UFC’s rising light-heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev wins sixth straight fight with a unanimous decision over Nikita Krylov at UFC Vegas 20.
Round 1 was perhaps the most complete of Krylov’s career. Known for his sporadically successive wins and losses, Krylov utilized a well-rounded attack to keep Ankalaev at bay. After some clinch grappling, Krylov found success in back-and-forth exchanges on the feet. But in the second round, Magomed found his way. After a handful of exchanges on the feet, Magomed found his range and landed some shots. He then dragged the fight to the canvas, where he controlled Krylov for much of the round.
In Round 3, Ankalaev resorted to the game plan that found him successful in Round 2. Within the opening two minutes, Ankalaev dragged Krylov to the mat. From top position, Ankalaev grinded out the rest of the fight in a decision-sealing move.
With the victory, he extended his winning streak to six. Entering UFC Fight Night 186, he had defeated Ion Cutelaba by strikes in back-to-back outings. The Russian light heavyweight’s lone pro loss came to Paul Craig in his UFC debut, when he was submitted in the final second of a fight he had largely dominated. As for Krylov, the loss is his third in his past five fights. He was finished in two of three of those defeats.
Speaking to reporters following UFC Vegas 20, Ankalaev wouldn’t call out a specific name but he said he wants to fight someone ranked in the top-five his next time out.
“(Krylov) wasn’t my ideal opponent because I was expecting someone higher up in my division. But right now, the top five or six fighters in my division, have fights scheduled. Depending on who wins, I’m hoping to pick an opponent among those winners,” Ankalaev said.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz takes on challenger Israel Adesanya in the main event of next month’s UFC 259, with Glover Teixeira waiting in the wings for the winner. Elsewhere in the top-five, you have Thiago Santos taking on Aleksandar Rakic and Jiri Prochazka fighting Dominick Reyes. With the longest active win-streak in the 205-pound division, Ankalaev will likely find himself a top 10 ranked fighter following this latest win and he’ll likely look for a step up in competition while trying to make it seven in a row for his next bout in 2021.
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