UFC 171 fight card primer: Nikita Krylov vs. Ovince St.. Preux

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents its primer coverage for all 13 fights from tonight's UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas. Here, we look at the PPV opener between light heavyweights Nikita Krylov and Ovince St. Preux.

Your eyes are not deceiving you, Nikita Krylov (16-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) went from openly ridiculed by Dana White to a PPV main card in just 7 months. He is making his light heavyweight debut against Strikeforce veteran Ovince St. Preux (14-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 171 in Dallas.

Krylov's debut was a disaster that had some questioning whether he'd be cut after juts one fight, but the Ukrainian picked up a quick TKO in his next bout and has taken a short notice bout against OSP, who is looking for a 4th straight win and 3rd in the UFC. The UFC 171 main card starts at 10 PM ET, with prelims on Fox Sports 2 (TWO) at 8 PM ET.

How do these two stack up?

Krylov: 22 years old | 6'3" | 77.5" reach
St. Preux: 30 years old | 6'3" | 82" reach

How have these two done lately?

Krylov: W - Walt Harris (KO) | L - Soa Palelei (TKO) | W - Gabriel Tempu (TKO)
St. Preux: W - Cody Donovan (KO) | W - Gian Villante (T. DEC) | W - T.J. Cook (KO)

How did these two get here?

By now you've seen or heard the brutal assessment of Krylov after his atrocious fight with Soa Palelei at UFC 164. It was not fun to watch, it was embarrassing to see it on a UFC card, and Dana White berated both men for their efforts. Krylov was pitted against Walt Harris at UFC on Fox 10, and within 25 seconds he had Harris hurt with a head kick and punches and forced the stoppage. "Al Capone" took this fight in his new weight class on short notice following Thiago SIlva's arrest and subsequent release, and comes into this one as a big underdog.

St. Preux was a fixture on the Strikeforce Challengers shows, and by the end of his Strikeforce career his only defeat came at the hands of Gegard Mousasi. His UFC debut was a bit crazy, as he won a rare technical decision against Gian VIllante after he inadvertently poked him in the eye in the final round. The ref called off the bout, having interpreted that Villante couldn't see thus couldn't continue, but Villante (futilely) protested afterward. OSP's next outing had no controversy, as he knocked out Cody Donovan in just 2 minutes at UFC Fight Night in Boston.

Why should you care?

It's probably not going the distance and maybe Krylov can erase the memories of his debut with an upset win in a new weight class.
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