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UFC looking to book Magomed Ankalaev vs. Thiago Santos for March headliner

A potentially explosive light heavyweight encounter is in the works for a March 12th event.

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MMA: OCT 02 UFC Fight Night Vegas 38 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Magomed Ankalaev has made quite an impact in the Octagon over the past few years, and he is being rewarded for his work with his toughest test to date. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC is working on booking a March 12th main event fight between Ankalaev and former light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos:

Ankalaev (16-1, 7-1 UFC) has won seven straight in the promotion and took out another former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir, at UFC 267 last month. He currently sits at number six in the official UFC 205-pound rankings. The Russian fighter has been scheduled for five rounds before, but this will be his first time in the UFC.

Santos (22-9, 14-8 UFC) broke a three-fight losing streak with a hard fought five-round decision victory over Johnny Walker in early October. He currently sits right above his prospective opponent in the rankings, currently holding the five position.

No other fights have been added to the March 12th event, and the location of the show is still to be determined.