Cirkunov is very familiar with Spann. In fact, Cirkunov was one of Johnny Walker’s cornermen for his bout with Spann last year. That allowed the Canadian light heavyweight a front row seat and some insight into what Spann is capable of.
And he expects that intel will pay off in the UFC APEX on Saturday.
“I was actually in Johnny Walker’s corner when he fought Ryan Spann and I saw the whole entire fight. They are both very athletic, very strong guys and Ryan Spann is a great athlete. I just have to fight smart. I cannot rely on my reflexes and go on whatever happens. I have to have a game plan and I have to follow it. I believe that will be the kryptonite for Ryan,” Cirkunov said. “It’s always nicer to watch somebody fight live because you feel their energy, you feel their power more and you see their facial expressions better. You see where they are kind of cracking and where they are shining. Watching a fight live is, of course, better than watching the footage, but having said that, watching footage is very beneficial.”
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Walker was able to survive an early onslaught from Texas’ Spann, connecting with some elbows in the clinch that helped him earn a TKO finish at the end of a wild first round. Cirkunov doesn’t expect his fight with Spann to go like it did for Walker; he believes the bout will be more calculated and more technical.