Thiago Santos is set to face Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Vegas 50. | Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Former light heavyweight title contender Thiago Santos isn’t overlooking Magomed Ankalaev, but feels well prepared the UFC Vegas 50 main event.
Knockout artist Thiago Santos will have his hands full on Saturday night against rising top contender Magomed Ankalaev. But the Brazilian feels well prepared for the task. Booked for a top-contender’s bout atop UFC Vegas 50, ‘Marreta’ knows his opponent is a well-rounded one, something he took fully into account during his training camp.
In an interview with Combate, ‘Marreta’ acknowledged Ankalaev’s skills and his impressive wins in recent outings. However, he also emphasized the need to focus on himself in order to prepare for a hard battle against the Dagestani. The way Santos sees it, Ankalaev may have the better win streak at the moment, but experience will be on his side.
“Ankalaev is a tough guy, He’s on a good win streak and he’s really dangerous. I must keep my eyes open. A lot of people say he’s going to take me down and use his wrestling, but I can’t just worry about that. He’s a great striker, too. He has KO wins. I’ve prepared in every single way possible and I’m ready for him. “
“I think I have an advantage when it comes to experience.” Santos continued. “Not only in cage time, but the opponents I’ve faced, too. I’m used to fighting five rounds and main events. I don’t think he has ever fought for five rounds. I’ll use all of my experience in my favor. The perfect way to end the figth would be my way. The sledgehammer.”
In his last outing, Santos (22-9) scored a unanimous decision win over Johnny Walker, back in October 2021. The victory snapped a three-fight losing skid for the 38-year-old, with losses to Aleksandar Rakic, Glover Teixeira and Jon Jones.
UFC Vegas 50 is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, on March 12. Alongside the light heavyweight main event, the card features a top-flight bantamweight bout between Marlon Moraes & Song Yadong, as well as the return of Alex Pereira, against Bruno Silva.