UFC Vegas 50: Santos V Ankalaev Preview

    ByElliott Nash

    Mar 13, 2022

    After a controversial UFC 272, the world’s favourite fight organisation is back with a card that is puffed to the gills of exciting fights. Potentially beating last week’s PPV, UFC Vegas 50 includes plenty of casual-friendly fights on both the prelims and main card. The card starts somewhat earlier than usual with the show starting at 9 PM GMT / 4 PM ET.

    Thiago Santos vs Magomed Ankalaev

    Fighting for title contendership, multi-weight class veteran Thiago Santos is looking to steal the shine of the heavily favoured Magomed Ankaleav this weekend.

    Now 38-years-old, the hard-hitting Brazilian has been slightly off the mark in recent times, with 1 win in his last 4, and that being a decision win against Johnny Walker. However, Santos’ power has been quite the spectacle when it does eventually land as during the latter stages of 2018 / early 2019 “Marreta” went on a three-fight finish streak including a scary knockout of ex-light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

    His opponent on the other hand is the wonderfully wild Dagestanian fighter Magomed Anklaev. Unlike other Dagestian fighters, Ankalaev is not a wrestler, and in fact, is quite the opposite. With 0 submissions on his record, the 6 foot 3 29-year-old has a TKO / KO percentage of 53%, making him a scary individual on his feet. A perfect representation of Magomed would be to watch both of his fights against Ion Cutelaba; he’s powerfully intense.

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    The matchup features fighters who are painfully close in their respected rankings: Thiago Santos #5 and Magomed Anklaleav #6. An impressive win would put them a fight or two away from the title, after the Glover Teixeira vs Jiri Prochazka scrap, of course.

    Marlon Moraes vs Song Yadong

    The result of genius matchmaking, the co-main event consists of two super fun stand up fighters: Marlon Moraes vs Song Yadong.
    Moraes has found himself in slippery form as of late, suffering three losses in a row with all three being finishes. However, the only benefit to take from these bouts is despite the unfavourable result, he hasn’t looked particularly bad. In his most recent fight against Merab Dvalishvili, the Brazilian fighter almost finished his opponent, making the Georgian wrestler run for cover in the latter stages in the first round. But, as we know now, it was the second round that ruined Moraes who took plenty of unanswered shots before the ref called it.

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    Not letting recency bias overrule his reputation, Moraes’ ability is no short of remarkable. He has a 70% finish rate in his 23 wins including wins over fighters like Jose Aldo, champ Aljamain Sterling and Raphael Assuncae showing that on his day, he can scrap with almost anyone.

    But wanting to pounce on Moraes’ downwards trajectory is the fan favourite Song Yadong. The 24-year-old Chinese fighter is riding a two-fight winning streak including a head kick finish over Julio Arce which just sums up what this fighter is all about. He’s explosive yet smooth in the striking department. The showman has impressed UFC boss Dana White in almost every fight he has been in making him one a sure contender in years to come. Did we mention he’s only 24?!

    Alex Pereira vs Bruno Silva

    In a bout that most consider their fight of the night, kickboxing icon Alex Pereira makes his second UFC appearance after a flying knee knockout against Greek wrestler Andreas Michailidis in just November just last year. But it’s his knockout over current Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in their kickboxing days that makes him the star that we, UFC fans know him as today. A win this weekend will get him closer to facing off against the ‘Last Stylebender’ once again.

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    Standing in his way is no easy task, Bruno Silva is the real deal inside the octagon. He holds 19 KO/TKOs in 22 wins and is riding a crazy 7 fight finish streak. What makes this man even more impressive is inside his winning streak, 5 out of those 7 came inside the first round. Gaining quite the fan base due to his KO power and intense style, Bruno has made it clear in the media that he has no desire to wrestle his kickboxing opponent which hypes this fight up even more than it was already.

    Fights to look out for:

    While we could easily say that every scrap this week will surely deliver but these are the ones that excite us the most.

    Drew Dover vs Terrance McKinney

    Wanting more? Check out our video preview and betting piece.