Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Las Vegas, we are going to see a big time matchup between two top-ten light heavyweight contenders. Nikita Krylov (29-9) and Ryan Spann (21-7) will both continue to look to push their way up the light heavyweight ladder into title contention.
Originally, these two were supposed to fight a couple of weeks ago at UFC Vegas 70. However, the night of the fight, Krylov fell ill and the fight was called off after both men arrived at the APEX. They rebooked the fight for tomorrow night and they meet at a catchweight of 215 pounds.
This is actually Krylov’s second run with the UFC. During his first run, he saw some mixed results and was ultimately not re-signed by the promotion. After a four-fight winning streak, the promotion brought him back to the light heavyweight division.
Since returning, he’s gone 4-4. Granted, the losses have come against top competition such as Jan Blachowicz, Glover Teixeira, Magomed Ankalaev, and Paul Craig. He’s coming off back-to-back wins over Volkan Oezdemir and Alexander Gustafsson entering tomorrow night.
Ryan Spann has the look and the talent to be a title contender at 205 pounds. However, he admitted that he never took his career seriously until recently. In fact, he said that he would only train a couple of weeks for fights. Now, he’s really dedicated himself and you can see the results.
After a tough loss to Anthony Smith, Spann has scored back-to-back first round finishes. Most impressive was his first round knockout win over the returning Dominick Reyes back at UFC 281. That was a statement win.
UFC Las Vegas Prediction
When it comes to mixing everything up, I like Nikita Krylov in this matchup. I think he brings a balance of skills that can allow him to be very successful in this matchup. However, there are things that give me pause in picking him tomorrow night.
Most importantly, he leaves a ton of openings in his striking. Volkan Oezdemir was able to hurt him when they fought and it’s due to those openings that he leaves. Right now, Ryan Spann seems to be clicking on all cylinders and he has the power to put Krylov’s lights out.
I could see this fight going one of two ways. It does change now that this is three rounds instead of five. I could see Krylov breaking down Spann and frustrating him on the way to a late stoppage or decision. The other way I see this happening is Krylov leaving a big opening and Spann knocking him out in the first round.
Call me crazy, but I’m leaning towards the latter. I think Ryan Spann is going to make a run up the division and he will pick up his third win in a row tomorrow night. In fact, he will pick up his third straight first round finish tomorrow night.
Prediction: Ryan Spann by KO – Round 1