UFC Vegas 50 goes down this weekend at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. In the main event, veteran light heavyweight Thiago Santos takes on a rising star in Magomed Ankalaev in a top ten encounter.
Santos snapped his three-fight losing skid by scoring a unanimous decision win over Johnny Walker in his most recent fight at UFC Vegas 38. Whereas Ankalaev is on an impressive seven fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming against Volkan Oezdemir by unanimous decision at UFC 267.
UFC Vegas 50 Analysis And Prediction
Santos is a very experienced campaigner and a capable striker, with immense power in his hands, but he has lost a bit of his explosiveness since his loss to Jon Jones, where he suffered gruesome injuries to both his knees. Ankalaev is younger and very well-rounded. He’s a very precise and powerful striker with a strong wrestling background.
Although both fighters have solid knockout power in their hands, they haven’t displayed a lot of aggression in their recent bouts. They are both very measured in their approach and are also very good defensively, so it won’t be surprising if the two engage in a chess battle inside the Octagon.
Both fighters are very even statistically. Santos lands close to four significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Ankalaev throws a little over three and a half. The Dagestani is slightly better defensively as he absorbs two significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Santos absorbs close to two and a half.
Ankalaev hasn’t used his wrestling much in his UFC career, as he averages only one takedown per fight, and has a below-par takedown accuracy. Santos has a decent takedown defence, but Ankalaev certainly has the skills to take him down and control him.
Santos is an excellent striker, but he’s been very gun shy lately. If he fails to pull the trigger come fight night, Ankalaev will make life tough for him inside the cage. Expect the Russian to pick Santos apart and earn a late stoppage.
Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev by TKO
Thiago Santos (+340)
Magomed Ankalaev (-450)
Who do you think will win the light heavyweight main event between Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Vegas 50?