The UFC’s return to London, England after 3 years was a night that we’ll be talking about for a long time. This was the biggest card we’ve ever had on Verdict with 9 total fights and they all delivered. We witnessed highlight-reel knockouts and new stars emerge. The UFC handed out 9 performance of the night bonuses after the event which is the most in the company’s history. Let’s take a look back at all of the stories that came out of UFC London.
Like he’s done many times in the past, Paul Craig rallied back from the brink of defeat and finished a fight with a triangle choke. Going into this fight, Craig was a +250 betting underdog but was a big favorite on Verdict with 80% of the Community predicting him to win. When the fight started, Krlylov began to land effective strikes and seemed like he rocked Craig on a few occasions. The fight ended up on the mat and that’s when Craig finished Krylov with a triangle choke. Craig has now won 13 of his 16 fights by submission at a rate of 81%. This was expected by the majority of the Verdict Community, with 55% of them predicting a Paul Craig submission.
Official Result: Paul Craig via 1st round submission at 3:57
UFC London marked the first time Sergei Pavlovich competed since October of 2019. Though he’s been gone for a long time, the Verdict Community didn’t forget about him as 79% predicted him to defeat Shamil Abdurakhimov. Pavlovich picked up where he left off by finishing Abdurakhimov by 1st round TKO. That’s now 3 consecutive opponents that Pavlovich has finished by 1st round TKO.
Official Result: Sergei Pavlovich via 1st round TKO at 4:03
Amirkhani had his back against coming into this event as he lost his last 3 consecutive fights. He was fighting for his spot on the UFC roster and delivered. Mike Grundy attempted an early takedown that Amirkhani took advantage of by securing him in a guillotine choke. Grundy went on unconscious and the referee stopped the fight just 57 seconds into the 1st round. This win earned Amirkhani the 3rd performance of the night bonus of his career.
Official Result: Makwan Amirkhani via 1st round submission at 0:57
There was a lot of attention on Ilia Topuria coming into this fight. He got into a scuffle with Paddy Pimblett earlier this week and was set on defeating Jai Herbert then calling out Pimblett after the fight. When the fight started, Herbert was in full control of the striking and even dropped Topuria. It seemed as if Topuria’s only option was to grapple with Herbert if he was going to win. It was in the 2nd round where Topuria absolutely stunned the London crowd as he blasted Herbert with a right hand that left him unconscious. No matter how down he was in the 1st round, Ilia Topuria refused to quit. Topuria is undefeated at 12-0 with a 92% finishing rate. Now that he’s in the Lightweight division, there are a lot of possibilities. Topuria called out Paddy Pimblett after the fight just like he said he would.
Official Result: Ilia Topuria via 2nd round knockout at 1:07
Molly McCann put on the best performance of her career at UFC London, when she finished Luana Carolina with a vicious spinning back elbow knockout. This was one of the most memorable highlight-reel knockouts from a Women’s fight in UFC history. McCann looked to close the show immediately in the 1st as she rushed Luana Carolina and unloaded with punches. Carolina stayed in the fight and started to look more confident in the 3rd round. That confidence didn’t matter, as McCann put Carolina out cold with the spinning back elbow. After the fight, McCann jumped out of the Octagon and hugged Dana White before grabbing a replica UFC Championship belt and raising it up. In her post-fight speech, she made the crowd chant for her teammate Paddy Pimblett.
Official Result: Molly McCann via 3rd round knockout at 1:52
After a nearly 3 year absence from the Octagon, Gunnar Nelson made his return to action and defeated Takashi Sato by unanimous decision. This was a grappling heavy performance by Nelson who completely controlled the action when it hit the floor. This was the world’s most common pick with 37% of the Verdict Community predicting Nelson to win by decision. Of the 9 fights on Verdict, this was the only fight that went to a decision.
Official Result: Molly McCann via unanimous decision (30–26, 30–26, 30–26)
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a fighter ooze charisma the way Paddy Pimblett does. You could see the excitement on his face when he made his entrance to the Octagon. As soon as Pimblett locked eyes with Kazula Vargas, his demeanour changed. He went from playful to serious immediately. Vargas landed a few strikes on Pimblett and brought the action to the canvas. Pimblett recovered and got back to his feet before judo flipping Vargas to the canvas. Pimblett controlled Vegas on the floor before submitting him with a rear-naked choke. Many believed that Pimblett was a striker because of his last fight, but he actually has more submission wins than knockout wins. The crowd exploded when the referee stopped the contest. Pimblett made the crowd sing in his post-fight interview. Pimblett has all the makings of a superstar if he continues to win.
Official Result: Paddy Pimbletti via 1st round submission at 3:50
Coming into this fight, Arnold Allen seemed to have it all except a big name on his record. He got that at UFC London by finished Dan Hooker by TKO in the 1st round. As soon as the fight started, Allen started to brawl with Hooker without regard. There was a sequence where Allen rocked Hooker, then Hooker rocked Allen, then Allen rocked Hooker again. Allen kept pushing the pace then eventually finished Hooker by a standing TKO. This was one of the most exciting rounds of the year. With this win, Allen has now won 11 consecutive fights. This is one of the longest active winning streaks in the UFC. Allen called out Calvin Kattar in his post-fight speech. He’s getting closer to a title shot.
Official Result: Arnold Allen i via 1st round TKO at 2:33
Coming into this fight, there has never been a British Heavyweight fighter that’s been successful in the UFC. We see a lot of great Britsh Heavyweight boxers but that hasn’t been the case in MMA. It looks like it’s all about to change with Tom Aspinall. Aspinall delivered in his first UFC main event by finishing Alexander Volkov in the 1st round. He showed a variety of tools including speed, striking, wrestling, and submissions against Volkov. It’s not often that you see a well rounded Heavyweight fighter that’s well-rounded like this. Aspinall finished the fight with a straight armlock, becoming the first fighter in 12 years to submit Alexander Volkov. Aspinall has always wanted to take his career slow before fighting the best in the world. Now Aspinall is undoubtedly one of the best in the world and will fight nothing but the best moving forward. Aspinall called out Tai Tuivasa in his post-fight speech. We might just see that next for the interim Heavyweight title.
Official Result: Tom Aspinall via 1st round submission at 3:45