This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 54, we saw a light heavyweight battle between two men fighting for a spot in the rankings. Ryan “Superman” Spann (20-7) was trying to hold onto his ranking and Ion Cutelaba (16-7) was trying to fight his way in.
After earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Ryan Spann started perfect in the UFC. He was 4-0 when he got his first big fight against Johnny Walker. He hurt Walker in the first round, but was ultimately stopped by the Brazilian later in that same round.
After that, he dominated and finished Misha Cirkunov which earned him a headlining fight against former title challenger Anthony Smith. Spann was stopped in the first round by Smith and went back to the drawing board. He looked much improved at UFC Vegas 54.
Cutelaba was able to get a takedown in the first round, but Spann was also able to hurt Cutelaba on the feet. Just before the halfway point of the first Spann worked his way up from a takedown. He was able to lock in a deep guillotine choke and the two men went to the ground.
Spann had a mounted guillotine and Cutelaba was forced to tap. A huge win for Spann and it was his fourth win by stoppage in his UFC career.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 54?
After this latest win, Spann finds himself 12th in the light heavyweight rankings. Make no mistake about it, Spann needs a ranked opponent in his next fight and I think there are some viable options out there.
One fight I would look at is the showdown at UFC London between Alexander Gustafsson and Nikita Krylov. Gustafsson is not currently ranked, but he’s established and making a comeback at light heavyweight.
Krylov is currently ranked one spot ahead of Spann. Whoever wins that matchup would make for a great fight for Spann. Another option could potentially former UFC title challenger Dominick Reyes.
Reyes hasn’t fought since last year when he was knocked out by Jiri Prochazka. He said he’s targeting a comeback later this year and Spann could be a good opponent for him to return to. If I’m the UFC, those are the options I would look at next for Superman Spann.