5 most explosive moments from UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev

Khalil Rountree's finish of Karl Roberson was almost unspeakably brutal
Khalil Rountree's finish of Karl Roberson was almost unspeakably brutal

With a sneakily deep card on offer, hopes were high for UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev.

For the most part, this UFC Fight Night event delivered hugely with plenty of violence on offer, from brutal knockouts to slick submissions.

Essentially, there was something for everyone here. While the headline fight didn’t deliver a classic, this show was still well worth watching.

With that in mind, here are the five most explosive moments from UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev.


#5. Cody Brundage survives an onslaught to pick up his first UFC win

Cody Brundage snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat against Dalcha Lungiambula
Cody Brundage snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat against Dalcha Lungiambula

Dana White’s Contender Series alumni Cody Brundage didn’t exactly set the world alight in his UFC debut last September. He was comprehensively outpointed by Nick Maximov and lost a decision.

Last night, it didn’t look like his fight with Dalcha Lungiambula was going to end any better for him. After a brief feeling-out period, Lungiambula wasted no time in opening up with some heavy punches to Brundage, who looked close to being out of the fight on more than one occasion.

Incredibly, though, he was somehow able to hang on in the fight, despite taking what appeared to be a criminal amount of damage. Evidently, Lungiambula sensed that he couldn’t put Brundage away in the first round – and decided to switch things up with a takedown.

It turned out to be a massive error in judgment. In a truly insane moment, Brundage was somehow able to counter, grab onto a guillotine choke, and sink it in tightly. The South African fighter attempted to escape but, moments later, was forced to tap out.

To say Brundage stole a victory from the jaws of defeat here would be an understatement. The official statistics stated that he ate an insane 29 significant strikes before managing to submit Lungiambula.

Whether or not he can go onto more success in the octagon is a question mark, but for now, Brundage will be a happy man – particularly as the finish landed him a nice $50k bonus cheque.

#4. Azamat Murzakanov opens his UFC career with a sick flying knee

Azamat Murzakanov ended his octagon debut in brutal fashion
Azamat Murzakanov ended his octagon debut in brutal fashion

After crushing his opponent on Dana White’s Contender Series, hopes were high for UFC debutant Azamat Murzakanov last night, particularly as the native of Russia already had a total of nine finishes on his record.

Nobody in the UFC could’ve expected him to make such a stunning impact, though. He delivered probably the night’s flashiest finish with a flying knee knockout of opponent Tafon Nchukwi in the third round of their UFC light heavyweight bout.

The fight was largely contested on the feet throughout. In the first two rounds at least, it looked like Nchukwi had the advantage. Sure, he wasn’t able to outright hurt ‘The Professional’, but he certainly appeared to be the better striker overall.

In the third round, though – probably knowing he needed a finish – Murzakanov turned up the aggression hugely, and it worked remarkably well.

He clocked ‘Da Don’ with a huge left hook that wobbled him. With Nchukwi backpedalling, the Russian then followed by grabbing his head to deliver a jumping knee. The shot switched off the Cameroon native’s lights immediately, and the fight was over just like that.

The win unsurprisingly earned the UFC newcomer a $50k bonus. While he’ll have to fight much better than this to climb the ladder in the UFC's 205lbs division, this was still an outstanding – and explosive – start for him.


#3. Drew Dober unleashes an explosive finish on Terrance McKinney

Drew Dober came out on top in a wild fight with Terrance McKinney
Drew Dober came out on top in a wild fight with Terrance McKinney

The most explosive fight on offer overall last night was undoubtedly Drew Dober’s war with Terrance McKinney. Sure, this clash lasted just over three minutes, but it was chock full of action. One would hope that the two lightweights were rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

McKinney took the bout on just two weeks’ notice. Early on, it seemed clear that his best bet would be to attack Dober and look to get him out of the octagon early. Sure enough, he opened the fight with a brutal knee, and then dropped his opponent with a flurry that had him on the verge of being finished.

Dober showed a lot of toughness to survive. He weathered another storm, surviving another wobbly moment before finally coming back at ‘T-Wrecks’ with some punches of his own.

With both men looking a little tired despite the first round only being midway through, Dober then tuned McKinney up with a knee to counter a head kick. This time, ‘T-Wrecks’ was the fighter who was hurt.

From there, Dober pounced on him as he fell and opened up with huge shots from the top position until UFC referee Keith Peterson was forced to step in.

This was a massively impressive win for Dober, particularly as he was coming off back-to-back losses and had to deal with a remarkably aggressive opponent. He remains one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC to watch. While McKinney may well have the brighter future still, he’ll need to regroup after suffering this loss.

#2. Song Yadong scores a beautiful walk-off knockout on Marlon Moraes

Song Yadong scored a crazy walk-off knockout of Marlon Moraes to secure his biggest win to date
Song Yadong scored a crazy walk-off knockout of Marlon Moraes to secure his biggest win to date

Given that former UFC bantamweight title challenger Marlon Moraes has been on a major slide in his recent fights, last night’s event felt like Song Yadong’s big chance to break into the elite level at 135lbs.

Not only did ‘The Kung Fu Monkey’ do that in unbelievable fashion, he also picked up one of the most violent finishes of his career, earning a $50k bonus for his efforts in the process.

The fight didn’t last too long at all. Early on, it looked like Moraes was the more confident fighter. He caught Song with some crisp punches and kicks and even shook off a nasty right hand to the temple.

However, his success was only momentary. After dodging a flurry, Song fired back with a brutal combination, four punches landing to Moraes before an uppercut dropped him badly. It was clear that the Brazilian was done. ‘The Kung Fu Monkey’ didn’t even follow up – claiming a walk-off knockout instead.

The victory puts Song on a three-fight win streak. While Moraes is clearly on the downswing of his career – and may well be forced out of the UFC after this loss – it should still be seen as the best win of the Chinese fighter’s young career.


#1. Khalil Rountree wrecks Karl Roberson in his most violent UFC performance yet

Khalil Rountree's finish of Karl Roberson was the most brutal one in recent memory
Khalil Rountree's finish of Karl Roberson was the most brutal one in recent memory

While no one will confuse Khalil Rountree for a UFC light heavyweight contender, it’s hard to dispute that when he’s on, ‘The War Horse’ is one of the most violent and explosive 205lbers in the world. His win over Karl Roberson last night was more evidence of that.

With both men primarily being strikers, this fight was always likely to take place on the feet. Sure enough, a closely-contested first round saw both men land some pretty nice shots without completely hurting the other.

In the second round, though, Rountree simply turned up the heat – and scorched ‘Baby K’, getting him out of there after just 25 seconds of the stanza.

The finish was a truly wild one. A pair of punches dropped Roberson hard. After avoiding a potential leglock attempt, Rountree continued the violence with an absolutely brutal soccer kick to the body of his downed opponent that stunned everyone watching.

From there, Rountree caught the standing Roberson with another flurry. As he collapsed, referee Herb Dean stepped in to call a halt to proceedings.

The likelihood is that this win won’t advance Rountree in the rankings at 205lbs. He’s now been around since 2016 and hasn’t really changed his style or approach but remains a wild fighter to watch. When he can produce violence like this, he’s a must-see attraction.

Simply put, this was one of the most explosive finishes in recent memory.

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Edited by John Cunningham
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