With the excitement of a UFC PPV featuring Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington having passed, there are more exciting fights on the horizon for fans to look forward to. UFC cards built like Santos vs Ankalaev are the kind that produce standout performances
The main event with title contender implications will be preluded with many heavy-handed fighters matched against each other. This Fight Night has all the potential to be one of the most action-packed of 2022 so far.
While this event in its entirety is spectacular, we've sifted out matches that have a great chance of being the most fun to watch. Here are 5 exciting fights to watch at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Ankalaev
#5. Kris Moutinho Vs Guido Cannetti For Their Spot In The UFC
Kris Moutinho may look and sound familiar, he made his debut against Sean O'Malley on none other than a Conor McGregor PPV. Fed to the wolves, fans speculated that Kris Moutinho would suffer a first-round knockout loss and live on as another Sean O'Malley highlight.
What nobody saw coming was the heart and determination of Moutinho. While he never really found success in that fight, he won fans over with his will and toughness alone. He's slated against Guido Cannetti, a fighter with his back against the wall having lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
This bantamweight matchup features two fighters with a point to prove; that they're company material. The desire to please the fans and UFC brass is looming overhead in this bout, making it a must-see match.
#4. Sodiq Yusuff vs. Alex Caceres
Following his second ever defeat against fellow prospect Arnold Allen, Sodiq Yusuff is looking to propel himself back into the win column. The only problem is that UFC vet, Alex Caceres, stands opposite Yusuff and is looking to make it 6 wins in a row.
Caceres is always in good spirits. It really isn't a chore to root for someone as go-lucky as he is. He's got tenure in the company, having fought for the organization since 2011. Sodiq Yusuff is relatively new. Although he's been around since 2018 and has had 5 fights, he has nowhere near the experience that Alex Caceres has, which could be a huge factor in this fight.
What's really exciting about this fight is finding out what Yusuff's bounce-back from the loss to Allen will be like. Will he be too tentative or will he come back with a vengeance? Will Caceres be too much now that he's seemingly found his stride?
#3. Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Karl Roberson
This light heavyweight scrap has all the ingredients for Fight Of The Night. Two heavy-handed fighters that are here to find out where they stand amongst the light heavyweight division. One thing is for sure, Rountree and Roberson are exciting fighters. Both have finished 66% of their wins.
Both athletes in this equation have had rocky careers in the UFC. With that being said, Rountree is the one entering this fight with momentum on his side. Khalil Rountree is coming off of a leg kick TKO victory, as opposed to Roberson's 2 fight skid.
At 31 and 32 years of age respectively, Rountree and Roberson seem to have a lot left in the tank, but this fight will seriously dictate the direction of both the winner and loser's future in the promotion.
#2. Drew Dober vs. Terrance McKinney
Drew Dober fighting Terrance McKinney isn't the fight the fans expected, but it might be the best fight that the fans could get. The only downside to this bout is that McKinney is stepping up on short notice against a huge threat that is Drew Dober.
Terrance McKinney has such a great story. From almost dying twice in an ambulance to winning his promotional debut in 7 seconds, McKinney is a come-back story that everyone can get behind. Drew Dober has some coming back to do himself, as he's looking to put a captsone on a two-fight losing streak with an emphatic win.
Dober's losing streak isn't anything for him to lose stock over. These losses came from one of the best strikers and best grapplers in the division. Prior to those losses, Dober had a 3 fight knockout streak to boast.
Terrance McKinney is only 2-0 in the UFC and this is a huge step up in the competition. With that being said, this could catapult him into contender status very quickly and could be one of the quickest runs for contendership in the lightweight division. Drew Dober is no easy feat, and these are all factors that make this match so exciting, despite the short-notice step up from McKinney.
#1. Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev
Thiago Santos against Magomed Ankalaev should be the furthest thing from boring for MMA fans. Both fighters have made their presence known in the UFC with fantastic finishes. Santos has fought for the light heavyweight title and Ankalaev seems to be just getting started.
Thiago Santos knows how to get a crowd going. His dangerous striking makes fans resist their urge to blink. Magomed Ankalaev has finished over half of his wins by KO/TKO. Ankalaev's 16-1 record only has one blemish, which was a last second submission loss to Paul Craig; a fight he was otherwise winning.
When the referee signals these two athletes to fight, fireworks are to be expected. With Jon Jones out and the current champion, Glover Teixeira, talking retirement soon, a statement performance from either Santos or Ankalaev could see the winner jump into title contention sooner rather than later.