The UFC returned to London, England with a fantastic main card headlined by Tom Aspinall and Curtis Blaydes at the O2 Arena. The fans brought the energy like always as the atmosphere in London was electric. Even though the main event did not go according to plan, the main card had some nice finishes with some impressive wins along the way. Let's take a look on how the main card shaped out at UFC London.
Another unfortunate injury occured in back-to-back UFC main events as Tom Aspinall injures his right knee at UFC London against Curtis Blaydes. In what was appearing to be a great fight, it all ended when Aspinall landed a leg kick on Blaydes. After landing the kick, Aspinall's right leg tries to plant on the ground and gives out. Aspinall immediately grabs his right knee and the fight is over. Fans only got to see 15 seconds of action between the two in the main event. They started at a very high pace in the beginning of the fight and then it came to an unfortunate stop due to the injury. For Blaydes, it still counts as a win and it makes it three in-a-row. It'll be interesting to see what the UFC does with Blaydes as he has shown that he is ready to get back into the title picture.
In a interesting fight in the Middleweight division, Chris Curtis and Jack Hermansson battled it out for 15 minutes. In the first round, Hermansson was giving multiple looks to Curtis on the feet. Between switching his striking levels to the body kick, Curtis couldn't get anything going offensively. Hermansson took a kickboxing approach in this fight and it showed in the second round. Curtis absorbed a lot of body kicks and was visibly fustrated. Hermansson appeared to have hurt Curtis a bit while following up with an abundance of elbows but Curtis had a high tight guard that blocked the majority of the strikes. In the third round, Curtis started to pick it up yet still couldn't get anything going. Hermansson kept his composure throughout the fight and continued to pour on volume with his strikes. He landed 57 more signifcant strikes than Curtis and it led him to the decision win. Hermansson gets a much needed win in the Middleweight division and will be interesting to see who he gets next. Nonetheless, Hermansson looked great on the feet and earned himself a great win at UFC London.
Fan-favorite Paddy Pimblett gets another finish in his UFC career when he submits Jordan Leavitt in the second round. The fight got interesting in the first round when Leavitt initated the first takedown. Leavitt had Pimblett pressed up in the clinch for the majority of the first round, presenting some problems for Pimblett. Through the adversity, Pimblett managed to attempt a submission towards the end of the round and managed to finish the round on top. With a strong finish to the first round, Pimblett carried the momentum into the second. Leavitt engaged in the clinch again but this time, Pimblett made adjustments. Leavitt left an opening for a submission attempt and Pimblett jumped on it. What looked to be a modified head choke, Pimblett had Leavitt in trouble with the attempt in the clinch but it led to a knee to the head that dropped Leavitt. Pimblett would follow up that knee by taking the back and getting the rear naked choke win. Pimblett is 3-0 in the UFC and is arguably on the rise to become a UFC star.
With the fans going crazy over Molly McCann the fight before, Nikita Krylov silenced the O2 Arena with a finish over Alexander Gustafsson in round one. The fight starts off with Krylov scoring a knockdown in the first 20 seconds of the fight. He had Gustafsson hurt on the feet but, they will scramble into the clinch as Gustafsson tries to recover. Krylov disengages from the clinch and gets right back to work with forward pressure. Krylov hurts him again and gets the knockout finish he wanted. After the win, Krylov called out Volkan Oezdemir for a potential future matchup in Abu Dhabi later this year. The UFC should entertain this fight as it is the next fight to make in the Light Heavyweight division.
Molly McCann put the O2 Arena into a frenzy after finishing Hannah Goldy in the first round. The relentless pressure of McCann was overwhelming Goldy. The striking differential was not even close as Goldy only landed nine strikes to the 24 that McCann landed. McCann defended all five takedowns and that is when it started to pick up. McCann pressured Goldy to the back of the cage and landed a spinning elbow that stunned Goldy. She would finish the fight on the feet while hurting Goldy until Herb Dean stepped in. McCann is now on a three-fight winning streak with back-to-back finishes. The future continues to look bright as she might have a number next to her name soon in the Flyweight division.
A fun one between Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir opened up the main card at UFC London. In the first round, Craig pulled gaurd the majority of the fight to negate the forward pressure of Oezdemir. The dangerous submission game of Craig was on full display as he was looking for several leg locks in the first round. In the second round, Oezdemir started to play into his own game and become a bit more patient. Whenever Craig pulled gaurd, Oezdemir will successfully get up and get the fight back onto the feet. The same sequence would happen in the third round as Oezdemir was getting the better of the exchanges on the feet. Oezdemir landed double of the amount of signifcant strikes landed as Craig did and the judges rewarded Oezdemir with a unamious decision win at the end. After suffering back-to-back losses, this is a huge win for Oezdemir at UFC London and is primed for another top ten opponent.
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