Magomed Ankalaev claims he was mistranslated in the aftermath of his UFC 282 title-fight draw with Jan Blachowicz.
Ankalaev (18-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC) came up short of claiming the vacant light heavyweight title on Saturday when he fought Blachowicz (29-9-1 MMA, 12-6-1 UFC) to a split draw at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A serious shoulder injury forced Jiri Prochazka to relinquish the strap prior to the event, but the UFC’s plan to crown a new titleholder did not materialize.
Although Blachowicz admitted that he did not deserve to get his hand raised, the judges could not agree on a winner, so the title remains vacant. Ankalaev was upset in the octagon during his post-fight interview, and a translated statement from his native Russian said he wasn’t sure he would ever fight in the UFC again after getting a raw deal.
The day after the event, however, Ankalaev felt it was necessary to add clarity. He posted a statement to social media on Sunday, and Ankalaev claims he never said anything about not fighting in the UFC, but rather the state of Nevada due to “horrible judging” (via Twitter):
I wanna clear something up, what I said after the fight was I don’t want to fight in this city anymore because of the horrible judging, I didn’t say anything about I don’t wanna fight in the UFC.
I wanna thank @danawhite and @Mickmaynard2 for the opportunity
I fought my heart out today, there is no excuse, but I had a compromised knee, it wasn’t my best performance, but I know I won the fight. Thank you @danawhite and the @ufc for giving me this opportunity
Although Ankalaev thought he got the win, UFC president Dana White wasn’t as emphatic. He said Ankalaev messed up by fighting poorly in the first three rounds, and that’s likely what cost him in the end.
The promotion opted to go in a different direction in the wake of UFC 282, because the vacant belt will once again be on the line on Jan. 21 when Glover Teixeira meets Jamahal Hill in the UFFC 283 main event in Rio de Janeiro.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 282.
Twitter reacts to Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev split draw in title fight at UFC 282
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie