The UFC have announced a light heavyweight title contention bout for the first quarter of 2022 as Thiago Santos takes on Magomed Ankalaev in a five-round main event.
The 205lbs division recently crowned a new champion after Glover Teixeira defeat Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 last month, and the next contender seems to be settled at Jiri Prochazka.
But beyond that, the top of the division is wide open and these two top six fighters will now be looking to enter their name into the conversation for the belt.
Santos previously had a title shot back at UFC 239 where he lost a split decision to Jon Jones, before two more back-to-back defeats against Glover Teixeira at UFC Vegas 13 and then Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 259.
He got back to winning ways in his most recent bout though against Johnny Walker in a unanimous decision win at UFC Vegas 38.
Ankalaev currently holds a 16-1 record, with his only defeat coming against submission specialist Paul Craig via triangle in the final second of their three-round bout.
He has since won seven-in-a-row, including KO wins over Ion Cutelaba twice, Nikita Krylov at UFC Vegas 20 and then most recently against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 267.
It’s set to be the toughest challenge of Ankalaev’s career, but the Russian fighter is tipped as one of the best prospects in the division and many believe that his brilliant striking skills could see him become a future champion in the UFC.
Santos will be keen to build momentum once again with another big name win to get himself back in contention to take on potentially get one final title shot to round off his career.
The fight will take place on March 12th 2022 on a Fight Night event, but the location and start time is yet to be confirmed by the organisation.
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