UFC Fight Night (UFC Vegas 70): Krylov vs. Spann Predictions, Analysis, and Free Picks
Official Selections: 69% (+8.8 Units) | YTD Premium (All) Picks: 63%
We needed that one.
Following a rocky start to the year, we’re starting to claw back units lost after consecutive profitable cards, going 4-1 (+4.2 units) last Saturday. Premium subscribers, who received a selection on every single fight, finished the night (7-4, +3.3 units).
If it were not for one of the most bizarre performances in UFC history from William Knight, we sweep the night completely and end in the double-digit unit range on the official selections.
Regardless, I’ll take the forward momentum as we look to end February in the black.
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV
Prelims: 4:00 PM EST - ESPN+
Main Card: 7:00 PM EST - ESPN+
On paper, this card should be much better from top to bottom than we saw last week, with a good mix of UFC debutants and journeymen. At the top, a pair of surging light heavyweights Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann will go at it, with a middleweight bout between Andre Muniz and Brendan Allen serving as the co-main.
Couldn’t find much I love here, and not going to press too hard ahead of a massive UFC 285 PPV next weekend. Let’s dive into a few spots I’m on for the final UFC Fight Night of the month.
Joe Solecki vs. Carl Deaton III
I don’t know much about Carl Deaton III, an MMA journeyman who at 33 years old has mostly fought on regional circuits in his native Michigan. I do know that since Solecki’s original opponent Benoit Saint Denis withdrew from this fight weeks ago, the UFC struggled mightily to find someone willing to fight him.
And for good reason.
4-1 in his time with the UFC with his only loss coming in a questionable decision (split) vs. Jared Gordon, Solecki is one of the best grapplers in the lightweight division with 1.1 submissions per 15 minutes.
In general, since the start of the year, men's favorites in the UFC of over -400 are 3-1, with all three wins coming inside the distance. While the odds have gotten out of hand here, I think there’s plenty of value in this one ending inside of the distance as Solecki takes one step closer to a top-15 opponent.
Pick: Joe Solecki - Inside the Distance (-105 at BetUS) to risk 3.15 units
Erick Gonzalez vs. Trevor Peek
Making his debut at a perfect 7-0, Peek comes in with all seven ending via TKO/KO, all inside of two rounds and five in the very first. Being introduced to the masses on last season’s Contender Series, Peek showed the company brass he was ready with a second-round ground and pound finish of the previously undefeated Malik Lewis.
As for Gonzalez, it appears he was chosen as the UFC’s next sacrificial lamb for an up-and-coming potential star. A loss here would move him to 0-3 in the UFC, with his first two losses coming inside of two rounds. With a significant striking accuracy of just 43% and takedown accuracy of just 33%, there’s just not much he does well.
Likely getting there inside the distance, I think Peek rolls in this one.
Pick: Trevor Peek (-180 at BetUS) to risk 3.6 units
Mike Malott vs. Yohan Lainesse
A pair of 30-year-old Canadians, almost identical on paper will square off in this one, as they come in with records of 8-1-1 (Malott) and 9-1-0 (Lainesse). Both alumni of DWCS, both recently had their first fights with the promotion, with Malott beating Mickey Gall and Lainesse splitting fights vs. Gabe Green (L) and Darian Weeks (W).
While Malott’s first-round win over Gall was impressive on the surface, the loss was Gall’s fourth in six fights, and by all indications his final in the UFC.
On the other side, Lainesse also joined the UFC via a first-round win in DWCS, losing to Gabe Green who recently went three rounds with one of the hottest prospects in the UFC in Ian Garry.
Lainesse holds the edges in metrics, notably in knockdown average per 15 minutes, significant striking accuracy, striking defense, and fewer absorbed shots per minute. While he does trail slightly in grappling, Lainesse has an elite takedown defense at 88%.
In a fight I have much closer to even on paper, I’ll gladly take the nearly 2:1 odds.
Pick: Yohan Lainesse (+186 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann
With a combined 90% of these two’s (primarily three-round) fights ending inside the distance, I think it’s safe to say this five-round affair will do just that.
On paper, Krylov has the edges in the striking department, albeit slightly, with 4.45 significant strikes landed per minute (vs. 3.42), striking accuracy of 55% (vs. 44%), and a few shots absorbed per minute at 2.5 (vs. 3.42). Even on the ground, while Spann holds a slight edge in submission average at 1.76 (vs. 1.24), Krylov has edges in both takedowns and takedown defense.
While both guys come in with two-fight win streaks, a deeper dive into their fight history is the difference for me.
For Spann, his two wins come against guys in Dominick Reyes and Ion Cutelaba, who in a combined 10 fights since 2019, have just one victory. Though Kyrlov’s wins don’t exactly come against top guys in Alexander Gustaffson and Volkan Oezdemir, they certainly carry more weight.
In terms of being battle-tested, it’s hard to beat Krylov’s track record, facing the likes of Johnny Walker, Jan Blachowicz (c), Glover Teixeira (c), Magomed Ankalev, and Paul Craig in his first four years with the promotion.
I think this step is too big for Spann, as Krylov takes it in the second or third rounds.
Pick: Nikita Krylov - Inside the Distance (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.25 units
BMP of the Week (Beer Money Parlay) sponsored by BetUS
Joe Solecki - Inside the Distance (-105 at BetUS) to risk 3.15 units
Trevor Peek (-180 at BetUS) to risk 3.6 units
Yohan Lainesse (+186 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
Nikita Krylov - Inside the Distance (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.25 units
All Fights - Picks w/ Confidence Levels & Modeled Odds
YTD Record: 38-22 (63%, +4.3 units)*
*All bets are one unit
All Fights - Dashboards (not found above)
*All odds as of the day of posting.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Top UFC Predictions by Johnny Covers to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.