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UFC 282 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev: Bet This Main Event Total (Saturday, December 10)

UFC 282 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev: Bet This Main Event Total (Saturday, December 10) article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz

Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev Odds

Błachowicz Odds
+240
Ankalaev Odds
-300
Over/Under
3.5 (+100 / -130)
Venue
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
Time
Midnight ET
Channel
ESPN+ PPV
Odds as of Friday and via Caesars.

UFC light heavyweight gold is on the line on Saturday night in Las Vegas as former champion and current No. 3-ranked contender Jan Blachowicz hopes to reclaim his belt when he meets No. 4-ranked Magomed Ankalaev in the UFC 282 main event.

The pay-per-view card initially featured the rematch from UFC 275 between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira. However, Prochazka vacated the belt due to a severe shoulder injury, setting the stage for Ankalaev-Blachowicz.

Ankalaev, considered the uncrowned 205-pound champion, is on a nine-fight winning streak since losing his UFC debut to Paul Craig with one second remaining on the clock in 2018.

Blachowicz has won six of his past seven fights – with his only loss coming to Teixeira (via submission) at UFC 267 in October 2021.

Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s finale of the main card (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ pay-per-view) and utilize those factors to bet on the UFC 282 main event, Błachowicz vs. Ankalaev.

Tale of the Tape

Błachowicz Ankalaev
Record 29-9 18-1
Avg. Fight Time 12:20 11:10
Height 6’2″ 6’3″
Weight (pounds) 205 lbs. 205 lbs.
Reach (inches) 78″ 75″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 2/24/1983 6/2/1992
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.55 3.64
SS Accuracy 49% 54%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.77 2.14
SS Defense 54% 60%
Take Down Avg 1.08 0.94
TD Acc 53% 33%
TD Def 66% 86%
Submission Avg 0.3 0.0

Ankalaev’s most significant advantage in this matchup – and his justification as a favorite – relies on him proactively grappling over 25 minutes.

Blachowicz has a three-inch reach advantage, and the striking exchanges should be highly competitive.

Both men are low-volume strikers who tend to edge their opponents with efficiency, though Ankalaev has proven slightly more effective at that strategy (+1.5 to +0.78 strike differential; +5% accuracy, +6% defense).

I expect Ankalaev to have the speed advantage with the hands to negate Blachowicz’s reach. However, Blachowicz should be the superior kicker.

The Dagestani native doesn’t rely on the blanketing style like other fighters from that region. Instead, he prefers to strike – and typically seems to be waiting for impactful moments to counter and hurt his opponent, particularly with his left hook or right uppercut – rather than pressuring or setting traps to create openings.

Similarly, Blachowicz prefers to counter, staying at range and checking kicks from his opponents before trying to rip his own to their body – or landing the last punch of the exchanges in the pocket.

It’s hard to envision the fighters separating themselves significantly on the feet in any round or over 25 minutes without multiple knockdowns. The power and durability on either side are seemingly comparable.

If Ankalaev wants to justify his favoritism, he needs to wrestle. On paper, Blachowicz has a higher takedown average, but Ankalaev attempts 2.80 takedowns per 15 minutes (33% accuracy) compared to 2.04 for Blachowicz (53% accuracy).

The Russian has only one UFC fight (against Nikita Krylov) in which he landed multiple takedowns. Still, Blachowicz is 2-5 in the UFC when he’s been grounded at least once, and he’s spent 10 of his past 19 minutes inside the octagon getting controlled by opponents.

While Blachowicz is a capable guard player with solid defensive jiu-jitsu, he’s not particularly adept at getting off the mat once you put him flat on his back. Each takedown could be a round in Ankalaev’s favor.

However, I don’t expect the grappling to have a particularly attritional effect on one fighter over the other. Both are proven in five-round fights – albeit at a moderate pace in those matchups.

Ankalev is the more skilled fighter – and likely the better athlete, too – but he’s typically underwhelmed as a large favorite, showing a lack of enthusiasm or urgency toward winning minutes or banking rounds in his favor.

In a pure standup fight, I would have to bet Blachowicz at this price. But if Ankalaev decides to proactively wrestle – for once – he may look like a dominant favorite.

Either way, I expect a moderate-paced kickboxing affair with clock-killing grappling exchanges.

Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev Pick

Blachowicz is on one of the best underdogs runs in the history of the sport, with nine of his past 10 wins coming at plus money; the betting markets consistently underrate the former champion.

Conversely, Ankalaev has never closed below a -200 favorite in the UFC. Yet his performances have consistently underwhelmed, despite his obvious skill set.

In this matchup, I projected Ankalaev as a 71.6% favorite (-252 implied odds), and I see slight value on the underdog moneyline (+265 at DraftKings). However, I need something closer to +280 to back Blachowicz in this matchup.

Instead, I’d prefer to bet the Over or the Goes to the Distance prop (projected 44%, +129 implied) compared to market odds as high as +154 (FanDuel).

You can find the Over 3.5 rounds at plus money while avoiding any late-fight shenanigans as we have seen in recent title bouts with a desperate fighter trailing.

And in the winning method market, consider betting Ankalaev by decision (projected +210, listed +240 at FanDuel) or Blachowicz by KO/TKO (projected +604, listed +600 at BetRivers).

The Pick: Over 3.5 Rounds (+100 at Caesars, 0.5u)

 

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