UFC Vegas 50: UFC Apex:
Everyone wants their opportunity to win gold. And Magomed Ankalaev is no different. Calling for that opportunity is best done after your best performance, or at least a memorable moment. So does Ankalaev deserve a shot after a forgettable outing against Thiago Santos? And in his first UFC main event slot? No, not quite.
Sure, when two sluggers fight there’s always a hesitation, because you don’t want to make a lights out type of mistake. While now on an eight-fight win streak, he appears to have the tools to one day challenge for the 205-strap. He did say through his interpreter:
“I wanted to fight five rounds to see if I’m ready to test myself. To see if I’m ready to go all the way to the top. I feel that I deserve a title fight. But of course it will depend on the UFC, who my next opponent will be. But I feel I deserve a title fight”.
His last three-fights have gone to the scorecards now, (this one being 49-46 2x, 48-47) but he has taken out two-Top-10 fighters back-to-back. And the light heavyweight division isn’t topped by a monster right now in Glover Teixeira. Who on June 11th has his hands full with Jiri Prochazka.
Does Ankalaev Deserve Shot Next?
If you ask “fans”, which is a bad business model usually; a good number might say yes. While the29-year old Dagestani is getting a decent resume, he hasn’t swam with the real sharks yet. Then again to be fair, Prochazka’s UFC resume doesn’t read like a who’s who either. He’s only two-fights into his run. But that UFC 275 card is far from set yet. So you could turn him around on that card next against Jan Blachowicz, who hasn’t fought since dropping the title to Teixeira.
At least then they’d all be on the same schedule. Ankalaev has proven to have some standup. He’s solid on the mat as well. And with Prochazka being as “exciting” as he is, and with Blachowicz’s power, you can bet that Dana White would love to see the belt be a hot potato between the three. And this way he if he has someone that can lap the division.
Or at least be a massive fight for when Israel Adesanya makes another run at light heavyweight.