Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann were intended to main event at UFC Vegas 70 in the UFC Apex in February of 2022, but at the last minute Krylov fell ill and the bout was called off.
Once healed, the fight was rescheduled for the UFC Las Vegas card on March 11 at a 215-lb catchweight, due to a second weight cut in a short period of time. Still the chaos and finishing potential that both top-15 light-heavyweights bring to the octagon was well known by fight fans as the pair threw down on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The fight finally having arrived, the two big men came out swinging, Spann with his punches and Krylov with his kicks. They lunged at each other from absurd distances and Krylov seemed to hurt Spann, who rushed into the clinch.
A scramble early on ended up with Spann on top but Nikita trying to come up on the single leg. Ryan Spann tried to lock up his patented guillotine. Krylov got on top in half-guard, his head trying to pop out as it turned red. Eventually, after nearly a minute, he freed it. Spann worked to get up but Krylov went to the rear body-lock. Creatively he tried to head kick Spann from behind him. Krylov worked to trip Spann to the mat but Spann came up on a single leg, though he was met with a guillotine from Krylov. Krylov rolled to the top but Spann freed himself. Spann was stuck in the turtle with Nikita on his back.
The pace was absurdly high and the scrambles were reminiscent of a slower flyweight fight. Spann’s speed began to slow though, but when Krylov went to take his back he fell off the top. Spann got on top but Krylov immediately locked up a triangle with his legs and Spann tapped after only a few seconds.
It's 1️⃣ and done for @KrylovUFC! #UFCLasVegas pic.twitter.com/9DKSaZjBl2
— UFC (@ufc) March 12, 2023
The pace of the fight was insane but it proved to be too much for Ryan Spann, who fell behind in the scrambles and ended up in a triangle in a transition. Krylov got his third win in a row, beating the eighth ranked fighter by first round submission and already having the sixth rank himself. ‘The Miner’ is likely to find himself in the top-5 on Tuesday and with a title eliminator bout in the near future.
Official Result: Nikita Krylov def. Ryan Spann by submission (triangle choke), Round 1, 3:38