Nikita Krylov (30, Ukraine), 6th in the rankings, and Ryan Spann (31, USA), 8th in the rankings, will fight for the spot of the next UFC light heavyweight title challenger.
The two fighters will face off in the main event of the ‘UFC Fight Night: Krylov vs. Span’ held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on the 26th (Korean time).
The current light heavyweight title battle is chaotic. After Jamahal Hill (USA) defeated Glover Teixeira (Brazil) last month to become the new champion, no worthy challenger is in sight.
Former champion Yuri Prohaska (Czech Republic), who gave up the title due to a long-term shoulder injury, is still uncertain about his return. 4th place Alexander Rakić (Austria) is also recovering from a knee injury.
2nd place Magomed Ankalaev (Russia) and 3rd place Jan Blahovich (Poland) faced each other for the vacant title, but ended up in a draw and were pushed out of the championship front.
Krylov and Spann are currently on a two-game winning streak. If he wins this game and becomes a 3-game winning streak, he can aim for the next challenger’s turn.
In fact, Spann was offered a match against Vlahovic for the next title challenger. However, when Teixeira, then the light heavyweight champion, refused to fight Ankalaev, and Vlahovic fought for the title, Spann was thrown out without a fight.
At Media Day held on the 23rd, Span said, “I’m not doing this for no reason,” and “I want the championship belt, and I won’t stop until then,” revealing his desire for the title.
Spann, who has a record of 7 wins and 2 losses in the UFC, boasts excellent firepower. However, there were times when he allowed a come-from-behind defeat due to his lack of concentration in the second half.
Spann said, “I don’t know Krylov’s style. “I don’t know what he’s going to do. I don’t care what he’s going to do. If I enjoy the game and keep my composure, I can see everything.”
On the other hand, Krylov said, “Span has a powerful punch, good strength, and is tall. It will not be an easy game for him,” he said, wary of his opponent. “I think I am more mobile and I am better at batting,” he said. “And wrestling and grappling are better. I think I am stronger,” he shouted.
Meanwhile, Tatiana Suárez (32, USA), who was called ‘Female Habib’ and was highly anticipated, will return after 4 years of absence.
Suarez, a two-time freestyle wrestling world championship bronze medalist, suffered from thyroid cancer and her dreams of competing in the Olympics were thwarted. Turning to mixed martial arts after she completed chemotherapy, Suárez went on an eight-fight winning streak and emerged as the next UFC strawweight champion contender. 안전놀이터
However, since her last match in June 2019 she suffered a serious neck injury and she has had a hiatus of over two years. She tried to come back in 2021, but she suffered another knee injury that forced her to spend another year and a half in rehab.
“It was obviously frustrating,” Suárez said. However, if I had only focused on setbacks, I would never have come this far,” he said.
Suarez now returns to the flyweight division after four years of rehabilitation after all rehabilitation and fights wrestler Montana Delarosa (28, USA). He plans to test his performance at flyweight first and then move down to strawweight to aim for the title.
“I think I’m going to be a (strawweight) champion,” Suárez said, expressing his aspirations.
The UFC Fight Night: Krylov vs. Span main card will be broadcast live on TVING and tvN SPORTS from 9:00 am on the 26th.