Magomed Ankalaev extended his winning streak with a unanimous decision victory over Thiago Santos as he continued his rise up the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
In a tight, cagey main event affair, Ankalaev claimed the judges’ verdict after five competitive but controlled, rounds, with scores of 49-46, 49-46, 48-47 giving the Russian contender the 17th win of his career, and his eighth straight victory inside the octagon.
“Yes, there were some moments where I could have taken it to the ground and my coach was telling me I should grapple and wrestle more,” Ankalaev explained following his victory.
“But I took the opportunity when the time was right for it.”
That opportunity may well lead to a top contender fight against top-five opposition next time out.
If the main event was cagey, the co-main was explosive as Chinese bantamweight contender Song Yadong inched one step closer to a shot at the 135-pound title with an emphatic knockout of former World Series of Fighting champion Marlon Moraes.
Yadong delivered a lightning-fast right hand that KO’d Moraes to give the 24-year-old contender the 19th win of his career.
And, after his victory, Yadong called for a bout against his mentor’s old adversary, Dominick Cruz.
“I want a fight next with Dominick Cruz. He’s the one,” he said.
“I have a lot of respect for him. When I was young I watched his fights, but I want a fight with him. Let’s go!”
UFC Fight Night 203: Official Results
- Magomed Ankalaev def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
- Song Yadong def. Marlon Moraes via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:06
- Sodiq Yusuff def. Alex Caceres via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Khalil Rountree Jr. def. Karl Roberson via TKO (body kick and punches) – Round 2, 0:25
- Drew Dober def. Terrance McKinney via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 1, 3:17
- Alex Pereira def. Bruno Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matthew Semelsberger def. A.J. Fletcher via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- JJ Aldrich def. Gillian Robertson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Javid Basharat def. Trevin Jones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Damon Jackson def. Kamuela Kirk via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 4:42
- Miranda Maverick def. Sabina Mazo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:15
- Cody Brundage def. Dalcha Lungiambula via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:41
- Guido Cannetti def. Kris Moutinho via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:07
- Azamat Murzakanov def. Tafon Nchukwi via knockout (flying knee) – Round 3, 0:44