Magomed Ankalaev is ready to shoot his shot at the elite of the UFC light heavyweight division.
The 28-year old Russian athlete is recently coming off one of the biggest performances of his career. At UFC Vegas 20, the light heavyweight emphatically beat Nikita Krylov down with countless head kicks which earned him the unanimous decision victory. Not only was the bout mostly contested on the feet, but Ankalaev advanced a six-fight winning streak. So it was safe to assume the stakes were heavy in this one. Following the heated fight, Magomed Ankalaev felt that his performance warranted the most elite the division has to offer.
“Krylov wasn’t my ideal opponent because I was expecting for me to be propelled in the rankings in my division,” Ankalaev told reporters at the post-fight news conference. “I was expecting someone higher up. But right now, top-five or top-six fighters in my division – they have fights scheduled. So depending on who wins, I’m hoping to get an opponent among those winners.”
While the Russian currently stands in the rankings at No.8, he is unsatisfied with that and intends to change things by getting an opponent higher than him, especially after his most recent outing.
Who Is Available For A Fight With Magomed Ankalaev In The Top 5?
As it stands, there are not many available. There are some great matchups in the top five for Ankalaev but most of them are either scheduled already or injured. Specifically, Jiri Prochazka ranked at No.5 is hot on an 11-fight unbeaten streak, and that fight would provide a great test for both athletes to determine where they fit in the pecking order. Unfortunately, he too has an upcoming scheduled bout with Dominick Reyes, so it would appear most of the division is tied up at the moment.
Let’s be real here, pairing the Russian with any striker at this point is guaranteed action, but since he is so vehement about it being in or around the top five, perhaps Magomed Ankalaev may have to wait it out in order to get a bigger fight to materialize.
Give us your thoughts on Magomed Ankalaev’s request for a top-ranked opponent after his win over Nikita Krylov. Let us know who you think his next opponent should be!