Surging light heavyweight Ryan Spann goes up against the former talk of the division this weekend at UFC Vegas 11. Spann has won eight straight fights, four under the UFC banner. Saturday night, he’ll take on Johnny Walker — who just over a year ago was considered a serious threat in the UFC’s 205lb weight class.
Spann is now two years into his UFC tenure. While a solid milestone, “I don’t even think much about it. I just keep going, keep putting in the work,” he told Cageside Press during this week’s UFC Vegas 11 media day. “I don’t even realize it’s been two years.”
In preparing for an unorthodox opponent like Walker, the biggest factor, said Spann, is “the unpredictability.”
“The fact that you can’t really predict what he’s going to do, because he probably don’t know what he’s going to do, until it just bang, it happens,” Spann added. Which means Walker “not being predictable” is one area of concern. But at the same time, Spann also knows that the Brazilian is on a two-fight skid. And no doubt looking to avoid the dreaded 0-3 mark, which might alter his approach to the fight.
“I would assume so,” answered Spann, asked about whether Walker might be a little more conservative this time out. “He’s making moves around, going to different camps and all of that.”
However, Spann isn’t focused on the what-ifs of Walker’s preparation. “I’ll just execute what I’m going to do. It doesn’t really matter.” His main focus, meanwhile, is the rankings. When it comes to showing something in the cage, said Spann, “I just want to win. He’s ahead of me, he’s got a number that’s better than mine, and I just want that number, a better number.”
UFC Vegas 11 takes place this Saturday, September 19 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).