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UFC predictions: Fight Night picks for Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev

UFC Fight Night returns on Saturday, March 12 with Thiago Santos taking on Magomed Ankalaev in the main event.

Magomed Ankalaev of Russia punches Volkan Oezdemir of Switzerland in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 267 event at Etihad Arena on October 30, 2021 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC Fight Night returns to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 12th. The preliminary card will get started at 4:00 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN+. The main card consists of six fights and is scheduled to get going at 7:00 p.m. ET still on ESPN+. The main event of the evening will be a light heavyweight matchup between Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev.

Whether you enjoy betting UFC or playing UFC DFS, you should check out the Betting Pools at DraftKings Sportsbook. You can submit one entry free and the prize pool for this weekend’s main event is $5000. Here are some of the picks that we like for Santos vs. Ankalaev.

Who Will Win?

Ankalaev has a 16-1 record and is the -550 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He has won seven fights in a row and he looks destined for a future bout against Glover Texiera for the title belt. Santos is the veteran, and he may have one more title run in him, but he won’t get it from a win here. Ankalaev for the win.

Winning Method?

I always want to go with knockouts here, but I think this one is going to go the distance. Three of Santos’ last four fights have ended in decisions. For Ankalaev, he has nine knockouts in his 16 wins, but he is coming off back-to-back wins by unanimous decision. With it being the main event, I obviously am hoping for something more exciting, but I really do think this one goes the distance.

Will there be a submission attempt?

Both of these fighters are big strikers, and neither has a strong submission game. Ankalaev’s lone loss came by submission in his UFC debut. Santos is 1-3 when fights have ended in submission, but his submission victory came back in 2011. Neither fighter has a strong submission game and there really isn’t any reason for either of them to try and surprise their opponent with an attempt.

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