On September 11, 2019, UFC Fight Night 163 featured an interesting bout between Magomed Ankalaev, a 27-year-old Dagestani native, and Dalcha Lungiambula of South Africa. Even though Lungiambula is older than Ankalaev by 5 years and only fought his first MMA match under the Ultimate Fighting Championship in April 2018 when he knocked out Dekwan Toundsen from the USA in Ohio with a punch to the face earning him $5000 as a bonus payment for knockout of the night performance.
Dulcha Lungiambula is now on a good streak with his last six fights ending in victories, four of them early. The African has only one defeat on his record, dating back to 2015 and he has not lost since then. His opponent for Saturday night’s UFC fight, Dagestani Magomed Ankalaev, may be 7 years younger than him but he still has three fights in the UFC promotion.
Magomed has had recent success against Clidson Abreu by unanimous decision and Marcin Pracinio by TKO. In 2019, he lost in UFC to Paul Craig but notched 2 victories in non-UFC bouts.
Magomed Ankalaev is not a widely known figure outside of the Russian mixed martial arts community. He didn’t start fighting professionally until after he won titles in amateur competitions.
After five victories in the five matches Magomed began to compete in the more prominent WFCA which is under protection of Ramzan Kadyrov. There he scored another five triumphs in the fighting for a total of ten, and became champion of this organization. After such success he received interest from UFC, and signed a contract with this league.
Making his UFC debut as an unbeaten fighter, Ankalayev was challenged by the excellent fighter Paul Craig. Though during most of the fight he dominated, in the final seconds he found himself caught with a chokehold and surrendered his second (!) before the siren sounded. This unpleasant defeat did not break him, however, and after that he got two more wins in a row. In their previous meeting in February 2019, Ankalaev soundly defeated Clidson Abreu. Now looking for his third win in a row next Saturday evening .
It’s hard to say much about Lungiambula’s career as an African side project–a one-off or sore thumb evident from the UFC broadcasting rights. Dalcha started in the EFC league and competed at its events until 2018, scoring nine wins.
That was enough to earn him a contract from the UFC. He made his debut fight in the league in June 2019, when he also faced a rookie named Dequan Townsend. Dulcea then scored an early victory in the third round.
What were the predictions?
A victory on Saturday night for Ankalaev will be the clear favourite in this coming clash. Lungiambula relies primarily on his stand-up work and is rather limited in ground action. As Ankalaev has mastered the school of Greco-Roman wrestling, a true all-round fighter changes things completely.
Russian fighter Magomed has more fighting experience than his opponent and is also taller. In addition to this, Luangimbula never fights fighters of this level before. Considering all these facts, we believe that Mohammed has a good chance to win early in the fight. Odds for such an outcome are high – 2:1
Victory for Ankalaev – knockout in the third round (front-kick).