This past Saturday night on the main card of UFC Las Vegas, we saw a catchweight bout that was supposed to be a headliner just weeks ago. Top light heavyweight contenders Nikita Krylov (30-9) and Ryan Spann (21-8) went head-to-head in a catchweight bout.
These two were originally supposed to headline UFC Vegas 70 just weeks ago. However, the night of the fight, Krylov became ill and the fight was called off. The promotion turned both men around quickly to re-book this fight. Because of the quick turnaround, they did the fight at 215 pounds.
Both men carried winning streaks into the octagon. Going into the bout, I really liked Ryan Spann’s chances given his newfound commitment to fighting. Spann looked like a world beater in his knockout win over Dominick Reyes last year.
However, if Krylov was going to win, he was going to need to mix it up and take advantage of the grappling. That’s exactly what he did on Saturday night. When these two were on the mat, it was evident that Krylov had a massive advantage.
Krylov had Spann’s back and he actually made a mistake of being too high on the back. Spann was able to shake him off but made a huge error in diving right into a triangle choke opposed to stepping away. Spann quickly tapped giving Krylov the win at UFC Las Vegas.
Who is next after UFC Las Vegas?
We are not far removed from a time where Nikita Krylov went 2-4 in a six fight stretch inside the octagon. However, that seems like a distant memory after his recent three-fight winning streak. Krylov now looks poised to get into the title picture at 205 pounds.
So, with this latest win, who should he face off with next? Well, there are a couple of options I like for Krylov. One fight I like is a rematch with former champion Jan Blachowicz. That would be a fight that makes sense for both men given where they are at in the division.
Another option for Krylov could be facing off against Aleksandar Rakic upon his return. Rakic severely injured his knee last year in a headliner against Blachowicz and has been working his way back. Whenever he’s ready to return, Krylov could be the perfect opponent to welcome him back.