Nikita Krylov is just 21 years old, but has already fought 14 times professionally. He is currently undefeated, and has never been past the first round. He is also a heavyweight. All of those qualities and characteristics mean that he had to be on the radar of the major MMA promotions, and in August, he will find himself in a new home.
Krylov has signed with the UFC, where he'll take on Australian Soa Palelei at UFC 164.
Amazingly, Krylov, a Ukrainian, made his professional debut less than a year ago, at an event in his home country. He's only fought out of the Ukraine once, competing in neighboring Russia in an M-1 show last month.
To date, most of Krylov's opponents have been very inexperienced, with few having less than a handful of bouts.
That will change when he meets Palelei, who had a brief stint in the UFC back in 2007, when he lost to Eddie Sanchez via third-round TKO. He also previously fought in PRIDE.
Palelei (18-3) has won 10 of his last 11 fights since leaving the UFC, and is currently in the midst of an eight-fight win streak. Last December, he knocked out former UFC heavyweight Sean McCorkle in less than two minutes.
The Krylov vs. Palelei fight is the third heavyweight bout added to the UFC 164 card, which is scheduled for Milwaukee's Bradley Center on Aug. 31. A clash between former champions Josh Barnett and Frank Mir is also included, as well as Brandon Vera returning to his former division to take on Ben Rothwell.
Other announced bouts include Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida and Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier.