Light Heavyweight Contenders (#5) Thiago Santos and (#6) Magomed Ankalaev Collide at UFC Apex
UFC returns to UFC APEX with a hard-hitting light heavyweight contenders’ bout that will see No. 5 ranked Thiago Santos battle No. 6 Magomed Ankalaev. In the co-main event, No 10 ranked bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes aims to stop the momentum of No. 14 Song Yadong.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SANTOS vs. ANKALAEV will take place Saturday, March 12 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. All bouts will be available exclusively on ESPN+ (English and Spanish), with the main card beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. The prelims will kick off at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
Former light heavyweight title challenger Santos (22-9, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is hoping to build off the momentum from his recent win over Johnny Walker in October. A powerful KO artist, he has earned thrilling stoppages against Jan Blachowicz, Jimi Manuwa and Anthony Smith. Santos now looks to turn back one of the division’s toughest rising contenders with another vintage performance.
Ankalaev (16-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) quickly entered the division’s Top 10 on the heels of an impressive seven-fight win streak. During this run, he secured notable victories over Volkan Oezdemir, Nikita Krylov and Ion Cutelaba (twice). Ankalaev now hopes to stake his claim for a title shot by stopping Santos in emphatic fashion.
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Moraes (23-9-1, fighting out of Parkland, Fla. by way of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) aims to turn heads with another highlight-reel KO. Throughout his UFC stint, he has delivered memorable finishes over Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera and current champion Aljamain Sterling. Moraes now has his sights set on stopping Song to hold his spot in the bantamweight top 10.
Song (18-5-1 1NC, fighting out of Heilongjiang, China) continues his quest to become the first Chinese-born male fighter to challenge for a UFC title. Since joining the UFC roster in 2017, he has netted exciting wins against Julio Arce, Casey Kenney and Marlon Vera. Song now seeks to add his first former UFC title challenger to his resume with a show-stealing performance.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- No. 12 featherweight contender Sodiq Yusuff (11-2, fighting out of Bladensburg, Md. by way of Lagos, Nigeria) intends to defend his spot in the rankings against rising No. 15 Alex Caceres (19-12 1NC, fighting out of Miami, Fla.)
- Khalil Rountree Jr. (10-5 1NC, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) locks horns with Karl Roberson (9-4, fighting out of Neptune, N.J.) at light heavyweight
- Exciting middleweight strikers clash when Alex Pereira (4-1, fighting out of Danbury, Conn.) takes on Bruno Silva (22-6, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil)
- Matthew Semelsberger (9-3, fighting out of Frederick, Md.) hopes to spoil the debut of Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner AJ Fletcher (9-0, fighting out of Lafayette, La.) in a welterweight bout
- JJ Aldrich (10-4, fighting out of Aurora, Colo.) goes for her third consecutive win when she faces exciting finisher Gillian Robertson (10-6, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Niagara Falls, Canada) at flyweight
- Trevin Jones (13-7 1NC, fighting out of Maite, Guam) takes on Dana White’s Contender Series signee Javid Basharat (11-0, fighting out of London, England) in a bantamweight bout
- Damon Jackson (19-4-1 1NC, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) faces Kamuela Kirk (12-4, fighting out of Peoria, Ariz.) in a battle of rising featherweights
- Sabina Mazo (9-3, fighting out of Redondo Beach, Calif. by way of Medellin, Colombia) squares off with Miranda Maverick (11-4, fighting out of Norfolk, Va.) at flyweight
- Dalcha Lungiambula (11-3, fighting out of Cape Town, South Africa) takes on Cody Brundage (6-2, fighting out of Englewood, Colo.) in a middleweight matchup
- Kris Moutinho (9-5, fighting out of Milford, Mass.) returns against Guido Cannetti (8-7, fighting out of San Antonio de Padua, Buenos Aires, Argentina) at bantamweight
- Tafon Nchukwi (6-1, fighting out of Temple Hills, Md. by way of Bamenda, Cameroon) meets Azamat Murzakanov (10-0, fighting out of Fairfield, N.J. by way of Nalchik, Russia) in a clash of light heavyweight prospects
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