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UFC Vegas 50: Magomed Ankalaev outpoints Thiago Santos

It was not the most exciting of performances, but Magomed Ankalaev secured a unanimous decision victory over Thiago Santos at UFC Vegas 50.

The 29-year-old picked up his eighth consecutive victory under the UFC banner in UFC Fight Night 203 main event, defeating former title challenger Thiago Santos in a unanimous decision. Ankalaev (16-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) got the nod from all three judges sitting cageside at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, as he defeated Santos (22-9 MMA, 14-8 UFC) with scores 49–46, 49–46, and 48–47.

 

The best round for Santos was the second, where he knocked Ankalaev down late and used ground-and-pound to secure the round on the scorecards.

But other than that, the bout consisted mainly of Ankalaev pressuring while Santos looked to counterstrike. It resulted in occasional snippets of action and we will have to see if this affects the rankings of these two when they come out next Tuesday.

With the win, Ankalaev (17-1-0) won his eighth consecutive fight and hasn’t lost since March 2018. Santos is now on the bubble, having won only once in his last five fights, though some of those losses have come against top-notch competition.

Azamat Murzakanov, Cody Brundage, Khalil Rountree Jr., and Song Yadong earned performance of the night awards and a $50,000 USD bonus apiece.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

AZAMAT MURZAKANOV DEF. TAFON NCHUKWI VIA TKO (FLYING KNEE) R3 0:44

GUIDO CANNETTI DEF. KRIS MOUTINHO VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 2:07

CODY BRUNDAGE DEF. DALCHA LUNGIAMBULA VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R1 3:41

MIRANDA MAVERICK DEF. SABINA MAZO VIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R2 2:15

DAMON JACKSON DEF. KAMUELA KIRK VIA SUBMISSION (ARM-TRIANGLE CHOKE) R2 4:42

JAVID BASHARAT DEF. TREVIN JONES VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

J.J. ALDRICH DEF. GILLIAN ROBERTSON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

MATTHEW SEMELBERGER DEF. A.J. FLETCHER VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

MAIN CARD 

ALEX PEREIRA VS. BRUNO SILVA 

WINNER: ALEX PEREIRA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX PEREIRA VIA UD

Andrews: Good fight. Pereira showed me something by outlasting Silva’s output.

DREW DOBER VS. TERRENCE MCKINNEY

WINNER: DREW DOBER VIA TKO (KNEE AND PUNCHES) R1 3:17

ANDREWS PREDICTION: TERRENCE MCKNNEY VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! What a comeback by Dober. But McKinney will be back, great fight on short notice.

KHALIL ROUNTREE JR. VS. KARL ROBERSON

WINNER: KHALIL ROUNTREE JR. VIA TKO (BODY KICK AND PUNCHES) R2 0:25

Andrews: This is the Rountree we needed to see from the beginning. Keep it going.

#12 SODIQ YUSUFF VS. #15 ALEX CACERES

WINNER: SODIQ YUSUFF VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX CACERES VIA UD 

 

Andrews: I thought Caceres would be able to deal with the power of Yusuff, but credit Sodiq for a good performance all around.

Andrews Prediction: Alex Caceres via UD

#10 MARLON MORAES VS. #14 SONG YADONG

WINNER: SONG YADONG VIA KO (PUNCH) R1 2:06

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SONG YADONG VIA UD

 

Andrews: Moraes is on the bubble. Great win for Yadong.

MAIN EVENT

#5 THIAGO SANTOS VS. #6 MAGOMED ANKALAEV

WINNER: MAGOMED ANKALAEV VIA UD (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAGOMED ANKALAEV VIA UD

Andrews: It was not a barnburner of a fight, but Ankalaev got the job done.

The next UFC event is UFC Vegas 51, which is set for Mar. 19 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Alexander Volkov takes on Tom Aspinall in the heavyweight main event.

@kenaiandrews

 

KenaiAndrews
KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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