Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight sluggers Magomed Ankalaev and Thiago Santos went to war tonight (Sat., March 12, 2022) in the main event of UFC Vegas 50 from UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both men entered this contest trying to make a statement about their position in the title picture. As the hot prospect with momentum behind him, this was possibly the final obstacle for Ankalaev to make a claim towards the belt. On the flip side, Santos technically won his last bout vs. Johnny Walker, but “Marreta” needed a stronger performance tonight in order to really reassert himself at 205-pounds.
It wasn’t a ton of fun, but Ankalaev got the job done. Follow along below for live updates and highlight clips:
After lots of feints from either man, Santos scores first with a pair of quick low kicks. Ankalaev’s first punch of the fight is a heavy one, a check hook that wobbles Santos briefly. The Russian rips another check hook to answer a body kick. The next time Santos tries to swing big, Ankalaev cracks him with a left. Body kick from Ankalaev. They trade low kicks, and the pace slows down. 10-9 Ankalaev
Ankalaev pressures, and the two trade kicks to start. Santos gets in a couple nice digs to the leg, but Ankalaev’s check hook is on point. Neither man is throwing much volume, but Santos remains stuck on the fences and reactive. Ankalaev puts a couple crosses to the chest. Lots of single shots from both men. Sneaky left hook lands for Santos, but it doesn’t back Ankalaev off. Out of nowhere, Santos lands a big shot and stuns him! He charges forward and lands in top position, where he finishes the round. That’s exactly what “Marreta” needed! 10-9 Santos
The power of Thiago Santos— UFC (@ufc) March 13, 2022
[ @TMarretaMMA | #UFCVegas50 ] pic.twitter.com/JrKaKM61vj
Ankalaev ups the pressure a bit, lands a glancing high kick. Big left hand from the Russian. Low kicks from Santos. It looks bad that Santos’ back is always to the fence, but there isn’t a ton happening. Ankalaev tries to spin, eats a hook. The Russian targets the body, catches a kick, and ands upstairs. Ankalaev lands a clean body kick. Mostly uneventful round, but 10-9 Ankalaev
Ankalaev answers the bell with a big body kick, and Santos gets aggressive! He attacks with a jump knee and lands some big shots in the follow up. Ankalaev answers with a nice combo, and these two are finally getting after it! Clean left hand to the jaw from Ankalaev. Santos lands a three-punch combo. The pace has settled, but it’s still more active than previous rounds. Sneaky uppercut partially connects for the Brazilian. With 30 seconds remaining, Ankalaev scores a big takedown from the clinch. He scores a few elbows before the bell, likely securing the round. 10-9 Ankalaev
Santos is likely down, and he opens the round with some pressure and a bit of volume. The Brazilian swings big, eats a counter shot. Ankalaev is proving difficult to hit clean. He wraps up the clinch and digs some knees to the legs and belly. Santos is stuck on the fence, and precious minutes are ticking away. This one ends in the clinch — bleh. 10-9 Ankalaev
Result: Magomed Ankalaev defeats Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
For complete UFC Vegas 50: “Santos vs. Ankalaev” results and play-by-play, click HERE!