The UFC returns to the Apex once again for UFC Vegas 70, headlined by light heavyweight ranked contenders Ryan Spann and Nikita Krylov.
The number six ranked 205-pounder in the world puts his ranking on the line against the number eight ranked light heavyweight, knowing that a win could see them push up to the top five and title contention for 2023.
Last weekend we got the main event wrong between Jessica Andrade and Erin Blanchfield, with the wrestling of the prospect outshining the powerful striking of her opponent. You can see our full picks history here.
We’ll look to improve on that here, with this main event breakdown.
Recent fight history
Nikita Krylov comes into the bout in a great moment in his UFC career, having won each of his last two fights in a row and having won three of his last five.
Krylov earned a unanimous decision win over Johnny Walker before suffering back-to-back defeats against Magomed Ankalaev and then Paul Craig.
But he has since bounced back in his last two outings, knocking out Alexander Gustafsson at UFC London last July in just 67 seconds, before he earned a decision win over Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 280 in his last outing.
As for Spann he’s in a similar moment, having also won each of his last two bouts and having won three of his last five.
A knockout defeat by Johnny Walker was followed up by a 71 second knockout win over Misha Cirkunov in his next outing.
His first main event ended in a submission defeat by Anthony Smith, but he has since returned to great form with consecutive stoppage victories. A first-round submission win over Ion Cutelaba was bettered by an 80-second knockout win over Dominick Reyes most recently at UFC 281.
Both of these fighters have got similar styles, in the sense that they both love chaos and thrive in it.
Krylov is a heavy-handed scrapper with fantastic power in his hands and a striking technique that is a bit abnormal, however he lands clean often and has a great ability to put opponents to sleep.
He’s also a solid grappler, but he has got big lapses of concentration in him and that should leave big encouragement for Spann.
“Superman” has got fantastic power in his hands too, but it’s his wrestling and submission skills that separate him in this division and give him a great platform to throw those haymakers.
In recent fights he has trusted his hands a lot more and that has set him up to land big shots because opponents are worried about the takedown, allowing him to land big shots.
If he opts to have a firefight with Krylov, it could be a big problem, and with both players not having the greatest cardio tanks it’s unlikely this fight goes too long.
This is going to be a war for as long as it lasts, that much is obvious.
Krylov has got fabulous power and starts all his fights as if they’re his last, marching forward with little care for his or his opponents’ well-being.
However Spann is able to land big shots of his own and in a fire-fight it could be whoever lands the big shot first.
But Spann has got experience with wrestling and trying to drag his opponents into the deep end to control them and use his size to gain an advantage.
If the striking on the feet isn’t going his way, I expect Spann to go to his grappling relatively quickly and he has got a decent advantage in that realm.
After a back-and-forth first round, expect Spann to use his wrestling and clinch work to take Krylov down in the second and work his game before securing a submission victory at some point in the third round and push himself into the top five conversation.
PICK – Ryan Spann via Submission, Round 3