Magomed Ankalaev Names 2023 Resolutions After “Learning Experience”

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UFC light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev has revealed his New Year’s resolutions as 2023’s fight schedule approaches.

2022 was a great year for Ankalaev — well, 11 months of it, at least. The Dagestani entered the year on the back of consecutive decision victories over a pair of top-10 contenders in Volkan Oezdemir and Nikita Krylov.

Those results had Ankalaev riding high on a seven-fight win streak, which became nine seven months into 2022.

At UFC Vegas 50, the 30-year-old entered the headline spotlight for the first time, outpointing former title challenger Thiago Santos. A subsequent pay-per-view appearance at UFC 277 in July saw him stop an injured Anthony Smith via TKO.

With that, Ankalaev earned his place in what appeared to be a title eliminator — or so it seemed. With Jiří Procházka pulling out of the UFC 282 headliner and vacating the belt through injury, Ankalaev’s scrap with Jan Błachowicz rose to top spot on the card and had the stakes associated with a shot at vacant gold added.

But while many, including Ankalaev and his region’s dictator, Ramzan Kadyrov, firmly believed he did enough to defeat his Polish counterpart, the bout was ruled a split draw.

With the result in mind, as well as a display that left UFC President Dana White unimpressed, two new names will collide for the title just one PPV later at UFC 283.

Although that’s left Ankalaev out in the cold for the time being, the Russian standout isn’t sulking as a new calendar year approaches — he’s strategizing…

Ankalaev: “To Be A Great Fighter Is Not Enough”

While Ankalaev secured four knockouts in his first five UFC wins, his subsequent five outings have seen him taken to the scorecard on four occasions.

With that in mind and believing that a mistake from the judges was responsible for leaving him without the gold in his possession on December 10 in Las Vegas, Ankalaev vowed to not leave his results in the hands of the trio sat around the Octagon in 2023.

In the same social media post, which saw him brand his recent failed title challenge a “learning experience,” the Dagestani also insisted that next year will see him have the light heavyweight strap wrapped around his waist.

“It has been a learning experience. I am not asking for handouts. I am moving forward and I will not leave it up to the judges anymore. 2023: I will get the belt,” Ankalaev wrote.

The post came on Ankalaev’s new “American account.” Given past reports on Ali Abdelaziz’s use of social media to promote his athletes, many have suggested that the light heavyweight contender’s posts have been written by the Dominance MMA Management CEO.

In another tweet, Ankalaev explained the creation of the new account, suggesting that his ability in the cage isn’t enough to secure championship status. Having seemingly claimed that the UFC has implored him to become more active on social media, the Dagestani promised to complete that objective heading into 2023.

“Hi everyone, this is my American account. To be a great fighter is not enough to get my title, I have to become a media active too,” Ankalaev acknowledged. “@UFC is asking for it, and I will do it.”

What do you think is in store for Magomed Ankalaev in 2023?

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