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UFC Vegas 70: Krylov vs. Spann Main Event Prediction

UFC Vegas 70: Krylov vs. Spann Main Event Prediction

UFC VEGAS 70 – The Jon Jones era in the light heavyweight division spanned nearly ten years before he decided to vacate the title and move up to heavyweight.

Since then, there have been four different champions in the span of four years, it’s almost as if the division is playing hot potato with the belt. This weekend, two more light heayvweights try to stake their claim for a title shot.

Trying to put together a three-fight winning streak, Nikita Krylov looks to make good on his first appearance in a UFC main event.

Ryan Spann hopes to continue his first round finishing ways and push his total in that category to 16.

Can Krylov avoid the early finishing threat of his opponent and implement his style? Or will Spann add another scalp to his record and push his win streak to three?

We had an incredible UFC Vegas 69 and I’m looking forward to another great main event. Read on to find out more about this pivotal light heavyweight main event as well as the best way to put some cash in your pocket from it.

Nikita Krylov

The hype on Krylov before his UFC debut was something to behold. From his old nickname of “Al Capone”, to his infamous Sherdog photo of him in a mobster outfit with a Tommy gun.

When his first 17 professional MMA fights did not reach round two, many were excited for his arrival.

His initial run with the promotion lasted nine fights, where he accrued a 6-3 record before deciding to go back to the regional scene to shore up his game. He went 4-0 on the regional scene and jumped back to the UFC in 2018 where he has gone 4-4 through his eight trips to the Octagon.

Krylov’s Grappling

The most noticeable change in his game is his relentless grappling approach. During his initial run of nine fights, he went 1 of 6 on takedowns. Now in his second run with the company through eight fights he has gone 16 of 42 on takedowns. It’s clear he realized he needed to change his reckless fighting style to something a little more effective and dominant. He’s committed to it even to a fault.

In his fight against Paul Craig, Krylov clearly was the better striker but still looked to get that fight to the ground, essentially jumping into the jaws of defeat.

If the stylistic approach allows for it, I’m totally on board with Krylov chasing takedowns to get a win. It worked out perfectly in his last fight against Oezdemir where he landed seven takedowns and accrued over nine minutes of control time.

His striking is still on point, but it’s clear his path to victory is closely tied to landing takedowns and grinding out his opponents. I always admire when fighters use that style because if they are effective with it, there’s no way judges can look past that dominance.

Ryan Spann

Similar to his opponent this weekend, Spann’s fights have a knack of finishing in round one.

20 of his 28 fights have finished in the first five minutes and he got his hand raised in 16 of those. 

Spann is a big, lumbering light heavyweight with solid power in his hands and a nasty guillotine choke if you get too lazy with your takedown entries. I feel a lot of his success has to do with his physical capabilities rather than his skill, although he’s not a bad fighter by any means.

Tough Sledding

Although he has won three decisions throughout his career, I think that will start to dwindle as he faces tougher competition. Guys that can avoid his early power and put him through the grind. Heck, Sam Alvey was close to getting his hand raised by decision not too long ago against Spann.

He also trains out of Fortis MMA, which is one of my favorite gyms in the world. His coach has maximized his early win condition by harnessing that power and patience.

However, I just feel Spann will be limited against guys that have good durability and have more tools to win. That early finishing threat is very menacing and will always be there, but I think it limits his win condition later in fights.

The Pick

I acknowledge the early finishing capabilities of Spann, but I have to side with the Ukrainian here to get the job done.

My one big hold up is Krylov may get a little desperate with his takedowns and he could shoot himself into a guillotine from Spann.

Maybe a hedge on Spann by submission is not a bad way of approaching this fight, but I feel the grind will catch up to Spann and it will break him the later that this fight goes.

I’m not too hot on the money line on Krylov but I feel as though he is the side. Relentless grappling and a possible finish in the third or fourth round of this fight is all live.

Nikita Krylov (–170)


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