Magomed Ankalaev grinds out decision over Nikita Krylov at UFC Vegas 20

Feb 23, 2019; Prague, Czech Republic; Magomed Ankalaev (red gloves) defeats Klidson Abreu (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at 02 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 20, we saw a matchup between two top eleven contenders in the light heavyweight division. Eighth ranked Nikita Krylov (27-7) took on the eleventh ranked contender, Magomed Ankalaev (14-1).

Ankalaev has been on a roll in the UFC over the past couple of years. The native of Dagestan has now won five fights in a row with the promotion after losing his debut. That loss came to Paul Craig and it came just one second before the final bell.

Out of the last five wins for Ankalaev, four of them have been by stoppage. He scored a knockout over the talented Ion Cutelaba in his last fight which put the rest of the light heavyweight division on notice.

Standing across from Ankalaev was the talented Nikita Krylov. Krylov is actually on his second stint with the UFC. Krylov went 6-3 during his first run with the promotion, but they ultimately let him walk.

After a few impressive performances, the UFC resigned him. Since returning, Krylov has gone 2-2 but his two losses came against Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. If Krylov was able to pickup the win tonight, he could be getting closer to a UFC title shot.

UFC Vegas 20 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 20 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Krylov pushed forward first with a nice body kick. Another body kick slams home for Krylov. Ankalaev takes the center, but Krylov lands a solid shot that he tries to chain into a takedown.

However, Ankalaev defended well at first. Krylov was heavy in the clinch and eventually worked Ankalaev to the ground. Ankalaev was able to use the fence to work his way up to his feet, but Krylov still held control in the clinch.

A nice knee to the body lands for Krylov and the two separate. Ankalaev lands a nice right hand as Krylov comes in. Krylov continued to look for body kicks and then he throws one up top. Ankalaev was doing well holding the center of the cage.

Another solid body kick lands for Krylov. A stiff jab lands for Krylov, but Ankalaev throws some heat back. Krylov lands another solid body kick on Ankalaev. Ankalaev then tries for his own takedown, but the fence saves Krylov. It’s 1-0 Krylov at UFC Vegas 20.

Round 2

The second round at UFC Vegas 20 started with more pressure from Ankalaev. Krylov throws a nice shot that he tries to transition into a takedown. However, Ankalaev just shrugs him off and goes back to the pressure.

A stiff check right hook lands on Krylov as he advances. The pressure was heavy from Ankalaev, but Krylov was holding his own. Another nice body kick lands for Nikita Krylov. Those body kicks were starting to do a little damage.

Ankalaev catches a body kick and forces a clinch where he lands a massive knee. He followed that knee with a big body kick. Another right hook lands for Ankalaev as Krylov tries to advance. Momentum was building for Ankalaev in the second round.

Ankalaev times a Krylov advance and lands a takedown. Krylov did a good job of controlling Ankalaev’s posture, but he couldn’t get off the ground. The round comes to a close and it’s 1-1 at UFC Vegas 20.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC Vegas 20 and this fight is up for grabs. The two touch gloves and Krylov starts the striking with a nice body kick. Ankalaev lands a nice check hook as Krylov tries to advance.

Two more body kicks land for Nikita Krylov. A huge right hand for Ankalaev that snaps the head back of Krylov. Krylov shoots in for a takedown but Ankalaev just throws him aside and goes back to the pressure.

Ankalaev then shoots in for his own takedown attempt, but Krylov defended well. Krylov couldn’t get Ankalaev off of him along the fence. Ankalaev uses a beautiful trip to take Krylov down halfway through the round.

Krylov works his way back to his feet, but he couldn’t get Ankalaev off of him. Krylov tries spinning a couple of times to shake Ankalaev off, but he couldn’t do it. Ankalaev then lands another takedown with one minute left in the round.

It’s do-or-die time for Nikita Krylov here at UFC Vegas 20. Ankalaev pulls Krylov away from the fence and starts throwing a little ground and pound. The round comes to a close with Ankalaev on top. Should be a decision win for Magomed Ankalaev.

Magomed Ankalaev def. Nikita Krylov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Mentioned in this article:

More about: