Thiago Santos expects a ‘game of chess’ against Magomed Ankalaev

Thiago Santos is expecting a “game of chess” against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Vegas 50.

UFC light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos sees similarities between himself and his upcoming UFC Vegas 50 main event opponent Magomed Ankalaev.

Santos are looking to pick up another impressive win after beating Johnny Walker last October. Prior to that, he had lost three straight fights, including a third-round submission to current champion Glover Teixeira.

Santos faces a tough test in Ankalaev, who many believe could be a future UFC champion.

During his pre-fight press conference at UFC Vegas 50, Santos shared his thoughts on his rapidly rising matchup with Ankalaev.

“I think it’s going to be a very interesting fight,” Santos said. “He’s smart on his feet, but he’s dangerous. We’re kind of similar if you look at his fights, we’re similar. We like to keep distance and not come in to take hits. It’s gonna be like a game of chess.

Thiago Santos focused on another potential title

Ankalaev will enter the fight with Santos, the winner of seven straight matches, most recently against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 267. He also had dominant victories over Ion Cutelaba and Nikita Krylov.

Santos is looking to earn a second shot at UFC gold after coming up short against Jon Jones at UFC 239. Prior to the loss to Jones, Santos had scored heavy knockouts against Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz.

Santos is a UFC veteran who has faced a variety of styles inside the octagon. But, he will be looking to capitalize on his last opportunity against the dangerous Ankalaev and get closer to a shot at the light heavyweight title.

UFC Vegas 50 takes place on Saturday, March 12, 2022, live from UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow FanSided MMA, who is on hand, for all your news and highlights.

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