UFC Fight Night predictions — Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann: Fight card, start time, odds, live stream

The pool of UFC light heavyweight contenders remains hazy after Jiri Prochazka vacated the division crown late last year. Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann are trying to complicate matters further when they clash at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.

Krylov (29-9) enters his first main event, posting the best streak of his second UFC stint. Krylov has struggled to piece together more than one win since returning to the promotion in 2018. His momentum went from average to non-existent after back-to-back losses to Paul Craig and Magomed Ankalaev, Krylov’s first consecutive losses of his 11-year career. A step back in the competition gave Krlev the opportunity to rebuild. Last summer, he knocked out Alexander Gustafsson in about one minute, and in the fall he defeated Volkan Oezdemir. Krylov is hovering outside of the UFC’s top five at light heavyweight and may be gearing up for his next big fight.

“I want to fight guys who are higher than me in the rankings because I want to fight opponents, but when my manager sent me: “I have a main event for Ryan Spann”, this is the first for me, so listen, this is the main event, so it’s good”, Krylov said journalists for Media Day on Wednesday. “That’s why Spann is fine. He’s a tough guy, an interesting fight.”

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Expectations for Spann (21-7) were high once he earns a contract in the Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018. Wins in his first three UFC fights, including knockouts of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Devin Clark, bolstered those expectations. A split decision victory over Sam Alvey was the first sign of trouble, followed by first-round losses to Johnny Walker and Anthony Smith in two of his next three fights. Spann appears to have turned the corner, playing his own pair of first-round stoppages over Ion Cutelaba and Dominick Reyes in their last two matches.

“I’m not doing this to show off,” Spann said. “I’m not doing this to fight for no reason. I want what I want so I can get out when I can get out. I must stay.

“I don’t know his style. I don’t know what he’s going to do, I don’t care what he’s going to do. All.”

The most tempting offer on the main card is the long-awaited return of Tatiana Suarez. The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” was labeled “World Champion” but her career was severely derailed by injuries. Suárez was out of action for nearly four years with various neck and knee injuries. Suarez (8-0) has only fought five times in the UFC, including her debut in 2016, and is nearing the end of her athletic prime at 32. With a win over former UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Carla Esparza and current Women’s Flyweight title contender Alexa Grasso, Suarez will make his flyweight debut against Montana De La Rosa.

The rest of the undercard is filled with a mixed set of higher weight classes. Andre Muniz and Brendan Allen will fight in the middleweight division as a co-main event. Augusto Sakai and Don’Tail Mayes will meet in the heavyweight division. And Mike Malott will take on Johan Layness to open the welterweight celebration.

Below is the rest of the battle map for Saturday night with the latest odds from Caesar’s bookmaker before we move on to the forecast and select the main event.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Darling outsider Weight category
Nikita Krylov-170 Ryan Spann +145 light heavyweight
Andre Muniz -215 Brendan Allen +175 average weight
August Sakai -135 Don’Tail Mayes +115 heavyweight
Tatiana Suarez -900 Pink Mountain +600 Women’s flyweight
Mike Malott -205 Johan Lyness +170 welterweight

Viewing information for UFC Fight Night

Date of: February 25 | Start time: 7:00 pm ET (main map)
Location: UFC Apex – Las Vegas, Nevada
TV channel: ESPN+


Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann: Which way you lean is almost entirely dependent on how confident you are in Spann’s ability to land on his opponent. Krylov is a versatile threat and is a thoroughbred contender, having achieved 12 knockouts and 15 submissions in 29 career fights. Spann himself is a powerful finisher with 12 submissions and six knockouts, but he relies more on pure athleticism than bulletproof technique. If Spann catches Krylov in submission, it’s probably because the punch that preceded him didn’t knock him out. Spann has a bad habit of throwing himself off balance, and Krylov, a more technical and enduring fighter, will take advantage of these mistakes. Most of the stats speak in Krylov’s favor: he has more experience, more stops, longer average fights, more hits, better accuracy, fewer hits, more takedowns per fight, and a takedown defense advantage. Most will agree that it won’t take 25 minutes. Don’t be surprised if Krylov lands a takedown that results in a ground and pound or a submission. Krylov via TKO3


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