The UFC light heavyweight title picture was left unclear at the conclusion of Saturday night’s main event at UFC 282, but it didn’t take UFC president Dana White long to address it.
A spectacular night at the T-Mobile Arena saw the first 10 bouts deliver 10 finishes, only for questionable judging calls to mar the two featured bouts of the night as the main and co-main event delivered controversial results.
The headliner saw Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev battle for the light heavyweight title vacated by the injured Jiri Prochazka. And, after the pair battled all the way to the final buzzer in a cagey five-round affair, the judges were unable to crown a new champion as they returned a split draw verdict.
It brought UFC 282 to a wholly unsatisfactory conclusion, and one that White himself admitted he had lost interest in before the verdict was read.
“What are you gonna do? I think the main event was terrible. What are you gonna do?” White told reporters, including Fighters Only, at the post-fight press conference.
“I started to zone out after like f*****g three rounds. I heard that Ankalaev is upset and whatever. What do you want me to do? You got beat up the first two rounds, and you took him to the ground, you started – what are you gonna do?”
What White did was immediately go backstage, consult his team, hit the phones and book a brand new title fight for the UFC’s first pay-per-view card of 2023.
“You do Glover vs. Jamahal Hill in Brazil. For the vacant title. Done,” he said.
“We got out of the Octagon, we were all bummed out in my green room at the back, and then Hunter (Campbell) and Mick (Maynard) started talking.
“Hunter had talked to somebody and Mick had already talked to somebody and they’re like ‘What about doing this in Brazil?’ We’ll turn it right around and do this thing in Brazil.
“Everybody started to cheer up a little bit and it got a lot more fun back in the green room.”
The news will only add to the disappointment felt by Ankalaev, who was already livid at not being awarded the decision, and the title. Now he will have to sit and wait – and potentially face another contender in the meantime – before he gets another shot at the belt.