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UFC 282

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

UFC 282: Five Things We Learned

UFC 282
(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

UFC 282: Five Things We Learned

UFC 282 looked like it would be an all-time great fight card for a minute. In the first 10 fights of the night, we saw 10 great bouts and 10 finishes; however, things went downhill fast in the main and co-main events as we saw two fights that ended in questionable decisions. Still, it was not a terrible night of fights, the card just concluded with a sour ending. Overall, we were able to learn a few things about some of the best fighters on the card.

1. The Light Heavyweight Division is in Shambles

The light heavyweight division is in a terrible spot. This all goes back to how Jiri Prochazka had to vacate the championship and pull out of his light heavyweight title defense at UFC 282. As a result, the new main event between Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz was supposed to crown a light heavyweight champion. However, that fight ended in a draw which left the belt vacant. Many people thought Ankalaev did enough to win the fight — the majority of media scorecards were in his favor — but the belt will remain vacant regardless of that.

In order to try and overcome this situation Dana White announced that Glover Teixeira will fight Jamahal Hill for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 283 in January of 2023. That will not provide much clarity to the division.

Regardless of who wins, people can point to Prochazka or Ankaleav as more deserving champions. That may be a fair criticism, we will have to wait and see. Do not be surprised if it gets sloppier than that though. If the 43-year-old Teixeira beats Hill and wins the championship, he may opt to retire and leave the division without a champion again.

At this point, the light heavyweight division is a mess, and it may get worse.

2. Paddy Pimblett is Overrated 

Paddy Pimblett did not have a great day at UFC 282. At a minimum, he had the worst performance of his career, beating Jared Gordon by decision. In all honesty, he needs to send a thank you to the judges because they got it wrong. Gordon was the one that should have got his hand raised. Pimbett can claim he won all he wants, but the media scorecards were in favor of Gordon.

More importantly, Pimblett displayed a lot of flaws in his skill set. The most notable was that he gets hit way too much. He also struggled to get the fight to the ground and where he could look to utilize his submission skills. I think people have understood that Pimblett is overrated for a while; however, this fight provided even more evidence to prove that point.

3. Dricus Du Plessis Will Get A Jump in the Rankings

Dricus Du Plessis got the best win of his career at UFC 282 as he defeated Darren Till via third-round submission. Du Plessis put on an impressive performance. In the first round, he was able to get Till pinned up against the cage where he landed a lot of shots. The second round swung back in Till’s favor as he outstruck Du Plessis for the majority of the round. Du Plessis came out hot in the second as he was able to get Till’s back and finish the fight.

With a win over Till, Du Plessis will see a jump in the UFC middleweight rankings. Till was ranked No. 10 heading into the contest. Du Plessis will likely be sitting around the number ten spot after the next rankings update. That will give him a lot of interesting options as he continues to progress throughout his career.

4. Ilia Topuria is Better Than We Thought

Ilia Topuria looked tremendous at UFC 282. Not only did he look good, but he was fighting Bryce Mitchell, who is one of the most promising up-and-coming featherweights. Topuria was able to handful Mitchell for as long as the fight landed. When the fight was standing, he was able to smoke Mitchell with massive hooks and defend takedowns. Topuria slowly started to gain an advantage as he dealt damage and Mitchell was hurt and got tired. At that point, Topuria was able to do whatever he wanted. Eventually, he was able to get one top and land an arm triangle submission.

Topuria has been one of the prospect in the UFC for a minuete, but he has never looked that good. He was on another level at UFC 282. There are not many featherweights that could dominat Mitchell the way that Topuria did. After that performance it is time to start talking about Topuria fighting someone around the number five spot in the rankings. I think a fight against Calvin Kattar or Chan Sung Jung would be good fights to look at.

5. Raul Rosas Jr is UFC-Caliber

Raul Rosas Jr was another big winner at UFC 282 as he earned a first-round submission victory over Jay Perrin. With this win, Rosas became the youngest fighter to win their UFC debut. This win came in dominat fashion. He was able to quickly take Perrin down, take his back, and submit him. This was an impressive perforance that is difficult to poke holes in. He did everything you could have asked of him.

A few months back when Rosas got a win on Dana White’s Contender Series and proved that he had potenital. At UFC 282, he proved that he is further developed than he originally seemed. He still needs to show more progress before he is booked against better competition, but he is UFC-caliber and their is not doubt about it.


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