UFC Vegas 50: Santos v Ankalaev Prediction, Tips & Offers

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Grant McQuillan

UFC Vegas 50: Santos v Ankalaev Prediction

skybet betting tip

DREW DOBER, KHALIL ROUNTREE & YADONG SONG ALL TO WIN, SODIQ YUSUFF TO WIN BY DECISION @ 10/1

Khalil Rountree v Karl Roberson

32-year-old light heavyweight, Khalil Rountree, will take on 31-year-old Karl Roberson in a must-win bout for either of them at this stage in their careers. Both fighters have a background in striking with Rountree training at the famous Tiger Muay Thai down the years, and he comes into this fight as the narrow favourite here.

Do expect both men - each of which are of seriously impressive physical stature - to throw bombs given the importance of this fight in terms of making a name for themselves in the UFC. Rountree has been in and out of the win column since moving into the UFC back in 2016, and he now has three wins via decision and six via TKO/KO.

Robertson, though, has won just twice via TKO/KO and after back-to-back submission defeats, he's expected to try and keep this on the feet once more.

We're tipping the more in-form and better striker in Rountree to win via decision here.

Drew Dober v Terrance McKinney

Arguably the most intriguing matchup on the main card sees Drew Dober take on Terrance McKinney in the lightweight division with the impressive McKinney looking to continue his rise up the UFC ranks and make it five wins in a row and three in three in the UFC.

McKinney, 27, has been making waves and grabbing much attention since his UFC debut back in June last year as he won inside seven seconds when he knocked out Matt Frevola in stunning fashion. He is, however, taking this fight on eight days' notice after beating Fares Ziam via rear-naked choke just two weeks ago on the UFC Vegas 49 card.

Now, against Dober, it could just be one step too far for a man still learning the ways of MMA at 27. Dober has wins over the likes of Nasrat Haqparast and Alexander Hernandez in the past two years, but is on a two-fight losing streak, having lost to Brad Riddell and slam Islam Makhachev.

We expect him to get back in the win column though with his efficient striking in taekwondo and excellent takedown ratio, as there's always a chance this is just too soon for McKinney to step in.

UFC Vegas 50: Santos v Ankalaev Prediction

skybet betting tip

DREW DOBER, KHALIL ROUNTREE & YADONG SONG ALL TO WIN, SODIQ YUSUFF TO WIN BY DECISION @ 10/1

Thiago Santos v Magomed Ankalaev

The main event of UFC Vegas 50 sees the ferocious Thiago Santos take on one of the most skilled light heavyweights we've witnessed in recent times, Magomed Ankalaev. The Russian is a part of the outpouring talent coming from that country and in particular the Dagestan area, and like many others from that side of the world, Ankalaev is a Master of Sport in the dominant discipline that is combat sambo.

The Russian would take over his nation's amateur MMA scene and become the national champion before being named the 2015 Mixed Martial Artist of the Year in Russia, which is an incredibly impressive achievement.

Two years on, he'd lose his UFC debut to Paul Craig, before winning his next seven fights across three years all in stunning fashion. A Knockout of the Year contender against Dalcha Lungiambula would soon come, plus two knockout wins over Ion Cuțelaba, along with decision wins over Volkan Oezdemir and Nikita Krylov as Ankalaev really started to establish himself as a serious contender at 205 lbs.

What makes Ankalaev more threatening for a man like Santos isn't just his form and continued improvement, but the fact we've barely seen him use his Master of Sport-esque ways in combat sambo, which is incredible to say about a man from Dagestan. Now though, against a knockout artist like Santos, he may have to.

Santos, now 38, is coming off the back of beating Johnny Walker just five months ago, as he lost to Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, and Aleksandar Rakić in a row, which in reality, isn't that bad considering one is the best 205 lbs figher ever, the other the current champ, and the latter arguably the best contender after Jiří Procházka.

Santos is going to need to get rid of Ankalaev here inside the distance, with the Russian simply too skilled across the board. If it stays on the feet long enough, as shown with the front kick against Lungiambula, the Brazilian could be in trouble in seconds. Moreover, you want as much distance as humanely possible against a man raised in the gyms of the famous Dagestan area.

At 1/4, it's clear to see why Ankalaev is the favourite here, but don't rule out Santos too quickly, who can swing for the bleachers and land with serious power.

Sodiq Yussuf v Alex Caceres

A veteran takes on a man making a name for himself here as Alex Caceres meets with Sodiq Yusuff with the 33-year-old Florida man on a five-fight win streak across the past two-and-a-half years.

Yusuff though, despite losing to the title-chaser, Arnold Allen, is still right in there within the featherweight mixture as there is still a few more spots left open to be a contender ahead of Dan Hooker and Allen clashing next week.

Yussuf has picked up five of his 11 wins via decision and has a record in the UFC of three decision wins and two TKO victories. The Nigerian is extremely talented and possesses excellent power for a man of 145 lbs, and for the most part, looks as if he could easily be a 155 lbs fighter, but his 5ft 9 stature keeps him fighting at in the weight class below.

His striking is technical and punches come in flurries, and despite Caceres' form, the UFC veteran is taking on a whole different beast here compared to when he fought the likes of an up-and-comer, Chase Hooper.

UFC Vegas 50: Santos v Ankalaev Prediction

skybet betting tip

DREW DOBER, KHALIL ROUNTREE & YADONG SONG ALL TO WIN, SODIQ YUSUFF TO WIN BY DECISION @ 10/1

Marlon Moraes v Song Yadong

In what is probably the fight of the night in terms of competitiveness, two bantamweights looking to get right into the mixture of the stacked 135 lbs division meet with Marlon Moraes taking on Song Yadong. It's all or nothing here for Moraes, who despite fighting for the title only two-and-a-half years ago as he lost to Henry Cejudo, is no doubt fighting for his future, even with wins against the likes of the current champion, Ajamain Sterling.

Moraes has lost his last three fights too, and all three have been via TKO losses as well. Now, with Yadong winning most of his fights via decision and picking up impressive wins over the likes of Marlon Vera and Casey Kenney in the past two years, the Chinese star should get his 19th win in MMA and push towards the top 10 in the bantamweight rankings.

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