It wasn’t the fire fight many expected but Magomed Ankalaev still did more than enough to secure his sixth win in a row in the UFC Vegas 20 co-main event.
Over three rounds, Ankalaev proved he’s more than a knockout striker as he dragged Nikita Krylov to the ground multiple times and controlled the majority of the fight with his grappling to earn a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 as Ankalaev moves to 15-1 in his career and 6-1 in the UFC.
“I’m feeling fine, especially after the victory. It always feels much better,” Ankalaev said after the win. “I wasn’t planning to wrestle with him but once he started, I had to counter attack. We ended up wrestling.”
A takedown from Krylov after the opening exchange appeared to show his hand when it came to his game plan but after Ankalaev was able to work his way back to the feet, the light heavyweights appeared comfortable just trading strikes on the feet.
While Ankalaev has a reputation for his highlight reel knockouts, Krylov showed no fear throwing in the pocket with him. In fact, Krylov and Ankalaev both connected with several stiff shots that tested the chins of the Russian fighters.
As Anaklaev looked to separate himself from Krylov, the three-time Performance of the Night winner mixed in a takedown, which was definitely an unexpected move. Once he was on the mat, Ankalaev was able to control Krylov while also raining down some heavy punches and elbows to prove he’s no slouch with his ground game.
With a close fight through two rounds, Ankalaev continued to adjust his strategy after connecting with a pair of hard right hands that clubbed Krylov and then swooping inside for yet another takedown.
From there with Krylov trapped against the cage, Ankalaev just peppered away with strikes from the top to continue punishing his opponent until the fight came to a close.
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.