Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev Breakdown

Mar. 07, 2022

Today begins our coverage of this week’s UFC Fight Night 203, specifically, the main event between Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev. In our opinion, the tipping point in this fight will come down to Ankalaev’s takedown offense vs. Thiago’s takedown defense.

In 22 UFC fights, Thiago Santos defends takedowns at a 66% rate good for 6th among ranked Light Heavyweights. Ankalaev on the other hand lands takedowns at a meager 32% rate which is 9th among ranked Light Heavyweights. While those numbers seem to favor Thiago, The real story comes in the main statistic that we believe determines the outcome: control time per takedown. Once Ankalaev gets you down, he holds you down for a hair under 3 minutes on average! That is good for 2nd best at Light Heavyweight.

Based on our numbers, this fight will probably end up looking like a pressure striking to grappling match with Ankalaev shooting for volume takedowns to test Santos’ defense. If he is able to get through on one, it is essentially all she wrote for Santos in that round. This fight could very likely end up looking like Santos’ fight with current UFC champ Glover Texeira. What do you guys think? Let us know on our Instagram or on Twitter!

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