Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight scrappers Nikita Krylov and Francimar Barroso battled yesterday (May 8, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 87 inside Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
After a less than ideal start to his UFC career, Krylov has come into his own in the form of a three-fight win streak. Following that trio of finishes, Krylov was looking to score another big win here.
Meanwhile, Barroso hasn't built any real momentum, but he has won three of four fights inside the Octagon. The Brazilian was already deep into his career and wasn't going to get any younger, so it was imperative that he found a way to win opposite the Russian.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Krylov -- owner of 19 first round finish victories -- started quickly. After landing with a few kicks, Krylov swarmed his foe and seemed to stun him, but Barroso used a takedown attempt to stall the action and recover.
Following some clinch work, Barroso scored with several nice combinations, but failed on a pair of well-timed takedowns. For the rest of the round, Krylov out-landed his opponent in the clinch and at range.
Though Barroso scored in exchanges as well, Krylov's aggression and effective offense earned him the opening round.
Once more, Krylov started the round with a strong exchange before taking his opponent to the mat. From top position, Krylov showed some inexperience with his posture, allowing his foe to land a vicious upkick and threaten with multiple submissions.
Despite those threats from the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Krylov was effective at maintaining top control and doing damage. Before long, Barroso began to wilt and turtled in an attempt to stand.
Instead, Krylov quickly hopped onto his back. Seconds later, he was cranking on his opponent's neck, forcing the finish.
Quite frankly, I think Krylov is a true talent and blue-chip prospect. He debuted in the UFC after just two years on the regional scene -- having beaten up some horrible competition -- without a martial arts game built for MMA.
Since then, Krylov has won five of seven bouts inside the Octagon, shows improvements each time out, and has finished each of his opponents. All this despite little experience and training in a gym that no one has ever heard of in a war torn country.
Now that he's training with more established fighters and picking up some momentum, he really could turn out to be something special.
This fight really was a demonstration of that. Despite being hittable on the feet and making some errors on the mat, his natural toughness and understanding of fighting allowed him to overcome a veteran and submit his second jiu-jitsu black belt.
For his opponent, this was the worst case scenario. Early on, it was imperative that the Brazilian earn his opponent's respect with power punches or takedowns and force him to settle down. Instead, Krylov overwhelmed him across a round and a half, eventually breaking down his defenses and gassing him out.
Once that happened, Barroso was in for a world of hurt.
On the bright side, Barroso actually stepped up his activity in this fight. He threw solid combinations, shot in for deep takedowns, and threatened from his back. With his experience and well-rounded skill set, there are plenty of winnable fights for "Bodao" at Light Heavyweight.
Yesterday morning, Nikita Krylov continued his winning ways with a finish of Francimar Barroso. Just how high can the Ukrainian combatant climb?
For complete UFC Fight Night 87: "Overeem vs Arlovski" results and play-by-play, click HERE!