Magomed Ankalaev defeats Thiago Santos on the cards at UFC Vegas 50

Magomed Ankalaev defeats Thiago Santos on the cards at UFC Vegas 50

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, March 12, 2022, for UFC Vegas 50, headlined by light-heavyweight contenders Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev.

Co-headlining the event is a bantamweight contest between former WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes, who faces a very promising Song Yadong here tonight.

Back to our main event:

Santos comes into the bout having defeated Johnny Walker in his latest bout, while Ankalaev has been nearly perfect throughout his career.

Ankalaev is 16-1 as a professional, the only defeat coming to Paul Craig via submission (triangle choke) at 4:59 of round three. There was one literal second left in the contest, and he won 14 minutes and 50 seconds of it.

Nonetheless, it’s not a bad lone defeat to have, and many believe him to be a problem for the entire division.

Continue reading to see how this epic light-heavyweight main event went down:

Official Result: Magomed Ankalaev def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)

Ankalaev is looking sharp as ever throughout the first round, handily picking Santos apart. Every time Santos comes in he gets caught with something. Much of the same happens in the second, though toward the end of the round Santos drops Ankalaev and hurts him badly, ending the round on top.

This was the first time we ever saw real adversity out of him.

The beginning of the third is much closer, with both men having success. Santos is able to land some nice punches on Ankalaev, and Ankalaev is still able to catch Santos coming in. He’s so slick and accurate, it really is a thing of beauty to watch.

Santos starts out the fourth round with a furious pace, throwing anything and everything at Ankalaev, trying to get him out of there. However, the Russian is able to evade most of the shots and gets back to it.

Ankalaev controls the center for the entire round and slams Santos to the mat with a takedown at the end of it. It appears he is up 3-1 going into the fifth.

The striking to start the fifth is even, but about two minutes into it, Ankalaev ties up with Santos and keeps him along the fence for the remainder of the fight. He lands a series of nice knees to the body, and attempts another takedown, though he’s unable to secure it.

That was the safest way for him to end the fight against someone like Thiago Santos.

Though it wasn’t the most entertaining encounter, Magomed Ankalaev got the job done, and shows he is one of, if not the most technical light-heavyweight in the world today.

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!