Thiago Santos is set to face off in a main event slot against budding contender, Magomed Ankalaev.
In his last fight against Johnny Walker, Santos had all the expectations of having an all-out war against Walker. What we got was a technical matchup between the two.
With the reported matchup broke by Brett Okamoto of Santos now being matched up for a headlining bout with fellow top-ranked light heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev, those expectations for war are renewed.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Thiago Santos Announced
The bout was announced by Okamoto and he reports that it is targeted to take place as the headlining bout for the UFC Fight Night card planned for March 12th in 2022. The UFC has already started to book events outside the routinely used Apex and Florida and Texas with Los Angeles and Seattle being targeted already for events. Thus far no city has been announced for the targeted event.
Alright … Magomed Ankalaev (@AnkalaevM) has looked like the real deal as of late. We’ll know for sure after this one. Ankalaev vs. Thiago Santos (@TMarretaMMA) is in the works to headline a UFC Fight Night on March 12, per sources. pic.twitter.com/iFz7ZNYEGO
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 15, 2021
As mentioned though, Santos is coming off a fight with Johnny Walker that saw him earn a unanimous decision win but he looked a little stiff and after the knee surgeries he has had, which is expected. However, if he is to stand a chance against the surging sixth-ranked Magomed Ankalaev he will need to get some flexibility and quick.
Ankalaev is coming off a one-sided dominance against former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir where he showed off his crisp boxing technique capped off by a dominant ground game. It is those two skills that have people talking about him earning a title shot at some point next year, sooner rather than later at that.
Santos is a former title challenger himself and will enter with a record of 22-9 but has only won once in his last four fights but before that, he was on a four-fight win streak that earned him that title shot.
The new father will be hoping to earn a baby shower gift from Dana White with an impressive performance bonus on fight night one can assume.
As for Ankalaev, he enters with an impressive record of 16-1 with his lone loss coming in his UFC debut. He has a complete UFC record of 7-1 with four of those wins coming by way of knockout and he will be looking for another when these two meet.
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