Magomed Ankalaev reacts to UFC 282 title shot: ‘We will come and take what’s rightfully ours’


Magomed Ankalaev was training at the gym when his manager called him with an offer to fight Glover Teixeira for the title at UFC 282. Then the manager called back and said Jan Blachowicz had intervened, but the belt was still on the line.

Sitting on the platform at UFC 282 media day, Ankalaev celebrated his good fortune.

“The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived,” he said through a translator. “We will show what we are worth this Saturday. We will come and take what is rightfully ours.”

Ankalaev overcame several hurdles to get to this point, most notably four warnings against Ion Kutelaba after their first meeting ended in controversy. Ankalaev ended the rivalry with a knockout victory, which opened the way for him to the title. However, it took him four more wins, two against one-time title contenders, to be in the immediate hunt.

One could understand if Ankalaev lost heart from such a long wait, but the 30-year-old fighter said he was on course.

“I basically took it step by step, I always fought whoever they put in front of me, I didn’t choose my opponents and I pretty much knew that at some point they would have no choice but to give me a title fight. ,” he said.

Initially, his fight at UFC 282 against ex-champ Blachowicz was considered an unofficial title selection, and an impressive victory guaranteed a chance. This winner will now be considered the UFC’s top light heavyweight after an injury forced Jiri Prochazka to relinquish his belt.

“Of course, the stakes are much higher now, and I am more motivated,” Ankalaev said. “I have a goal to which I am going. I trained very hard for this.”

Blachowicz is bringing the belt back into the octagon after losing to Teixeira. Most recently, he defeated Aleksandar Rakic ​​when Rakic ​​suffered a leg injury, but has established himself as having the “legendary Polish power” he plans to use against Ankalaev on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“I can’t say anything bad about Blachowicz as an opponent,” Ankalaev said. “He is a great fighter, a great guy, but this fight is my dream. This is my opportunity. I will do everything in my power to leave the octagon with the title.

“Actually, I’m not worried about the legendary Polish power or anything. I want to dominate the fight from start to finish. I want to make sure that I am the one who is the aggressor. I will do everything in my power… to walk away with this title.”