Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson
July 23, 2022 4:00 pm EDT
The Line: Alexander Gustafsson +170 / Nikita Krylov -200
(Click here for latest betting odds)
Nikita Krylov and Alexander Gustafsson fight Saturday in UFC Fight Night 208 at The O2 Arena. Krylov enters this fight with a 27-9 record and has won 56 percent of his fights by submission. Gustafsson enters this fight with a 18-7 record and has won 61 percent of his fights by knockout.
Krylov has lost 4 of his last 6 fights and is coming off a March loss to Paul Craig. Krylov is averaging 4.35 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 56 percent. Krylov is averaging 1.43 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Krylov is coming off a submission loss at UFC Fight Night 204 where he landed 30 total strikes. It was the sixth time Krylov has been submitted in his career. Krylov looks for his first win since UFC Fight Night 170 more than 2 years ago. Krylov is a balanced fighter with a background in karate, ARB and submission wrestling. Krylov has finished 26 of his 27 victories, and only 3 of his 36 fights overall have ended in decisions. Bottom line is you’re going to get an exciting fight when Krylov is involved. This will be Krylov’s second career fight in England.
Gustafsson has lost 6 of his last 9 fights and is coming off a July (2020) loss to Fabrício Werdum. Gustafsson is averaging 4.02 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Gustafsson is averaging 1.54 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 39 percent. Gustafsson is coming off a submission loss at UFC on ESPN 14 in his heavyweight debut, where he landed just 4 total strikes. Gustafsson will now fight for the first time in 2 years, and he’s looking for his first win since UFC Fight Night 109 over 5 years ago. Gustafsson is now 35 years old, and who knows if rust is going to be an issue. When in good form, Gustafsson is a volume striker with a boxing background and does most of his best work on the feet. He has solid footwork, puts his combinations together nicely, and has produced 11 career knockouts. Gustafsson is also a purple belt in BJJ and has ended 3 fights with the rear-naked choke, so he’s not completely lost on the ground. Gustafsson also defends takedowns at a very high level with a 83 percent defense percentage. This will be Gustafsson’s fourth career fight in England.
Gustafsson in plus money spots usually has value given what he’s done over the course of his career, but I don’t like backing fighters after long layoffs, and he’s been gone for 2 years. Gustafsson also didn’t look great the last few times we saw him in the cage. Krylov is a balanced fighter who has a ridiculous finish rate and probably isn’t the guy you make your comeback against. It’s tough to get behind Gustafsson given the unknown.
I’ll side with Krylov in this bout.