UFC Vegas 50 Preview: Thiago Santos – Magomed Ankalaev

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 06: Thiago Santos of Brazil looks on prior to a UFC Light Heavyweight Title bout against Jon Jones at T-Mobile Arena on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 50, we will see a pivotal battle in the light heavyweight division. Top contenders will look to take another step towards a title shot as Thiago Santos (22-9) takes on Magomed Ankalaev (16-1).

This is a huge fight for both men and for the shallow light heavyweight division. In his last fight, Thiago Santos was able to win a decision over Johnny Walker. That decision win snapped a three-fight losing streak that dated back to Santos’ UFC title shot.

In that title shot, he tore his knee completely and he really hasn’t been the same fighter since. He’s hoping to prove the doubters wrong tomorrow night by knocking off the very impressive Magomed Ankalaev.

Ankalaev has nearly been perfect since joining the UFC. Had he been able to hold on just a couple of seconds longer in his octagon debut, he wouldn’t have been submitted by Paul Craig and he would’ve entered this contest unbeaten.

That said, Ankalaev has looked sensational since that loss. He comes into UFC Vegas 50 riding a seven-fight win streak.

UFC Vegas 50 Prediction

When Thiago Santos first came up to the UFC’s light heavyweight division, his explosiveness and his power really set him apart. He was incredibly dangerous and he proved that by scoring a knockout victory over former champion Jan Blachowicz.

However, as mentioned above, he hasn’t been the same since the injury. We haven’t seen the explosiveness we used to and we haven’t seen the same power. Now, I think he can still crack, but will that be enough at UFC Vegas 50?

On the flip side, I’ve loved what I’ve seen from Magomed Ankalaev. However, I don’t love the stretches in fights where he seems to cost. We’ve seen him sprint out ahead of opponents then seemingly let them back in. That’s what happened in his last fight against Volkan Oezdemir.

For Ankalaev, he needs to be on the whole time at UFC Vegas 50. He can’t let Santos get comfortable and he doesn’t want a point fight. Santos can still throw with power so he can steal some rounds with big moments.

At the end of the day, I think we are in for a close and technical battle in tomorrow’s main event. In the end, I think that Magomed Ankalaev is going to get the win and take one step closer towards a UFC title shot.

Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev by Decision