In an eagerly anticipated matchup, Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann were slated to headline UFC Vegas 70 in February 2022.
However, Krylov’s sudden illness led to the cancellation. After Krylov recuperated, the bout was rescheduled for UFC Las Vegas at a 215-pound catchweight due to the fact this would be a second weight cut in a short span of time.
The two engaged packed on the action from the opening bell. Spann threw punches, while Krylov threw kicks, and both men exchanged strikes from awkward angles. Krylov got to Spann with a few of his kicks, causing Spann to rush into the clinch.
Early on, Spann ended up on top of Krylov after a scramble, but Krylov attempted to get up with a single leg. Spann tried to lock up his signature guillotine, and Krylov found himself on top in half-guard, with his head turning red as he tried to pop it out.
After almost a minute of struggling, Krylov was finally able to free himself. Spann worked hard to stand up, but Krylov locked him in a rear body-lock and even attempted to head kick him from behind.
Krylov also worked to trip Spann to the mat, but Spann came up on a single leg, only to be met with a guillotine from Krylov. Krylov then rolled on top of Spann, who managed to free himself but was stuck in a turtle position with Krylov on his back.
The pace was incredible, and the scrambles resembled those of a slower flyweight event. Spann’s speed began to slow down, and when Krylov tried to take his back, he fell off the back. Spann took advantage of the situation and got on top, but Krylov immediately locked him up in a triangle with his legs, causing Spann to tap out after only a few seconds.
Ryan Spann could not keep up with Nikita Krylov in the scrambles, and he eventually succumbed to a triangle. With this win, Krylov extended his winning streak to three and already has a sixth-place ranking. Krylov is expected to move up to the top five and get a chance at a title eliminator bout in the near future.
WHAT A ROUND AND WHAT A FINISH! 🤯
Nikita Krylov taps out Ryan Spann! 👋#UFCLasVegas pic.twitter.com/oziI3MBVod
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 12, 2023
It wasn’t without controversy considering that Krylov was unamused by USA chants heard throughout the finishing sequence. When the victor was announced, he chanted Russia in an attempt to aggravate crowd.
⚡️🇷🇺 Russia's Krylov defeats American Spann at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, US.
The native of Donbass chants "Russia!" in a reaction to the audience chanting “USA, USA!”
😱 Not a risk-free stunt these days – career repercussions may follow. pic.twitter.com/HaeBfIou0J
— 𝕯𝖆𝖛𝖎𝖉 É𝕴𝕽𝕰 🇷🇺 ❤ 🇮🇪 (@DAVIDOD50) March 12, 2023
Official Result: Nikita Krylov def. Ryan Spann by submission (triangle), Round 1, 3:38
Luck, Skill or he wanted out?#UFCLasVegas #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/3LrpkqrC2A
— The Bunc (@TheBunc) March 12, 2023
Del Hewlett is a beats writer who has made a name for himself in the world of combat sports journalism. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, thanks to his family’s constant traveling he has been immersed in the world of BJJ since he was a child.
After studying journalism at university, Jackson started his career as a sports writer for a local newspaper, covering everything from soccer to MMA. However, his passion for BJJ soon led him to start writing about the sport exclusively, and he quickly gained a reputation for his insightful and well-researched articles.