Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs Nikita Krylov Analysis and Preview – UFC Fight Night 74

MarcosRogerioDeLima_HeadshotThe preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 74 features a light-heavyweight contest between Marcos Rogerio “Pezao” de Lima and Nikita “Al Capone” Krylov. Both fighters are looking to move up in the division by recording their third straight win inside the Octagon.   Marcos Rogerio de Lima (13-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC, -145 favorite) The 30-year old De Lima competed as a heavyweight on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, which filmed early last year. Marcos had two dominant performances on the show, but ultimately lost to eventual winner Antonio Carlos Junior in the semifinals. That did not set him back, however, as he has recorded consecutive first round knockouts in his first two official fights in the UFC. Those wins have come against longtime veteran Igor Pokrajac and Richardson Moreira. Rogerio de Lima is a force at light-heavyweight; he has brutal knockout power in all his strikes. He is also surprisingly quick for his size, so much so that it often catches his opponents completely off-guard. The talented striker can strike well going forward and on the counter. Hard straight rights and left hooks are often followed up by right head kicks. De Lima’s first two appearances inside the Octagon have lasted a combined two minutes and nineteen seconds. Look for de Lima to try to earn another quick knockout here. Marcos is not known for his ground work or submission game, but he is competent in both areas. The hulking Brazilian has a respectable double-leg takedown and does a nice job of staying heavy from top position. Further, de Lima is very dangerous in the clinch, as he throws heavy punches and knees around his opponent’s defense. Marcos is not an especially dangerous submission fighter, but he has a slick guillotine choke that he locks up quickly.   Nikita Krylov (18-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC, +125 underdog) Krylov, a native of Ukraine, has had mixed success through five fights in the UFC. After starting out with a 1-1 record as a heavyweight, he made the drop down to the lightweight division in 2014 and has since compiled a 2-1 record. His two losses in the promotion have come via stoppage against Soa Palelei and Ovince Saint Preux, while all three of his wins have come against fighters that are no longer with the UFC. Nikita will look for his third straight win inside the Octagon when he takes on Marcos Rogerio de Lima this Sunday night. The 23 year old Krylov is a decently talented offensive fighter. Much of his success comes on the feet, as he throws a solid jab and head kicks. Nikita has also been effective with his clinch offense, as he underrated knees and dirty boxing. However, that often gets overlooked because of his porous defense. Weak striking and takedown defense are huge concerns against most fighters in the division. It is obviously that the Ukrainian is still very green in most areas, but he is still young enough to improve from fight to fight. Like his striking game, Krylov is also a decent offensive submission fighter that will not hesitate to jump on any opening he sees. However, he has been worked over on the ground several times. His takedown defense and guard retention are extremely poor. Additionally, Nikita has shaky conditioning and fight IQ.   Thoughts I have been a Nikita Krylov critic for some time, I just don’t see the upside in him that some others do. He makes way too many mistakes and his defense is some of the worst in the UFC. However, he is still young and has shown himself to be a good finisher. De Lima, on the other hand, is more polished in a lot of areas and will hold a considerable power and strength advantage. Those advantages, combined with Krylov’s defensive holes, make me side with the heavy-handed de Lima. I think he catches Krylov early and puts him away with strikes.   The Prediction: Marcos Rogerio de Lima defeats Nikita Krylov by knockout (round 1)

Written by Mike James

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