Magomed Ankalaev experienced a range of feelings on Saturday night. After competing against Jan Blachowicz for five grueling rounds in the UFC 282 main event the match finished without a winner.
He went from believing he was the champion to being stunned at the official result being a split draw. He also went from sounding as though he might leave the organization, to vowing that he will be the champion in 2023 on social media.
Shortly after the verdict was announced, Ankalaev’s had an in cage interview with UFC announcer Joe Rogan where Anaklev mocked the scoring.
Through a translator, Ankalaev remarked, “I don’t know what to say. I won that fight. Why didn’t I get my belt? I don’t know what to say.”
“I can’t choose the judges for the fight that are sitting over here, but I won this fight. I won this belt. Where is my belt?”
Blachowicz was ahead heading into the final round, according to all three judges scorecards. However, Ankalaev used his wrestling to utterly neutralize the former light heavyweight champion. Ankalaev received a score of 10-8 from two judges in Round 5. However, he was still behind on one card and tied on another.
Ankalaev believed he earned the victory. He even suggested that if his discontent with the judging wasn’t resolved, he could require a change of venue.
“I always do whatever I have to do to adjust. 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.”
This was countered by a statement released to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.
“It was mistranslated, I said I didn’t want to fight in this city anymore. 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.”
Plenty of fans noticed online that this new articulate statement mirrors his tweets.
Considering that Ankalaev doesn’t speak English, it’s more than likely his social media is managed by manager Ali Abdelaziz.
And if you think we’re overstating – here’s how another client of Ali congratulated him on his recent birthday.
Investigative journalist Mike Russell had some scathing words for the media:
Dear MMA media: Stop writing stories about Tweets you can't confirm the authorship of. You are quoting managers, coaches, and PR people most of the time and attributing it to fighters.
— Mike Russell (@MIKERUSSELLMMA) December 11, 2022
But this is one of the realities of the business – especially with a large number of athletes that don’t even speak English.