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The Main Event of the evening comes in the Light Heavyweight division, as former title challenger Thiago “Marreta” Santos takes on Magomed Ankalaev. Coming off a victory over Johnny Walker, in which snapped a three-fight skid, Santos will look to keep the good times going. Checking in at 5th in the Light Heavyweight rankings, Santos isn’t far off from earning another title shot. Meanwhile, Ankalaev comes into this fight on a tear. Since losing his UFC debut to Paul Craig with one second remaining in the fight, Ankalaev has rattled off seven consecutive victories. In those seven fights, Ankalaev has stopped four opponents via knocking. Ranked 6th in the Light Heavyweight division, a title shot could be near with a victory.

As for a prediction, I have Ankalaev winning. While, Santos has devastating power and debilitating leg kicks, his movement and explosiveness haven’t been the same since the major leg surgeries following the Jon Jones fights. Without those abilities, Santos has been reliant on his boxing. Not that his boxing isn’t good, but the lack of explosiveness in addition has made Santos less dangerous. Meanwhile, Ankalaev is a calm and composed striker with legitimate knockout power. Not one to get in a brawl, Ankalaev will stay on the outside, picking his foes apart at distance or with his exceptional counter strikes. In a fight I expect to take place solely on the feet, Ankalaev should handily get the best of Santos. Obviously Santos has a puncher’s chance, but I’m not seeing it. So with that said, I predict that Ankalaev rings the winning streak to eight, winning via TKO.

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