Las Vegas, NV — UFC light heavyweight Nikita Krylov figures his win over Ryan Spann on Saturday night makes a fine birthday present.
Krylov (30-9), who submitted Spann with a triangle in the opening round of their main-card match-up, turned 31 this week. “It’s a good present for my birthday,” Krylov said of the victory, which came in a make-up fight of sorts. The pair were originally supposed to face off at UFC Vegas 70, only for Krylov to fall ill at the eleventh hour ahead of what had been the card’s main event.
“I think it was a good triangle,” Krylov added Saturday, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. “Thanks for that, Paul Craig.”
Craig of course is a master of the triangle submission, and caught Krylov in one a year ago. But since then, “The Miner” has won three straight fights.
His illness in February did change things, Krylov admitted. “Because I was sick two weeks ago, when we started [the] fight, I felt my power go down.” However, Krylov added that in the first clinch with Spann, he felt that he had more power than his opponent. “I think, ‘I can finish this guy on the ground.'”
While Spann threw up some submission attempts of his own, Krylov never felt he was close to being finished. The closest attempt was a guillotine, but “it’s not real danger, because he did not take my neck,” Krylov stated. “He took my chin, and I don’t feel [I was in] danger.”
After four fights in 12 months, Krylov will take some time off, flying to Hawaii to support a teammate making their Bellator MMA debut next month. And getting some family time in as well. After that, he wants a contender, and would like a rematch with Jan Blachowicz if possible.
The pair first met in 2018, with Krylov losing via submission.
“[A] fight with Blachowicz is better [than a] fight with Magomed Ankalaev,” suggested Krylov. That’s because, while he doesn’t consider Ankalaev a friend, “we know each other, we’re pals. So for me it would be more favorable to fight Blachowicz, especially because with their last fight, it was quite even, so for me I’d like to fight Jan [rather than] Ankalaev if I could.”
Following his win Saturday, Krylov appeared to have something to say towards the end of his interview with Daniel Cormier, but the ex-double champ missed it.
“I just wanted to say hello to all the people that love me, all the people that I love,” Krylov told Cageside Press, adding his thanks to his family, team, and city. “Thank you to everyone who was rooting for me.”
Watch the full UFC Las Vegas post-fight media appearance by Nikita Krylov above.