UFC Vegas 70 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann: Expect an Early Sweat (Saturday, February 25)

UFC Vegas 70 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann: Expect an Early Sweat (Saturday, February 25) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC light heavyweight Nikita Krylov

  • Contenders in a shallow division headliner Saturday's UFC Vegas 70 event.
  • That's where ranked light heavyweights Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann each will look to score a signature win.
  • Below, Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and offers a few betting angles for the ESPN+ headliner.

(Editor's note: As the UFC Vegas 70 main card kicked off, UFC officials announced the cancellation of the scheduled headliner after Nikita Krylov suffered an undisclosed illness and was forced out of his bout with Ryan Spann.)

Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann Odds

Krylov Odds
Spann Odds
1.5 (+135 / -165)
UFC Apex in Las Vegas
9:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings.

The UFC returns to the small cage at the UFC Apex center on Saturday for UFC Vegas 70 and a light heavyweight main event between No. 6-ranked contender Nikita Krylov and No. 8 Ryan Spann.

Ukrainian Krylov owns a 4-4 record during his second stint in the UFC but has recorded consecutive wins over Alexander Gustaffson and Volkan Oezdemir to move back up the rankings.

Spann, a Texas-trained native of Tennessee, began his UFC career with a four-fight winning streak – after earning a contract on Contender Series – but is just 3-2 in his past five fights, including a main event loss to Anthony Smith in September 2021.

The winner of this UFC Vegas 70 main event is set up for an ample opportunity – and maybe only a couple of wins away from a title shot in a shallow division.

Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections and utilize those factors to bet on the main event for UFC Fight Night: Krylov vs. Spann, which streams entirely on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET).

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time7:074.39
Weight (pounds)205 lbs.205 lbs.
Reach (inches)77"79"
Date of birth5/7/19928/24/1991
Sig Strikes Per Min4.453.42
SS Accuracy55%44%
SS Absorbed Per Min2.503.42
SS Defense44%48%
Take Down Avg2.111.46
TD Acc35%35%
TD Def53%50%
Submission Avg1.21.8

Spann can be a tough fighter to handicap. He has power in both hands and a nasty guillotine, but his game isn't all that coherent, and his fights typically end quickly. He's a bit of a meme.

All of Spann's past five fights and 20 of his 28 professional bouts (71%) have ended inside of the opening round.

Spann is large for the division. He's missed the 206-pound divisional limit in the past and cuts a bunch of weight in the lead-up to his fights.

As a result, he has shown poor cardio and below-average durability relative to his weight class.

While Spann has an explosive offensive skillset, he's a liability on the defensive end. But I could say the same for his opponent.

Krylov is the more well-rounded fighter in the matchup. And I rate his cardio, sustainability and strategy over 25 minutes significantly higher than I would Spann in those categories.

However, Krylov has been wobbled or submitted multiple times at the UFC level; I expect Spann to have big moments early in the fight.

That said, the longer the fight goes, the better for Krylov. If he can weather the early storm, he should take over on minute-winning to a significant degree – in all facets of MMA – and eventually secure a stoppage.

Krylov should avoid Spann's early explosions, stay at range and kick the leg. The calf kick was a significant problem for Spann in his loss to Smith. And Krylov should be the superior technical striker in this matchup.

As the fight wears on and Spann's legs and cardio dissipate, Krylov should look to secure takedowns and consolidate the position.

Spann is a dangerous opportunistic grappler early on in his fights, but his submission threat – like his power – recedes as he tires.

Krylov can weaponize his wrestling and cardio advantages by forcing Spann against the cage in the small octagon and winning a war of attrition.

While Spann should be dangerous in the early stages of the fight, Krylov likely wins this matchup at a significant clip if it goes beyond the first round and a half.

Krylov vs. Spann Pick

I projected Nikita Krylov as a 65.1% favorite (-186 implied) in this matchup, and I would bet his moneyline up to -175 (63.6% implied) at a 1.5% edge compared to my number.

I projected the bout to end inside the distance 85% of the time (-577 implied), in between the best odds for the fight to reach a decision (+575 at BetRivers) or to end inside the distance (-650 at DraftKings).

I don't see value in the winning method market either, though Krylov wins inside the distance (projected -104, listed -110 at DraftKings) would be my -EV lean.

Because Krylov is the fighter most overwhelmingly likely to win a decision, it isn't easy to set his finish prop much higher than 50%.

If you're playing Spann, I will look to bet finish props, including his odds to win in Round 1 (+470 at FanDuel) or in Rounds 1-3 (+195 at FanDuel) – which my colleague, Billy Ward, recommends.

From a Same Game Parlay or SGP perspective, some options that caught my attention include Krylov and Over 0.5 Rounds (+100), Krylov and Over 1.5 Rounds (+255), Spann and Under 1.5 Rounds (+300), and Spann and Under 2.5 Rounds (+210).

However, Spann is a weird fighter! And he tends to start his bouts like he's been shot out of a cannon – for good or bad.

While Krylov + Over 0.5 rounds at even money seems incredibly enticing, I wouldn't be shocked if Spann folds on one early, high-variance exchange.

Krylov's pre-fight moneyline is the play, and I'll look to add more to his side live after Round 1.

You're probably going to be sweating this one early.

The Pick: Nikita Krylov (-170 at DraftKings) 

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