a clear lead as every fan and judge entered the 3rd round with their scores reading 20-18 Blachowicz.
The question entering the 3rd round would be if and how a staggering Ankaleav could be able to respond. The answer was smothering and overwhelming wrestling that one has learned to expect from any fighter coming out of Dagestan. Ankalaev fought valiantly in the last three rounds, even earning a 10-8 in the 5th on two of the three judges’ scorecards. One of which resulted in Sal D’Amato’s card ending with a 47-47 draw. It’s harder to be critical of this one upon rewatching as Blachowicz clearly is gassed by the end of the fight, and it is conceptually easier to understand the reasoning behind the 47-47 draw. However, with the result of the Pimblett fight, it’s hard to blame any fan who felt like the judges ruined UFC 282.
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