On paper, the UFC Fight Night 186 co-main event looked to be one of Saturday’s most entertaining pairings.
When Magomed Ankalaev and Nikita Krylov stepped into the Octagon, however, they ended up being one of eight fights on a nine-bout card that went the distance. And despite the finishing track record of both light heavyweights, the bout was a bit of a grinder as Ankalaev emerged with a unanimous decision victory.
“I was planning to fight standing up but once he started wrestling with me, I had to change my tactics and I also wrestled,” Ankalaev said.
“I feel great, but the fight didn’t go as I expected. I could say that it was a little boring, but the end result is that I’m happy with my win. I’m not disappointed because my victory is what matters.”
Ankalaev has now won six consecutive fights and is a rising star in the 205-pound division. He hopes that his latest victory can push him to a greater stage.
“I hope that many people were watching this fight and I’m hoping that they were watching because I was fighting No. 8 in my division and now I’m ready for my next opponent,” he said. “I’m hoping that UFC would consider to give me a main event, five-round fight because I want to see if I can go the distance, if I can go the entire five rounds, just to test myself before the title fights.”
Ankalaev will be watching the light heavyweight division in the coming weeks with great interest, as he hopes to receive a more highly-ranked adversary for his next UFC appearance.
“Krylov wasn’t my ideal opponent because I was expecting for me to be propelled in the rankings in my division,” Ankalaev said. “I was expecting someone higher up. But right now, Top 5 or Top 6 fighters in my division – they have fights scheduled. So depending on who wins, I’m hoping to get an opponent among those winners.”