UFC 267: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir: Prediction and Analysis

Published 10/28/2021, 8:42 AM EDT


The main card of UFC 267 will open with a light heavyweight fight between Magomed Ankalaev and Volkan Oezdemir. Both fighters are in the top 10, and a win in this fight for either of them can see them fight a top 5 opponent next.

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The number 7 ranked Ankalaev will enter the fight on the back of a six-fight win streak. He has lost only once in his MMA career, against Paul Craig on his UFC debut. The Russian fighter has won three ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses out of his six wins in the UFC. He will look to continue his winning streak against a very game and dangerous opponent in Oezdemir.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 24: (R-L) Magomed Ankalaev of Russia punches Ion Cutelaba of Moldova in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC 254 event on October 24, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Oezdemir, on the other hand, is coming off a defeat in his last fight. He went up against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 251 and lost via knockout in the second round. However, ‘No Time’ will not be an easy opponent to get through.

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Having started his UFC career with three consecutive wins, Oezdemir fought for the UFC light heavyweight title in only his fourth fight. He faced Daniel Cormier for the belt but lost the fight in the second round via TKO. Since then, he is 2-3 in his last five fights and would love to get a win against Ankalaev.

UFC 267: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir

Ankalaev has been on a tear ever since his loss at UFC Fight Night 127. He has won four of his last six fights via T/KO and has won eight fights in total via a stoppage. The Russian fighter has a striking accuracy of 54 percent and would try to use his counter-punching ability to beat his opponent.

Despite facing a top-level opponent who has fought some of the biggest names in the division, Ankalaev would look to build on his momentum and capitalize on the fact that Oezdemir hasn’t fought since July 2020.

Oezdemir is a well-known and dangerous fighter. A former title challenger, ‘No Time’ is a technically sound fighter, and doesn’t do too many things wrong in the octagon. He will look to close the distance against Ankalaev and try to avoid his counter punches. His striking accuracy at 46 percent is much less than his opponent. This might work in Ankalaev’s favor.

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There is very little chance of the fight going and staying on the ground, as both fighters like to fight on their feet. However, with the momentum on his side, and with his excellent counter-punching ability, Ankalaev definitely is the favorite for UFC 267.

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The fight is huge for both men, as a win here will definitely give them an opportunity to fight the top fighters in the division, which can eventually open up the way to a title shot.

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Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev to win via a second-round knockout. 

Who, according to you, wins this fight? Let us know in the comments!

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Arunaditya Aima

255 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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