UFC Vegas 21 Preview: Misha Cirkunov – Ryan Spann

Sep 14, 2019; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Misha Cirkunov (red gloves) fights Jimmy Crute (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In the co-main event at UFC Vegas 21, we will see a battle of top fifteen light heavyweights. Eleventh ranked Misha Cirkunov (15-5) will be taking on thirteenth ranked Ryan Spann (18-6) in the co-main event.

For Cirkunov, this will be his first fight in the octagon since September of 2019. These two were originally supposed to fight back in December, however, an injury to Cirkunov forced the fight back to UFC Vegas 21.

Since making his debut with the promotion back in 2015, Cirkunov has gone 6-3 inside the octagon and not a single fight has gone the distance. When he loses, we’ve seen him get finished via strikes in the first round.

However, when he wins, you see him show off his incredible grappling and submissions. Cirkunov is incredibly strong and has shown that inside the octagon. In his last UFC fight, he took out the talented Jimmy Crute in the first round by a Peruvian Necktie.

Standing across from Cirkunov at UFC Vegas 21 will be Ryan Spann. Spann is looking to bounce back after he suffered his first loss in the UFC. The first time we saw Ryan Spann around the octagon was on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017.

That night, Spann was knocked out by Karl Roberson. After that, he won three straight to earn another shot on the Contender Series. He won that fight and won his first four in the UFC before getting stopped by Johnny Walker last September.

UFC Vegas 21 Prediction

When looking at the co-main event at UFC Vegas 21, I can’t help but think that this is a bad matchup for Ryan Spann. Spann has decent striking with decent power, but he does his best work on the mat.

However, his cardio is usually an issue and we have seen him struggle with guys who are better at grappling. I believe he’s going to be at a grappling disadvantage with Misha Cirkunov.

I’m expecting a lot of pressure early on from Cirkunov. I don’t expect Spann to have the power to keep Cirkunov off of him. I’m expecting this fight to be along the fence early in the first round.

From there, I see Cirkunov tiring out Spann before using his judo to get him down. Over the course of the fight, I just see the grappling and the strength of Cirkunov being too much for Spann. I think Spann can have moments of success, but I think his cardio ultimately fails him and Cirkunov gets the submission win at UFC Vegas 21.

Prediction: Misha Cirkunov by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2