UFC Fight Night Picks and Predictions: Hot Prospect of the Week Alexander Gustafsson

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Sweden's Alexander Gustafsson fights against US 's Anthony Smith. (Photo by Erik SIMANDER / various sources / AFP) / Sweden OUT

Join us as we preview a hot UFC prospect from this week’s UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Aspinall MMA event. Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at our hottest prospect of the week, Alexander Gustafsson, and his opponent Nikita Krylov, including UFC odds, our free expert UFC picks, predictions, and analysis.

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Nikita Krylov

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout

Saturday, July 23, 2022 – 04:00 PM EDT at O2 Arena

Alexander Gustafsson (18-7-0)

After thirteen years spent in the UFC roster pool, some would argue that Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson is far from a prospect, and they'd be correct. However, with such a drop in the level of competition he's facing this weekend, I believe he'll be the prosperous fighter leaving the 02 Arena in London on Saturday afternoon. 

Gustafsson was arguably the successor in his bout versus Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship in 2013, despite the actual decision made by the UFC judges. He's fought the who's who of 205lb competitors, including the likes of Daniel Cormier, Glover Teixeira, Fabricio Werdum, Jan Blachowicz, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, and Anthony Smith. 

The Swedish-born 35-year-old is often considered one of the best light heavyweights to have never obtained championship gold, and it's difficult to argue this opinion. Alexander Gustafsson hasn't been as active inside the octagon in recent years and is currently riding a three-fight losing streak; however, we must recognize his losses that have come against former champions or title challengers only – he's notably never lost to anybody that wasn't a contender, former, or current champion

Alexander Gustafsson Fight Analysis

As a legend in his own right, Gustafsson undoubtedly held his own versus the former generation, and his layoff from the octagon naturally produces some concerns. But when we focus on his skill set, he's one of the most well-rounded fighters in the light heavyweight division. 

Gustafsson looked incredible against Werdum last time out – up until the submission finish – and his striking offense is still present with an elite level of intelligence that can assist him in outstriking today's 205lb fighters. 

When we evaluate Gustafsson's grappling, I can only remember him being easily taken down by the former Olympic wrestler and two-division champion in Daniel Cormier. Jon Jones is the only other fighter to succeed in grappling the Swede; need I say more?  

He should own a level of boxing far superior to Krylov, with great footwork and an evasive style with probing jabs that lead into nice combinations. Envisioning Krylov out-grappling Gustafsson just doesn't sit right, as the veteran boasts some of the best takedown defense in the division.   

Gustafsson vs. Krylov Betting Pick and Odds

Nikita Krylov (27-9-0) is a veteran mixed martial artist in his own right. With more than 30 professional fights to his name, the Ukrainian representative doesn't own the elite-level UFC experience of his opponent this weekend. Still, he's been competing inside a cage since 2012 and is only 30 years old

Sportsbooks have positioned Krylov as a -195 betting favorite, but I'm struggling to give him a clear path to victory that can justify these betting odds.  

I believe Krylov's greatest chance for success is to grapple, but this is an approach where I expect Gustafsson to handle the oncoming attacks soundly. In the stand-up area, the former title challenger will utilize his size and keep Krylov on the back foot with his offensive striking. In addition, Krylov is also on a losing streak, and he hasn't looked impressive enough to earn the available betting price we're looking at.  

UFC London Pick: Alexander Gustafsson to Win (+170) [1u returns 1.70u] with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Alexander Gustafsson to Win (+170)
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UFC London Main Card and Odds

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.