Santos is the No. 9 ranked light heavyweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings. Previously, Santos challenged Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title, losing a razor-thin split decision back in 2019. Following that defeat, Santos lost his next two bouts, to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic, but was able to right the ship in his most recent outing, taking home a unanimous decision over Johnny Walker this past October. At 38 years old, Santos needs this win to stay relevant at 205 pounds.
Coming in at No. 7 in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, Ankalaev is the hottest prospect in the light heavyweight division. After losing his UFC debut to Paul Craig by a literal last-second submission back in 2018, Ankalaev has been perfect, winning seven fights in a row while racking up three Performance of the Night bonuses. A win for Ankalaev here could set him up for a light heavyweight title shot later this year.
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