UFC 282 Predictions: The Vacant Light Heavyweight Throne
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
— Updated on 30 January 2023

UFC 282 Predictions: The Vacant Light Heavyweight Throne

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Welcome to Octagon Oracle. Each week, we’ll set aside some time to break down the other sweet science in anticipation of the upcoming UFC event. This edition covers UFC 282 predictions, betting odds, and just a dash of armchair analysis (main card). Enjoy the hostilities and gamble responsibly.

Since the initial announcement of UFC 282, two main card bouts have been scrapped. Although you’d be sorely mistaken in thinking the last pay-per-view of 2022 has been “gutted” in any sense. Because what we’re in for is still bloody exciting on all counts.

As a quick refresher, due to a “severe” shoulder injury – the worst in UFC history, according to promotion president Dana White – Jiri Prochazka graciously vacated the light heavyweight title, allowing the division to progress in his absence during the recovery process (and living up to his bushido principles).

RELATED: Jiri Prochazka, Modern-Day Samurai, Vacates UFC Light Heavyweight Title Due To Injury

Prochazka’s scheduled opponent, Glover Teixeira, was apparently offered the chance to reclaim his strap with a substitute opponent. Although said opponent may have spooked him.

“We offered Glover the fight [against Ankalaev]. For some reason, he didn’t want the fight, so we had to move on,” revealed Dana White.

Instead, deciding who will sit on the UFC’s light heavyweight throne now comes down to the co-main bout: former champion Jan Blachowicz vs the up-and-coming Magomed Ankalaev.

Dana White added: “If we couldn’t have the rematch, getting Ankalaev, who has the second-longest winning streak in light heavyweight history, and Blachowicz, who is the former champion, is really fortunate.”

“It all fell into place for us as it often seems to do. But that’s a great fight, too, and now it’s for the full title.”


RELATED: Paddy Pimblett Accepts Jake Paul’s $1 Million Boxing Challenge

Then there’s the matter of UFC veteran Robbie Lawler, who has been forced to withdraw from his own bout again Santiago Ponzinibbio just yesterday (also due to injury, although the nature of it is currently undisclosed).

At this stage, the promotion is searching for Ruthless’ short-notice replacement, but for the time being, until a confirmed name has been announced, we’re operating under the assumption it’s off.

UPDATE [7/12/2022]: Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-6) is now fighting Alex Morono (22-7-1) in a 180-pound catchweight bout. Our bet’s on Alex Morono.

Here are our predictions for UFC 282: Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev.

UFC 282 Predictions (Main Card)

UFC 282 Predictions: A Crackin' Scouser Double Feature
(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev (Odds & Prediction)

  • Division: Light Heavyweight
  • Records: Jan Blachowicz (29-9 MMA, 12-6 UFC) | Magomed Ankalaev (18-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Jan Blachowicz (4-1) | Magomed Ankalaev (5-0)
  • Rankings: Jan Blachowicz – #2| Magomed Ankalaev – #3
  • Boss Bet Odds: Jan Blachowicz – $3.05 | Magomed Ankalaev – $1.39

Armchair Analysis

Not to discount the accomplishments of the former champ in Jan Blachowicz – and especially not in a division where the other former champ, Glover Teixeira, has demonstrated you can win the belt in your 40s – but it seems as though now is the time for fresh blood; now is the time for yet another dominant Dagestani grappler like Magomed Ankalaev to ascend.

Don’t be fooled by the “grappler” label, either. Like his countrymen Islam Makhachev and the inimitable Khabib Nurmaomedov before him, Ankalaev is swiftly evolving to become more and more well-rounded with every appearance in the Octagon, as per the name of the game (mixed martial arts). Them mountain boys just be built different.

There’s every chance Jan Bachowicz proves us wrong with a renewed sense of motivation and a full tank of Polish Power™. But our bet’s on Magomed Ankalaev.

Paddy Pimblett vs Jared Gordon (Odds & Prediction)

  • Division: Lightweight
  • Records: Paddy Pimblett (19-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) | Jared Gordon (19-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Paddy Pimblett (5-0) | Jared Gordon (4-1)
  • Rankings: Paddy Pimblett – Unranked | Jared Gordon – Unranked
  • Boss Bet Odds: Paddy Pimblett – $1.41 | Jared Gordon – $2.95

Armchair Analysis

Similar to last week’s face-off between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Kevin “Big Mouth” Holland, this is a bout where we’d hate to see either party lose. Especially when you hear about the equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking journey that Jared Gordon has endured (quick summary from the man himself here; get the tissues ready).

Unfortunately for Gordon, from what we’ve seen, Paddy Pimblett’s thesis about UFC 282 is right on the money: the Liverpool native simply outclasses the Florida-based scrapper everywhere it counts — grappling, striking, durability, and sheer athleticism.

It’s a rare instance where we don’t feel particularly good about it, but our bet’s on Paddy Pimblett.


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Darren Till vs Dricus du Plessis (Odds & Prediction)

  • Division: Middleweight
  • Records: Darren Till (18-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC) | Dricus du Plessis (17-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Darren Till (1-4) | Dricus du Plessis (5-0)
  • Rankings: Darren Till – #9 | Dricus du Plessis – #13
  • Boss Bet Odds: Darren Till – $2.37 | Dricus du Plessis – $1.59

Armchair Analysis

The English/Portuguese-speaking half of the Smesh Brothers, Darren Till, returns after hi year-long hiatus, looking to end his two-loss skid against the maestro that is Australia’s Robert Whittaker and UFC veteran Derek Brunson.

In the other corner, you have a former K-1 kickboxing champion who’s only tasted defeat twice across 19 fights in Dricus du Plessis. Given Till has been training closely with welterweight phenom Khamzat Chimaev, perhaps he’s sharpened his wrestling skills enough to exploit the default gap in du Plessis’ game.

As against-the-grain as it might sound, and because the Octagon is one of the last places where magic truly exists in this world, our bet’s on Darren Till.

Bryce Mitchell vs Ilia Topuria (Odds & Prediction)

  • Division: Featherweight
  • Records: Bryce Mitchell (15-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) | Ilia Topuria (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Bryce Mitchell (5-0) | Ilia Topuria (5-0)
  • Rankings: Bryce Mitchell – #9 | Ilia Topuria – #14
  • Boss Bet Odds: Bryce Mitchell – $2.23 | Ilia Topuria – $1.66

Armchair Analysis

He might not be the sharpest instrument in the toolshed outside of hand-to-hand combat, but there’s no two ways about it: Bryce Mitchell is a savant inside the cage (albeit a savant who eats more punches to the head than he should).

At UFC 282, he’ll encounter what is arguably his biggest challenge yet in Ilia Topuria – a fellow undefeated contender with a comparable submission arsenal and bona fide knockout power. And while the safe money is leaning towards the latter, we think it’s a far closer fight than the bookies believe.

Assuming he can weather the storm, our bet’s on Bryce Mitchell.

UFC 282: Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev goes down this Sunday at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada (Main Card Local Time – December 11th of 2022, 2 PM [AEDT]).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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