UFC 171 Fight Breakdown: Ovince St-Preux (-400) vs. Nikita Krylov (+310)

Nikita-Krylov The opening main card bout for UFC is a three-round light heavyweight bout between Ovince “OSP” St-Preux and Nikita “Al Capone” Krylov. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists OSP as a -400 favorite (bet $400 to win $100) while Krylov is a +310 underdog (bet $100 to win $310). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up OSP at -280 and Krylov at +200, meaning there has been significant action on the favorite, OSP. Contrary to popular belief, I think Krylov has a much better chance of winning this fight than the odds indicate, and I am picking him to secure the upset win. OSP (14-5) is a Strikeforce veteran who made his UFC debut last year, defeating Gian Villante via majority decision in his first outing and following it up with a knockout win over Cody Donovan in his second outing. Overall, he’s looked pretty solid in the Octagon, but keep in mind the fight with Villante had some very strange scorecards in it and most believed the fight should have been scored a draw. Regardless, OSP won and his 2-0 record in the UFC has earned him a step up to the main card, and it’s well deserved as OSP has been quietly racking up quality wins for the last few years. The 30-year-old is a powerful wrestler with improving striking an KO power, and he actually has an underrated ground game, having picked up a calf slicer victory earlier on in his career. The winner of 11 of his last 12 fights, St-Preux was originally set to face Thiago Silva on the UFC 171 PPV card until Silva was removed from the bout after his release from the UFC due to legal troubles. Now he’ll take on Krylov in a matchup that a lot of people are calling a mismatch, but a matchup that could potentially be very dangerous for OSP if he takes his opponent lightly. Krylov (16-3) is a 22-year-old prospect from Ukraine who is known for his submission ability and finishing prowess, as he’s stopped all 16 opponents he’s faced in the very first round since he began his MMA career in 2012. He made his Octagon debut last summer at UFC 164, losing a very poor bout against Soa Palelei. In that fight both fighters completely gassed out and Krylov lost via third-round TKO, but looking back, you have to consider Krylov was at a 30-pound weight disadvantage, and when a guy like Palelei gets on top of you with that weight it’s hard to get him off. Still, it’s clear UFC matchmaker Joe Silva wasn’t impressed either and he booked Krylov against Walt Harris in a loser-leaves-town match at UFC on FOX 10 earlier this year. Krylov entered the bout as a +400 underdog, but instead of getting smashed like everyone thought, he actually landed a beautiful question mark kick just 25 seconds in, winning the fight via TKO and earning himself a spot in UFC history as the record holder of fastest head kick knockout. After the fight with Harris, Krylov decided to drop down to 205 and when Silva was removed from the fight with OSP, Krylov went on Twitter and asked for it. He got the matchup, and now he has the chance to open up a PPV card, get a big win, and move up the light heavyweight ladder — a shocking turnaround for a fighter everyone thought was destined for M-1 after that awful fight with Palelei. This fight between OSP and Krylov should be full of excitement, even if that excitement tends to come in the sloppy variety. Despite the popular opinion about this fight, I believe Krylov is a very dangerous fighter and I think he’s being overlooked in this spot. I have a feeling he’s going to catch OSP by surprise and knock him out early in the fight, and you better believe I am calling the upset here despite the odds saying it’s a big uphill battle for the Ukrainian in this fight. At +310, I believe there’s enough value on Krylov for a small bet here. Now I’m not saying go crazy or anything. There’s a reason he’s a big dog, after all. But a straight, one-unit play to win over three units on a 22-year-old fighter who is improving and who is being overlooked is a decent play, win or lose, as far as I’m concerned. OSP is a good fighter but this fight has all sorts of weird written all over it and if I was laying 4-to-1 on OSP I would be scared of losing my money. Regardless of which side you favor, I don’t believe this fight will go the entire three rounds — so take a look at the “Fight Ends Inside The Distance” prop when that is released, as I cannot see this fighting going the full three rounds.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

UFC 171 Play: Robert “Bubba” McDaniel (+115) vs Sean “Tarzan” Strickland (-135)

UFC 171 Play: Hector “Lightning” Lombard vs Jake Shields