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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Matthew Wells and Ken Hathaway

Ryan Spann reacts to UFC Fight Night 220 main event cancelation due to Nikita Krylov illness

UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Spann was understandably upset after finding out he would not be fighting against Nikita Krylov.

Spann (21-7 MMA, 7-2 UFC) was scheduled to face Krylov (29-9 MMA, 10-7 UFC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 220, but the fight was scratched just hours before the bout. Krylov came down with a foodborne illness, and despite receiving fluids and treatment throughout the day, was determined to be unfit to compete.

Spann was going through his usual fight day routine including the completion of his pre-fight urine test for USADA when his coach Sayif Saud and UFC officials came to deliver the bad news.

“I had USADA in the back, and my coach stormed in yelling for me,” Spann told MMA Junkie and other reporters backstage. “It was him, Hunter (Campbell) and Sean (Shelby) letting me know that I wasn’t going to be able to fight.”

Despite losing a fight that could get him closer to a title shot, Spann wasn’t discouraged by completing an entire fight camp just for the fight to fall apart on fight day.

“I wouldn’t call it a wasted camp because we weren’t training for this specific fight,” Spann said. “We’re in champ camp. The plan was to go back to work Monday either way. So I guess that’s what we’re going to have to do. So, it isn’t wasted. The disappointment comes from me not getting to show off some of the sh*t we’ve been doing.”

That’s when tears began to flow as Spann processed the thoughts of the time that others put in to help him prepare for a fight against Krylov that resulted in a cancelation.

“They invested a lot of time in me and I wanted to be able to pay them back with a beautiful performance,” Spann said.

Spann checked in on Krylov while backstage to share a few respectful words with his light heavyweight peer. Both fighters understood they wanted to perform in the main event spotlight, but the opportunity was taken away due to unfortunate circumstances. For now, it’s back to work in the training room to prepare for whatever comes next for Spann.

“Sh*t happens, that’s what my brother always says,” Spann said. “It’s just – f*ck.”

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