Prediction for the fight Magomed Ankalaev vs Thiago Santos

Dagestani sambo wrestler Magomed Ankalaev showed himself excellently in the Russian MMA field, and now he is conquering the West, getting closer and closer to the title fight. The next obstacle, it is quite possible that the final one, on his way, was the ex-contender for the belt from Brazil - Thiago Santos. He also went through many difficulties, so he will definitely become a serious opponent for our athlete.

Their confrontation will be headlined by UFC Fight Night 203 and the winner will definitely be able to claim their rights as a contender. We, in turn, will analyze who has more chances for victory in this fight, starting solely from dry facts and a detailed analysis of each participant.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Thiago Santos

Magomed Ankalaev

Our athlete is ranked 6th in the light heavyweight ranking. Before making his debut in mixed martial arts at a professional level, Magomed took the title of world champion in combat sambo, became a master of sports, and also turned out to be the best in the amateur MMA championship, confirming his MSMK status. The next step in his career was performances in Oplot and a victory at the Russian Super Cup.

Added to this long list is the WFCA belt, and a couple of bonuses for the best fights in the UFC. By the way, there he defeated a number of top opponents, and has long been considered by the promotion management as a potential owner of the main trophy of the organization.


Ankalaev is a lethal weapon in his own right when he works in a standing position. His cutting and slashing kicks are able to overtake both the body and the head of the opponent, and his accurate hands have enough power to crush any opponent.

Serious achievements in combat sambo allow Magomed to feel confident even in a horizontal position. He rarely translates opponents, but if he does, he demonstrates high skill on the ground and a clear understanding of interaction with counterparts.

Both in the standing position and in the stalls, the Russian defends himself as confidently as possible. Light on his feet, Magomed competently shifts from the line of attack, and perfectly stops passes to the legs. That is why only the best wrestlers and grapplers of the division can drag him to the ground floor.


It often happened that Ankalaev tried to kill the enemy in his own element. So far, such a strategy has worked, but at the highest level, such self-confidence can work against him.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Magomed is 29 years old, and there is no doubt that he is now at the peak of his abilities. His last performance took place in October 2021, when he got 7 wins in a row, defeating Volkan Ozdemir. Before that, the Russian dealt with Nikita Krylov, Ion Kutselaba and other light heavyweights. Being one step away from the title, Ankalaev will definitely show one of the best forms of all time.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos

The athlete from South America holds a black belt in Muay Thai, and is also awarded purple in BJJ. In mixed martial arts, he did not distinguish himself by high achievements in regional leagues, but he was able to get to the champion title in the UFC, but he failed to seize it - Jon Jones became an insurmountable barrier for Thiago.

However, Santos has scalps of Jan Blachowicz, Anthony Smith, Jack Hermansson, Johnny Walker and other strong opponents. Obviously, Molot's best years are far behind, but he can still afford to compete at a high level, rightfully occupying the 5th line in the rating.


Thiago's outward calmness is deceptive. He's one of the heaviest loading guys in the division, and you can get knocked out of his shots whether he's using his right hand or his left hand.

Only the most desperate fighters can compete with the Brazilian in the standing position, since his kicks have become a serious problem even for Jones. He discharges on all floors, perfectly combining this with boxing and pressing.

Thiago rarely becomes the initiator of transfers, but if the case is close to finishing, he is fully revealed. It is almost impossible to stop his heavy blows, because they flash through any defense.


Explosive fighting style and complete dedication, like the lion's share of the same punchers, leads to rapid fatigue. In 3 rounds, he manages to show himself well, but protracted fights are a disaster for the Hammer, and nothing can be done about it, especially considering his age.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

The fighter is 38 years old, and his statistics in the last 5 fights are disappointing - three defeats, starting with Jon Jones, and continuing with Glover Teixeira, as well as Alexander Rakic. The finishes in the fight with Jan Blachowicz and the fading Johnny Walker even out this situation a little. Thiago is getting more and more difficult to swing when I want to meet, he is no longer as aggressive, fast and enduring as before, but there is enough power in his hands, because in any case, this guy can still give a light to many colleagues in the shop.

Comparative analysis

Let's start with anthropometry, because here there is complete parity between athletes - Ankalaev is a little higher, but inferior to his counterpart in arm span. As for the dimensions, Santos, of course, will be more powerful, but this muscle mass deprives him of the mobility, and, as a result, the endurance that Magomed possesses. In the stand, both are very dangerous, and here the Russian will have a minimal advantage, because due to his age he will be able to outplay the opponent in footwork.

If you switch to the ground floor, then, as for me, Ankalaev will be the favorite, since he translates more efficiently and controls positions better. No one will chase the submission, but any of them will be able to win space and try to earn points due to the same ground and pound. It is in the game on the ground floor that Magomed has more chances for victory. There, he can wear the Brazilian down, and then calmly work in the rack when he slows down and begins to breathe. But going with him into the cuts is an extremely bad idea.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Thiago Santos Fight Prediction

The Russians were made a huge favorite, not entirely deservedly so. Thiago will definitely not become such an easy prey for him, and a cold mind and prudence will be important here. Fortunately, Ankalaev has all this, so he should be able to gradually break the opponent's defense, set traps and drag him into deep waters. Considering that the confrontation will take place in the format of 5 rounds, we can count on an early victory from our fighter, but this is unlikely to happen in the first two rounds if the guys do not decide to go for broke and make a cut. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev to win/Total over (2.5)

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