The UFC is back in the O2 Arena in London for a colossal headliner at Heavyweight between England's Tom Aspinall and Poland's Marcin Tybura. Nearly every fight from top to bottom of the card will feature someone from Europe as European MMA is center stage. This event will showcase flashy finishers, slick submission specialists, and brutal knockout artists. Let's break down the card in the order it appears on the VerdictMMA app.
Undefeated English prospect Lerone Murphy faces the toughest test of his career at the hands of Australia's Josh Culibao. Culibao has only lost 1 fight of his 13-fight career and has been dominating in wrestling in his most recent fights. On the other hand, Murphy is a surging knockout artist with big wins over Makwan Amirkhani, Douglas Silva de Andrade, and Ricardo Ramos. This fight will be a significant opportunity for both parties involved, and an impressive win could mean a top-15 Featherweight is next.
English fan-favorite Jai Herbert takes on Frenchman Fares Ziam in an interesting matchup at Lightweight. Both men have been on spotty runs in their last few fights and hope to secure a big win this weekend. Herbert is 12-4-1 (2-3-1 UFC) and is coming off the first draw of his career in a fight he was winning until being deducted a point due to accidental groin strikes. Ziam is 13-4 (3-2 UFC), coming off a win in his home country in September 2022. A loss for either man could mean the end of their UFC career, so a big win is essential with lots at stake.
Two submission aces go toe-to-toe at Middleweight in what will undoubtedly be a grapplers delight. The pair have a combined 28 submissions from armbars, triangles, rear naked chokes; you name it. Both men are looking to rebound after a loss by finish earlier this year and prove who the best submission artist at Middleweight is. This fight will surely provide for all Jiu-Jitsu fans and MMA lovers alike.
A classic prospect vs. veteran matchup goes down at Featherweight when Andre Fili meets England's Nathaniel Wood in the UFC's Octagon. Fili, a 10-year veteran in the UFC, has been on a constant stint of winning one and losing one since he debuted in 2013; however, he has always brought the best version of himself every time. He has been up against some greats, such as Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, and Michael Johnson. Wood is 6-2 in the UFC and went on a tear through Bantamweight until losing 2 fights and opting to move up to the 145lb Featherweight division, where he has found his ideal weight class. A win here could be a top-15 Featherweight is next for Wood.
Molly McCann, one of the most exciting prospects hailing from England, will take on The Ultimate Fighter 28 finalist Julia Stoliarenko in the co-main event of the evening. Both women excel in their preferred discipline, with McCann opting for the strikes and Stoliarenko choosing the submissions. McCann is coming off the second loss by finish in her career, and she is currently 13-5 (6-4 UFC) with 6 big wins by knockout. Stoliarenko is 10-7 (1-5 UFC) with 9 big wins by submission.
Arriving at the main event of the evening, Heavyweights throw down between 2 well-rounded finishers, Tom Aspinall and Marcin Tybura. Aspinall is a heavy hitter with slick submissions; he is currently 12-3 (5-1 UFC) and has never seen a judge's decision in his 15-fight career. Aspinall is coming off an upsetting loss to Curtis Blaydes due to a knee injury 15 seconds into the fight; he has been recovering for the last year and finally feels like he's at a place where he can fight. Tybura has a wealth of fighting experience, with 31 professional bouts, over double that of Aspinall, and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Blagoy Ivanov earlier this year. With Heavyweight lacking the talent as many other divisions, a big win here could spell a title shot against champion Jon Jones next.