UFC 282: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev prediction, odds, picks, time: Fight card best bets from proven MMA expert

Jan Blachowicz says knowing how it feels to be the champion is the only motivation he needs to capture the title again. The former light heavyweight champion gets a chance to reclaim the belt for the second time Saturday when takes on surging prospect Magomed Ankalaev for the interim title in the main event of UFC 282. Their five-round showdown headlines the main UFC 282 fight card from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The prelims start at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the main card at 10 p.m. ET. The No. 3-ranked Blachowicz captured the crown in September 2020 but relinquished it last year in a loss to Glover Teixeira following one successful defense. He told the media this week he’s determined to get a piece of the belt again at the expense of the No. 4-ranked Ankalaev, who is making his first title-fight appearance on the strength of a nine-fight winning streak.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Ankalaev as the -260 favorite (risk $260 to win $100), while Blachowicz comes back at +220 in the latest UFC 282 odds. In the co-main event, lightweight prospects take the spotlight when Paddy Pimblett (-245) squares off against Jared Gordon (+205). Before locking in any UFC 282: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine analyst Kyle Marley.  

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event. 

Over the past three-plus years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $12,000. The accomplished MMA analyst launched the 2022 UFC season in January by advising SportsLine members to support Calvin Kattar (+200) against Giga Chikadze (-240) in the featherweight main event. Kattar’s lopsided unanimous-decision victory gave Marley’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him is way up. 

Now, with UFC 282: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev in sight, Marley has studied the card from top to bottom and revealed his best bets. You can only see his MMA picks at SportsLine.

UFC 282: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev preview 

The UFC brass decided to go the interim-title route when it became clear that the original main event would be in limbo indefinitely. The opportunity fell to Blachowicz and Ankalaev, both of whom were top candidates for the next title fight at light heavyweight and were already set to face each other on the card. 

Blachowicz (29-9) memorably went on a late-career surge that saw him win nine of 10 fights and capture the belt in the process. His first successful defense came against former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who was undefeated at the time and aiming to become a two-division champion. 

But the 39-year-old Polish slugger, who is best known for his massive power and underrated athleticism, came out flat against Teixeira and was submitted in the second round at UFC 267. However, he rebounded with a stoppage win over No. 5-ranked Aleksandar Rakic in May to rejoin the title picture. 

Ankalaev (18-1) joined the UFC as an undefeated and coveted prospect known for his length and knockout power, but his rise was briefly derailed by a last-second submission loss to journeyman Paul Craig in his UFC debut.

The 30-year-old Russian fighter has since won nine straight, but his stock dipped a bit because he faced mostly modest competition during that span. Moreover, a relatively cautious style led to three consecutive lackluster decision victories. But the prospect recaptured some of his momentum and fan support behind a second-round stoppage of former title challenger Anthony Smith at UFC 277 in May. You can see who to back here.

UFC 282 predictions

We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC 282 selections here: He is backing Santiago Ponzinibbio (-170) to get his hand raised against Alex Morono (+150) in a catchweight bout (180 pounds) on the main card.

Both fighters usually compete at welterweight (170 pounds), but they agreed to a weight allowance because Morono agreed to be a last-minute replacement for former champion Robbie Lawler, who had to withdraw because of an injury.

Morono (22-7-1) is a seven-year UFC veteran who is known for his versatility and intelligent game plans. The 33-year-old Texan takes the cage on a four-fight winning streak, with his last outing resulting in a decision win against Matthew Semelsberger in July.

Ponzinibbio (28-6) is known as a fearsome striker with nonstop pace. The nine-year UFC veteran once climbed the rankings behind a seven-fight winning streak but has dropped three of his past four. The 36-year-old Argentinian dropped a decision to Michel Pereira in May.

“I favor Ponzinibbio because he is the more powerful fighter with the higher level of competition,” Marley told SportsLine. See who else to pick here.

How to make UFC 282 picks 

Marley has strong picks for Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “is the more dangerous fighter everywhere” to emerge with a dominant victory. Marley’s picks and predictions are only available at SportsLine.

Who wins Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 282, all from the incomparable expert who’s up more than $12,000 on MMA in the past three years, and find out.

UFC 282 odds, fight card

See full UFC 282 picks, predictions, and best bets here

Magomed Ankalaev (-260) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+220)
Paddy Pimblett (-245) vs. Jared Gordon (+205)
Santiago Ponzinibbio (-170) vs Alex Morono (+150):
Dricus du Plessis (-180) vs. Darren Till (+160)
Ilia Topuria (-140) vs. Bryce Mitchell (+120)
Joaquin Buckley (-155) vs. Chris Curtis (+135)
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-165) vs. Chris Daukaus (+145)
Raul Rosas (-240) vs. Jay Perrin (+200)
Edmen Shahbazyan (-310) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (+255)
Billy Quarantillo (-170) vs. Alexander Hernandez (+150)
Erik Silva (-115) vs. TJ Brown (-105)
Vinicius Salvador (-210) vs. Daniel Da Silva (+180)
Cameron Saaiman (-310) vs. Steven Koslow (+255) 

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