UFC Fight Night 203: Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev Picks and Predictions

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Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev face off on Saturday in a light heavyweight showdown for the main event of UFC FIght Night 203 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. 

Thiago Santos comes into this fight with a 22-9 record overall but he has lost three of his last four fights. Santos did get his career back on the right track though in his last fight. Santos faced off against Johnny Walker, and even though he was actually outstruck in the fight, he was still able to win by unanimous decision. Santos is averaging 3.95 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.28 significant strikes per minute. He mostly likes to keep the fight on the feet but is averaging 0.61 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 36 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 66 percent of his opponents takedown attempts. In this fight, Santos is going to need to be the aggressor early, and try to rack up the significant strikes.

On the other side of this matchup is Magomed Ankalaev who comes into this fight with a 16-1 record overall and he has won seven fights in a row. Ankalaev’s last fight came against Volkan Oezdemir and it was a dominant fight as he won by unanimous decision. Three of his last five wins have come by knockout. Ankalaev is averaging 3.60 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.05 significant strikes per minute. Ankalaev is averaging 1.15 successful takedowns every 15 minutes and he stops 85 percent of his opponents takedown attempts. 

This is a main event fight, but it’s going to be a pretty one sided affair. Ankalaev is the better fighter, and he is going to have no issues wearing down Santos. Look for Ankalaev to do plenty of damage early, and this will be an easy fighter. Look for Ankalaev to win the fight by decision. It’s a safer bet for him to win on the money line, but there is no value with that.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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