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Jan Blachowicz has the chance to become a two-time UFC champion when he fights Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant lightweight title tonight.
The Polish knockout artist has found himself catapulted back into the main event scene at UFC 282 after Jiri Prochazka was forced out of his scheduled rematch with Glover Teixeira due to injury.
Teixeira – the man that memorably submitted Blachowicz to capture the lightweight strap – declined the chance to fight Ankalaev for the vacant belt.
Blachowicz has now seized the opportunity instead but his only fight in 2022 since surrendering his championship was an injury-induced win over Aleksandr Rakic back in March.
Ankalaev will provide a huge test having bounced back from losing his UFC debut to record an impressive eight-bout win streak.
The co-main event will see fan favourite Paddy Pimblett take on Jared Gordon.
UFC 282 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 10 and is being held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The prelim action will start at 11pm for UK fans with the main card getting underway from 1am on Sunday morning. Blachowicz vs Ankalaev can then be expected at around 4am.
The action will be shown on BT Sport with their coverage starting at 1am.
talkSPORT will also have all the build-up and reaction to the event throughout fight week.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.
You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
Subject to change
Early preliminary card
Former UFC 282 main-eventer Teixeira explained that he wanted more time to prepare for Ankalaev once Prochazka became injured.
“I told them I needed more time for this guy, that he has a different style, the guy is a southpaw. I said, ‘What about fighting him in Brazil?’ They denied that and said they needed someone to fight in Vegas,” he told ESPN.
“I said, ‘OK, I’ll fight Jan [Blachowicz] in Vegas. If you’re going to throw me off, Jan has a regular stance. Ankalaev is a totally different game. I need more time.”
Blachowicz admitted he was among the last to find out that he had then been chosen to fight for the light heavyweight title this weekend instead.
“I didn’t know nothing,” Blachowicz told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
“I got off the plane, I get WiFi in the airport and my phone is shaking all the time, ringing. I’m like, ‘What happened? Something happened.’
“I already know that something happened because [I have] too many messages. Of course, first I check from my manager — also she’s my fiancee — and I read the message and I have to read it four or five times because I don’t understand.
“I don’t believe what’s happened, what she wrote to me. I showed the message to my coaches, ‘A title shot. It’s happened.’
“Later I called to her and said, ‘Hey, you’re not joking with me? It’s true? We’re really going to fight for the title?’ ‘Yeah,’ and she told me the whole story.
“Literally, I knew nothing. I was the last person to know that we were going to fight for the title.”
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