Outside of Rua or Smith, Ankalaev is willing to fight any light heavyweight ranked in the top five.
“I’d love to fight a top-five fighter. It would be interesting, and I would prefer to fight (Mauricio) ‘Shogun’ Rua or Anthony Smith. But other than that, anyone in the top five. I’m just happy that I can sleep well right now. I’m going to probably rest about two, three weeks and hopefully get a top-five opponent,” Ankalaev said after UFC 254 (via Matt Erickson & John Morgan of MMA Junkie).
Both Smith and Rua are booked for fights this November, so Ankalaev may have to wait to fight his first two choices. Ankalaev says the key to beating Cutelaba at UFC 254 was to land counter strikes on him.
“I wanted to catch him. I wanted to finish with a counter and I finished with a counter,” says Ankalaev.