UFC 282 was a troubled card weeks before it was set to happen. In an attempt to fulfil their ESPN contract, UFC hastily bumped up a contenders match to a vacant title match.
They promoted Ankalaev vs Blachowicz when former champion Glover Teixeira explained he would be unable to prep for Ankalaev on short notice.
Ankalaev got the shot thanks to his manager’s closeness with UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard. According to a source, UFC wanted to know if Ankalaev could defend four times a year and not much else.
Neither Ankalaev nor Blachowicz have sizeable fanbases. Both are from fringe nations – Ankalaev is dagestani, Blachowicz is Poland. Neither are a market UFC is aiming for.
And once the match went to draw and left everyone in the cage confused Joe Rogan was left standing with the two of them.
While Ankalaev stepped in it once he questioned the integrity of the UFC in the cage interveiw, Blachowicz first impression was that he lost.
He’s since reconsidered.
The 39-year-old in an interview with MMA fighting said:
“Joe Rogan, when he stepped inside the octagon, he said for him, I lost the fight. That was something what, you know, I was thinking. He did a mistake that he say something like this to me after the fight. Because everybody who thinks I lost the fight, watch only the last round.”
Blachowicz believes that he had the upper hand, but he respects the judges’ decision.
“For me, draw is a fair decision and seriously, I think I was closer to winning the fight than Ankalaev.. Joe Rogan, he shouldn’t say something like this to me after the fight. I was stuck in the last round and then Joe Rogan says, ‘That was a good fight, but for me, you lost the fight.’”