UFC Fight Night 203: Santos vs. Ankalaev – How to watch it live, betting preview
After last week’s event met all expectations, where we witnessed the resolution of one of the greatest “bad blood” stories in the UFC, and an outstanding performance by Colby Covington, this weekend we return to Apex Arena, wrestling lab, and new UFC Fight Night, led by Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev.
Before we move on to this event, we’ll stay a little on the past, purely not to go unnoticed one of the best moves of one fighter lately. Namely, Bryce Mitchel, one of the future challengers, brutally dominated Edson Barboza. Even more impressive was his move after the match, where he gave up 60% of his earnings for sick and abandoned children in Arkansas. A gesture of respect and an example to all.
Santos vs. Ankalaev
This fight will lead this event in the light heavyweight category between former challenger Brazilian Thiago Santos and Dagestani Magomed Ankalayev. Two fighters are in completely different phases of their careers but are on the same level, except that Santos is slightly declining, and Ankalaev is growing. An ideal fight for both of them, to see what they are up to, whether Ankalaev is ready to become one of the closest challengers or he still needs to work, or Santos is ready to hand over the throne to a new generation, or there is still fire and power in his hammer.
Santos lost both knees in the title match against Jones, as he gave literally everything, every atom of strength, and tore the ligaments on both knees, but it was not enough; he lost that fight on a decision. No one was ever close to beating Jones like Santos back then. Since that fight, it is not the same Marreta; the recovery was long, he is slower, he lost his explosiveness, so he lost two matches to Teixeira and Rakić. The last match he won, against Johnny Walker, by decision, but in that fight, he was unimpressive.
Ankalaev is in a totally different mood, as his time is yet to come. Ankalaev has one defeat in his career against Paul Craig. He dominated Paul Craig’s 14:58 seconds, and in the last seconds of the fight, Craig caught him in a triangle and strangled him one second before the end of the fight. One of the most shocking finishes in UFC history. He became known to the public from the region because after that fight, he was supposed to be Darko Stošić’s opponent, but Stošić injured his pectoralis muscle and canceled the fight. In the meantime, Ankalaev recorded seven victories, all effectively and dominantly.
A rivalry you have to see to believe 😳
[ @AnkalaevM | #UFCVegas50 | Saturday | LIVE on @ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/8tra0nTZQm
— UFC (@ufc) March 10, 2022
Sodiq Yusuff vs. Alex Caceres
Fighters from Nigeria are becoming more frequent, and more and more attention is being paid to them, and how could I not when we see what kind of work Usman and Adesanya are doing. One of those fighters from that most populous African country is Yusuff. A very promising fighter, above all physically strong, who has a lot of space to work on technical things, above all to defend demolition. He suffered his first defeat in the UFC a year ago from the great Arnold Allen, who just took advantage of his technical flaws.
His opponent is Brazilian Caceres, who will enter the UFC Octagon for the 26th time against Yusuff. Caceres has been in the middle home of his division in his career, but for the last three years, he has been undefeated and has a run of five wins, and with this win, he would enter the TOP10 featherweight division. His martial arts background is BJJ, and we’ll see if he can find an answer to Yussuf’s strength. Caceres works from the counter guard.
Sodiq Yusuff TKOs Gabriel Benítez at UFC 241
Yusuff fights Alex Caceres this weekend #MMA pic.twitter.com/D17PyRB8Xn
— Ocelot (@Ocelot_MMA) March 10, 2022
Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Karl Roberson
As a warm-up, before the main fight where the light heavyweights compete, Rountree and Roberson will also perform, in a fight that can be very interesting.
Rountree is a classic hitter who wants to do his fights in a standing position. He throws a lot of blows but also receives a lot, so it is no wonder that his fights rarely go to the decision of the judges. This is good information for you who like to bet on UFC and check what the odds are in the best bookmakers for this fight. The last match was won by Bukauskaka, with brutal low kicks. His biggest problem is the defense, both from demolition and in the stand.
Roberson, like Rountree, is physically impressive, but his style is completely different, he prefers to fight on the ground, and often goes to demolition. In the UFC, though, he didn’t prove to be the perfect grappler, he often lost on the levers. In general, he is better than Rountree in that segment of the fight. We will see who will impose their fighting style.
Certainly, an interesting event, with many new names and those fighters who are less promoted, this time in the lead roles. There is enough motivation for them to prove themselves and for MMA fans to find some of their new favorites.
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