UFC Fight Night Predictions – Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev: Fight Card, Odds, Start Time, Live Stream

Almost three years ago, Thiago Santos was the first man to win a dash against then-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Then came surgeries and a losing slip that saw Santos tumble from the ranks of contenders in the post-Jones UFC light heavyweight division. Santos takes part in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday against Magomed Ankalaev who is looking to get back in the running.

After starting his Octagon career as a middleweight, Santos jumped up to the light heavyweight division in 2018. He was immediately a force at 205 pounds, picking up three straight knockout wins, culminating in a win in February 2019 on Jan Błachowicz.

That streak of success landed Santos in the Octagon against Jones in July where he continued to give the champion almost everything he could handle before missing two of three official scorecards. Unfortunately, Santos suffered a series of serious injuries during the fight with Jones, including tearing his left ACL, PCL, MCL and meniscus, and also cracking his right shin, partially tearing the meniscus of his knee. law.

Can’t get enough of boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a full preview of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas below.

Santos returned in November 2020, losing by submission to Glover Teixeira, then losing to Aleksandar Rakic ​​by decision in March 2021 before finally returning to the win column against Johnny Walker last October.

In Ankalaev, Santos faces a serious light heavyweight contender and a fighter on a seven-fight winning streak.

Ankalaev’s only UFC stumble came on his Octagon debut when he was caught in a triangle choke by Paul Craig. He would then hit his stride and pick up four knockouts during his current winning streak.

In his last outing, Ankalaev picked up a victory over former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. A win over Santos would make two straight wins over men who challenged for the belt and put Ankalaev on the short list of challengers for the winner of the next title fight between champion Teixeira and challenger Jiri Prochazka in June.

The Saturday undercard may provide some of the best action of the year when it comes to Fight Night events. Bantamweights Song Yadong and Marlon Moraes are set to knock him out in the co-main event. Featherweight veterans Sodiq Yusuff and Alex Caceres are ready to fight in a star spot. Karl Roberson and Khalil Rountree Jr. meet in a light heavyweight contest. Lightweights Drew Dober and Terrance McKinney square off on the main card. And middleweight hammers Alex Pereira and Bruno Silva kick things off on the main card.

Here is the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Magomed Ankalaev -550

Thiago Santos+400

Light heavyweight

Song Yadong-240

Marlon Moraes +200

Bantam-weight

Sodiq Yousuff-270

Alex Caceres +220

Lightweight

Karl Roberson-130 Khalil Rountree Jr. +110 Light heavyweight
Drew Dober-170 Terrance McKinney+145 Lightweight
Alex Pereira-195 Bruno Silva +165 Average weight

UFC Fight Night Display Information

Dated: March 12 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex – Las Vegas
Flux: ESPN+

Prediction

Magomed Ankalaev vs Thiago Santos: Both men can throw some serious heat in the standing game, with both having strong kick-based attacks. Ankalaev has shown leg kick sensitivity in recent fights and Santos can kick with the best in the division. While Ankalaev has decent punching chops, Santos’ power will likely make him want to use his solid wrestling experience to take the fight to the ground and minimize the danger. But, can Ankalaev get close to getting those takedowns without eating Santos’ explosive power?

Importantly, Santos is by far the best fighter Ankalaev has faced in his Octagon career. We’ve seen plenty of men stumble in big, intensive fights and Santos knows how important it is to him to get a win and not be 1-4 in his last five outings. It’s a tough fight to call, much tougher than the odds would suggest, which would tell you that Ankalaev is a lock as a force at the top of the division. But that step forward may be too much against a dangerous fighter who needs the win. Pick: Thiago Santos via TKO2

Who wins Santos against Ankalaev? And which fighter is a must-have? Visit SportsLine now for detailed top picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the insider who has earned over $10,000 on MMA picks over the past two years, and find out.