Key statistics: 54.7% significant hit accuracy (tied 6th all-time among LHW), 86.4% takedown defense (5th all-time among LHW), 2.14 strikes absorbed per minute (2nd)
What this means: Ankalaev is a technically competent striker and he is precise in his attack. He is powerful and precise and does not seek to force a finish. He has a diverse attack, mixing front kicks and long-range attacks to stifle any counterattack from his opponent. If he decides to mix things up and fight on the ground, he has good control and pressure, which helps him carry on his opponents.
MORE FROM ANKALAEV: Top Finishes | Greatest Hits | Athlete Profile
What to look for in combat: Much of this fight will be determined by pacing and range and who sets those barometers early. Błachowicz has the advantage of range, so he would be well served by striking from range, and if Ankalaev starts to find success, throwing in a clinch to slow the fight down a bit. For Ankalaev, he has a bit of a plan for Glover Teixeira’s victory over Błachowicz when the Brazilian snatched the title from him, which involves a patient fight and work to the end. Ankalaev has a bit more diversity in his attack than Teixeira, so he could overload Błachowicz before shooting for a takedown.
Co-main event: Paddy Piblet vs. Jared Gordon