Prediction for the fight Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson

In the entire history of the UFC, not so many karatekas fought there who managed to adapt to the octagon and reach a high level. However, Nikita Krylov managed to become the one who proved himself in heavyweight and light heavyweight, climbing into the TOP and to this day entering the cage with the most formidable opponents. After a series of setbacks, he had the opportunity to rehabilitate himself with an opponent that many stars of the modern MMA era dreamed of fighting.

Alexander Gustafsson is an eminent Swede who has made an excellent career in the West. At the UFC Fight Night 208 tournament, he will have a battle with Shakhtar, which may well be the last chance for the Torturer to stay in the promotion. In fact, both athletes will fight on July 23 for a contract with the organization, as they do not fare well in the league. We just have to find out which of the guys at this point in time has more chances for victory.

Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson

Nikita Krylov

Our athlete is ranked 11th in the light heavyweight ranking. This is the European champion in Kyokushin karate, master of sports, winner of the Donbass Cup, finalist of the Gladiators FC Heavyweight Grand Prix, and Fight Nights Global champion in the 93 kg division. Nikita honed his skills on the ground with the help of combat sambo and training in the Industrials gym.

On his way, Krylov met a lot of tops, in the person of Fabio Maldonado, Jan Blachowicz, Ovince Saint Preux, Glover Teixeira and others. In this case, a young fighter can boast of a great background in martial arts, experience and good prospects. At least with veterans and near-tops, he looks very convincing.


Nikita's base is based on various kicks, with which he willingly dries the legs and body of opponents, and also does not disdain haikicks. However, in addition to this, it is precisely due to the lower limbs that he manages to set a good combat distance, keeping larger opponents away from him. And Shakhtar are not bad in their hands either.

In extreme fights, Krylov managed to demonstrate significant progress in clean wrestling. He always used submissions, but control of the opponent on the ground as a key to achieving victory - no. And, it is worth recognizing, this tool in his hands turned out to be very effective.


Working in a standing position, Nikita cannot put up a competent defense, missing almost every second blow. Regarding takedowns, the situation is similar, because if he does not have the opportunity to attack himself, our athlete is not able to reveal himself under pressure. We also add here the submissions with which he lost 6 fights in his career.

Between Krylov and the current list of TOP-10, there is a significant gap in terms of the level of training. It would seem that he is versatile and ready to fight in any position, however, in reality, Shakhtar looks like an average player compared to the rest. Is the problem in the team or the athlete himself? Most likely, there are flaws everywhere.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Nikita is 30 years old, and in March 2022 he lost the second fight in a row, losing to Paul Craig. Before that, he failed to deal with Magomed Ankalaev, and victories over Johnny Walker and Ovince Saint Preux were separated by another setback in the fight with Glover Teixeira. The fighter really has problems in confrontations with rating opponents, and such instability forces one to constantly doubt him. But, at critical moments, Krylov always found ways to win, and this time, given the opponent's style, I want to believe in his success.

Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson

Alex, who has not been included in the official ratings for a long time, has always remained a favorite of the public. He made the title race three times - all attempts were unsuccessful, but he always arranged chic fights. He has a lot of bonuses for bright fights, a number of awards from prestigious MMA portals, and the status of one of the toughest rivals of Jon Jones.

All this Gustafsson managed to get without a good wrestling base, often using pure boxing in battles, sometimes mixed with kickboxing. The scalps of 3 UFC champions are hidden in his closet: Mauricio Rua, Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz, and in addition, the "Tormentor" tried to compete in heavyweight, but he failed to reach such heights there.


Gustafsson's hands are his main strength in a duel. At the same time, the European cannot be called a puncher, because he rarely took down fresh opponents with one hit. Combinations, in particular uppercuts and straights, as well as a small mix of backfists and clinches using knees, allowed him to repeatedly draw effective finishes.

Alex, of course, could not cope with Olympic-level wrestlers. However, general statistics tell us that few managed to bring him to the ground, and in terms of balance, despite the long lower limbs, he is good.


In recent years, "Gus" not only often lost, but also looked weak against the backdrop of its opposition. He lost his speed, his jaw is no longer as good as it used to be, and the overall pace of performances, including their frequency, has decreased significantly.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Gustafsson is 35 years old, and now the veteran is on a 3-loss streak, the last of which took place back in July 2020, that is, he has been idle for two seasons. John Jones, Anthony Smith and Fabricio Werdum frankly easily passed Alexander, having issued early victories. In 2016 and 2017, he defeated Blachowicz and Teixeira, however, retirement announcements and long pauses indicate that the fighter is simply entering the cage to make money on his behalf. Therefore, it would be naive to expect that after such a hitch he will show something sensible in the cage.

Comparative analysis

Traditionally, let's start with anthropometry: here Alex is slightly ahead in height - 5 cm, and arm span - 4 cm. At the same time Nikita is leaner and obviously easier to fit in the limits than the Swede, a little too fat-filled. In fact, for Krylov they finally found a fighter with a comfortable style, a puncher, who will not threaten him with his wrestling, as it was in his last appearances. Yes, Gustafsson is undoubtedly dangerous on the counter, but his arsenal is limited to boxing, while Shakhtar is ready to offer him kicking, clinch and explosive close-range attacks.

If we move to ground level, the Russian also looks more interesting there, but first he will have to get past the defence of Alexander, who, despite his age and loss of mobility, still works with guys inferior to him in weight and size. Most likely, after a few tries Nikita will be able to get on top, but it's not worth talking about an early victory in this case, for this he will have to wear down the veteran, and only then go for the reception. As for the rest, Gustafsson's Krylov will be able to lounge and punch, adding points to his piggy bank, and that's something you can really bet on. He's fresher, has performed more often, and is definitely a higher level as a parterist, so it's most likely that in Krylov's performance we'll see a calculated, slightly boring, but winning performance in the horizontal position. Although, who better than him to put up a valedictory fight in the standing position?

Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson Fight Prediction

One gets the feeling that the matchmakers have decided to keep Krylov in the top and get rid of Gustafsson, who plays no role in the balance of power in light heavyweight, but is still sitting on a fat contract for past merits. In this pair, everything plays against Alex: age, condition, an abundance of defeats, huge pauses between fights. Yes, his arsenal could have been enough to defeat Nikita 4 years ago, but not now. Krylov is more versatile, faster and more skilled. The only thing is that Shakhtar very often makes stupid mistakes, fusses, and this can prevent them from winning confidently. Nevertheless, the alignment of forces in this case is 70 to 30 in his favor, and this is not taking into account the fact that the “Tormentor”, as such, has practically no motivation. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: Nikita Krylov's victory

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