UFC Vegas 70 Picks: Krylov vs Spann, Muniz vs Allen, Sakai vs Mayes, Suarez vs De La Rosa, Malott vs Lainesse
For the second time in as many weeks, the UFC is in the fight capital of the world at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, where two light heavyweights clash in the main event this Saturday, Feb. 25.
Ascending light heavyweights Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann headline the card, with a number of Dana White Contender Series (DWCS) graduates and plenty of young fighters looking to impress.
Continue reading for the entire fight card with previews and predictions. So far, my picks are 13-4-2.
UFC Vegas 70 Main Card
Light heavyweight: Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann
Middleweight: Andre Muniz vs. Brendan Allen
Heavyweight: Augusto Sakai vs. Don’Tale Mayes
Flyweight: Tatiana Suarez vs. Montana De La Rosa
Welterweight: Mike Malott vs. Yohan Lainesse
UFC Vegas 70 Prelims
Flyweight: Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Gabriella Fernandes
Lightweight: Jordan Leavitt vs. Victor Martinez
Catchweight: Ode’ Osbourne vs. Charles Johnson
Lightweight: Joe Solecki vs. Carl Deaton
Lightweight: Rafael Alves vs. Nurullo Aliev
Bantamweight: Hailey Cowan vs. Ailin Perez
Bantamweight: Jose Johnson vs. Garrett Armfield
Lightweight: Erick Gonzalez vs. Trevor Peek
Nikita Krylov (29-9) vs. Ryan Spann (21-7)
This weekend’s UFC main event is set to feature an exciting bout between two top ten light heavyweights: Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann.
Krylov has been with the company since 2013 and has faced worthy opponents on his way to the top of the ladder, including Magomed Ankalaev and former light heavyweight champions Jan Blachowicz, Glover Teixeira, and Alexander Gustafsson. In July, Krylov put together a dismantling performance facing Gustafsson, finishing him in just over a minute.
Spann is a fan's delight. In his last five appearances in the octagon, all have failed to exit the first round. Former champion challenger Dominick Reyes was the latest victim, getting knocked out with a brutal one-two combination. Spann’s a finisher, with five out of seven fights finished via stoppage. Since joining the UFC, he poses a 7-2 record.
My pick: Nikita Krylov
Andre Muniz (23-4) vs. Brendan Allen (20-5)
Andre Muniz and Brendan Allen are both riding significant winning streaks at pivotal points in their careers.
Muniz is unbeaten in the UFC at 5-0 and carrying a nine-fight winning streak, while Allen is riding three straight wins with an 8-2 record since receiving a contract on DWCS Season 3.
Muniz has submitted opponents in three of his last four victories through an armbar submission and is willing to take the fight to the ground, taking down UFC legend Uriah Hall four times in his previous fight. Allen has a sneaky rear naked choke but is not as comfortable grappling.
My pick: Andre Muniz
Augusto Sakai (15-5-1) vs. Don’Tale Mayes (10-4)
Augusto Sakai is looking to get back in the win column after dropping his last four fights, while Don’Tale Mayes is eyeing the biggest win of his career.
Sakai started 4-0 in the UFC before running into substantial heavyweights like Alistair Overeem, Tai Tuivasa, and Serghei Spivac – all of whom stopped Sakai with dominant performances. Now looking to avoid a fifth straight loss, Don’Tale Mayes stands in the way.
Mayes appeared on DWCS for three consecutive seasons before being recognized with a UFC contract. Mayes is coming off back-to-back wins before facing Hamdy Abdelwahab last July in what is now ruled a no contest. Mayes is 3-3 in the UFC, but with Sakai’s back against the wall, he’ll certainly give it his all.
My pick: Augusto Sakai
Tatiana Suarez (9-0) vs. Montana De La Rosa (12-7-1)
Tatiana Suarez is back after more than three years of recuperation and is looking to make a statement in her return.
Suarez has not fought since June 2019 and was running through the competition at 115 pounds, with wins over Alexa Grasso and former champion Carla Esparza. Now Suarez is moving up to flyweight to fight Montana De La Rosa.
De La Rosa is 2-3-1 since starting 3-0 in the UFC. While De La Rosa has considerable experience, Suarez is an advanced matchup. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the official Sportsbook of the UFC, Suarez is the heaviest favorite of the card at -750.
My pick: Tatiana Suarez
Mike Malott (2-0) vs. Yohan Lainesse (9-1)
Two Canadians and former training partners are pitted against each other in a welterweight battle.
Given both Mike Malott and Yohan Lainesse are former DWCS Season 5 fighters, the two only have a combined three UFC matches. Malott was a top featherweight prospect in Canada, fighting in the WSOF - now the Professional Fighters League - before transitioning to the UFC. On Dana White’s Contender Series, Malott sunk in a guillotine choke in under 40 seconds to secure a contract, then progressed to defeat Mickey Gall in the first round of his UFC debut.
After being rewarded a contract, Lainesse dropped his first fight in the UFC before bouncing back in September with a decision win. Through his first two fights, Lainesse has been outstruck in both.
My pick: Mike Malott
You can watch both the prelims (4 PM EST) and main card (7 PM EST) on ESPN+.