Russia's Nikita Krylov gained a measure of revenge for his 2014 defeat against Ovince Saint-Preux, strangling the American light heavyweight with a second-round rear-naked choke in the UFC 236 main card opener.
Krylov, who has never gone to a decision in his 31-fight professional career, earned his first UFC victory since a 2016 head kick knockout against Ed Herman at Saturday's event in Atlanta, Georgia with a slickly executed submission in a back-and-forth contest.
Saint-Preux won the first encounter between the two, submitting Krylov with a Von Flue choke in 2014 but this time around it was Krylov who coaxed the tap from his opponent in a grappling-heavy affair, forcing the submission at the midway point of the second round.
The win rebounds him successfully from a defeat to Poland's Jan Blachowicz last September in his return to the UFC following a four-fight run outside the organization, all of which he finished inside of two rounds.
But after Krylov's submission victory in Atlanta at UFC 236, bigger things must surely await for the proven finisher, still just 27-years-old, in a 205lb division with places in the top 15 rankings very much up for grabs.
And the reaction on social media appears to show that the resurgent light heavyweight is very much a fighter that fans want to see more of.
Krylov is a beast
He has improved a lot and has scope for more imrovement
Watch this guy#UFC236
— BoomMaster Redeyes (@azareidies) April 14, 2019
I underestimated Nikita Krylov in this one. I expected OSP to win this one via some weird and goofy circumstance, as he often does. Fair play to the guy, that was a huge win for him. #UFC236
— Jordan Patu (@Jordan_Patu) April 14, 2019
Predicted OSP by round 2 SUB and bet him small since he became an underdog because people think Krylov is better then he is and OSP didnt disappoint
— Donny Rockett (@drockett69) April 14, 2019
Big win for Nikita Krylov. He avenges a previous loss to Ovince Saint Preux with a second round rear naked choke.
Krylov is always a go big or go home kind of guy, which is why people always like watching him fight #UFC236