Ryan Spann vs. Bogdan Guskov prediction | UFC on ESPN 55 1

Ryan “Superman” Spann, 32, has been in the UFC since 2018 and has amassed a 7-4 record with 5 finish wins and 3 finish losses. Bogdan Guskov, meanwhile, is only one-year younger than Spann but has only fought twice in the UFC. He dropped his debut via first-round submission and then rebounded with a first-round knockout.

Betting Odds

Spann opened as a middling favorite but has grown slightly throughout the week.


Spann is an enigma in the cage. He is exceptionally athletic for his size- 6’5 205- carries heavy power, has a nasty choke game, and is mostly durable. However, Spann has bounced between wins and losses for most of his career, in large part because of mental lapses and defensive unawareness.

Offensively, Spann tends to lull fighters to sleep with a slow approach early. Then, when he sees an opening, “Superman” unloads fluid and explosive combinations. Spann also has a sneaky solid grappling game that is much like his striking offense- methodical until an opening appears and then athletically lethal. Most of Spann’s game is centered around club and subs where he drops his opponent with a heavy shot and follows up with a choke if he doesn’t get the knockout to begin with. His quickness, power, and ability to finish the fight on the feet and the mat make Spann a dangerous opponent for anyone who lines up across from him.

However, Spann’s lack of defense and fight IQ often result in him losing fights he probably should win on paper. Spann is hittable on the feet, especially early in fights. He tends to fight with his back against the cage which allows more plodding fighters the opportunity to set up their shots without the need for footwork. Additionally, Spann can be careless while grappling and leave his own neck exposed, especially while clinching.

Guskov is about as predictable as Spann is unpredictable. Guskov tends to fight every fight the same way: awkward looping shots that carry fight-ending power as he throws windmill combinations from his hips. It looks sloppy, but the odd angles tend to give defensively inept opponents issues because they’re not used to power hooks coming from such unique angles. If he lands, Guskov tends to land big. If he misses, likewise, he tends to miss big.

As a grappler, Guskov is about as raw and vulnerable as one can get. Even his coaches have said that his defensive wrestling is a concern in the cage. It’s a dangerous endeavor to close the distance against Guskov, but those who can have found success out grappling the primary striker. Guskov’s style is dangerous but unreliable. He has real power; and, because his strikes come from his hips, Guskov has found success landing wide and looping hooks that normally a professional could see coming a mile away. While his style is unreliable, it is still undeniably successful. It takes a measured and patient approach to fight and beat Guskov, either through striking or grappling.


Spann should win this fight with ease. He is the far superior technician, vastly more experienced, the better grappler by a mile, and has the power to end the fight on the feet himself. But, in the past, Spann has lost fights that he should win. It would be the most Ryan Spann thing to ignore his immense edge in the clinch and on the mat; instead electing to swang and bang with Guskov until someone drops.

If he does that, this fight is a coin flip. While I can see that happening, I can’t bet that it will. Instead, I’ll take Spann to fight intelligently, land his jab and calf kick early, and eventually find a finish late in round 1 or in round 2. He just needs to avoid the haymakers from Guskov.

Best Bet: Spann to win inside the distance (-150 at BetUS)

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