Nikita Krylov vs. Magomed Ankalaev – UFC Vegas 20 Preview

Nikita Krylov
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 13: Nikita Krylov of Ukraine celebrates after defeating Ovince Saint Preux during the UFC 236 event at State Farm Arena on April 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

The co-main event at UFC Vegas 20 will feature light heavyweight contenders Nikita Krylov and Magomed Ankalaev. Krylov will come into this fight ranked number eight in the light heavyweight division, while Ankalaev will come into this fight ranked just behind him at number 11. Either man could be pushed into the top five with a win on Saturday night, so there is a lot at stake.

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Nikita Krylov

Nikita Krylov is considered a master of sports Ukraine in Kyokushin Karate, Army hand-to-hand combat, and submission fighting. He currently holds a professional MMA record of 26-7. Krylov has finished 25 of his 26 wins. Winning ten fights by knockout and 15 by submission. He has also been finished in six of his seven losses. Five of those losses have come by submission and only one by knockout, meaning Krylov has only made it to a decision twice in his career, and they were his two most recent fights.

Twenty-four of his 33 professional bouts did not get past the first round. Krylov is 2-2 in his most recent stint with the UFC, holding a submission win over Ovince Saint Preux and a decision win over Johnny Walker. He was in the UFC once prior from 2013-2016 and had a record of 6-3.

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Magomed Ankalaev

Magomed Ankalaev is a master of sport in amateur MMA and Combat Sambo. He will be coming into this fight with a 14-1 professional MMA record. He currently stands at 5-1 in the UFC. Ankalaev lost his UFC debut by submission in the last seconds of his fight with Paul Craig. He then went on a five-fight winning streak beating Marcin Prachnio, Klidson Abreu, Dalcha Lungiambula, and Ion Cutelaba twice.

In his first fight with Cutelaba, Ankalaev was landing some shots on Cutelaba to which Cutelaba responded by “baiting” Ankalaev to rush in. Cutelaba was acting like he was wobbled and the referee thought he was actually hurt so he stopped the fight. Everyone noticed the mistake right away and they were booked for a rematch just a few months later. In the second fight, Ankalaev put all doubts to bed as he knocked Cutelaba unconscious. Nine of Ankalaev’s wins are by knockout and he has no wins by submission.

The Matchup

Both of these men are known finishers. They are also both known to get going quickly. We should be in store for fireworks right from the opening bell. Nikita Krylov seems like he has a slight advantage in the submission fighting but Ankalaev’s experience in Sambo could potentially nullify that. Ankalaev seems like he is the better striker, but Krylov has surprised us before with his knockout victories over Ed Herman and Walt Harris. 

UFC Vegas 20 Fight Card

Main Card:

  • Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane
  • Nikita Krylov vs. Magomed Ankalaev
  • Montana De La Rosa vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
  • Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Alex Caceres vs. Kevin Croom

Preliminary Card:

  • Thiago Moises vs. Alexander Hernandez
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov
  • Sabina Mazo vs. Alexis Davis
  • Vince Cachero vs. Ronnie Lawrence
  • Dustin Jacoby  vs. Maxim Grishin

Featured image:

Embed from Getty Images

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