After word spread late yesterday (Fri., Feb. 17, 2017) that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) parted ways with light heavyweight prospect Nikita Krylov, many wondered why the promotion would let go of a 24-year-old finisher who brings depth to a shallow division. It now appears that the promotion didn't get rid of "The Miner" after all. Instead, it was Krylov who decided to not re-sign with UFC following the end of his contract.
"I'm not particularly upset. God willing, there is still opportunities after a couple of years," said Krylov in a recent interview with MK's Alexey Safonov. "There wasn't a stumbling block, in fact. The only thing is that the old contract ended, and they wanted me to sign a new one. I did not want to, and because of this the UFC did not give me a fourth fight, relying on the contract and agreed to let me go."
Interesting to say the least. Prior to losing his most recent Octagon outing to Misha Cirkunov at UFC 206, Krylov had won five in a row and looked like a future title threat at 205 pounds. To throw that sort of momentum away at this point in time may rub some people the wrong way, but the Ukrainian sees better options on the horizon.
"In Russia, there are at least a couple of organizations, if not more, who are interested in me," explained Krylov. "We will negotiate. I think we'll find common ground. I definitely will not lose, but on the contrary - profit. Today, started a new career as a revolution: here I am free, and now I can think of that as it is necessary. And then we'll see."
If Krylov can string together some solid wins on the open circuit and return to negotiate a contract with UFC in a year or two, he may very well have the chance to make more money than he would have now. But that is a big gamble. If things fall apart, Krylov may have missed his boat to stick with the best promoter in the world.