On March 19th, the UFC will return to London, England for the first time since 2019. There were a few changes to the bout order this week including moving Paul Craig’s fight from the main card to the prelims. We’ve listened to the Verdict Community and are keeping the fight on the platform. UFC London is the biggest card to ever be featured on Verdict with 9 total fights. Let’s take a look at all of them.
Tom Aspinall will get his opportunity to become a star this weekend when he takes on Alexander Volkov in front of a hometown crowd in London, England. Prior to entering the UFC, Aspinall wanted to work on his craft and take his career slow before competing against the best in the world. Current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya also took this approach. As soon as Aspinall made his UFC debut, he began steamrolling through the competition, finishing 4 consecutive opponents including former Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. Aspinall has a 100% finishing rate and has never gone past the 2nd round. He wanted to take it slow, but the results are undeniable. Tom Aspinall is ready to compete against the best in the world and that’s what he’ll do when he takes on Alexander Volkov in this weekend’s main event. Volkov is a battle-tested veteran that’s fought the best of the Heavyweight division. If Tom Aspinall is able to get past Alexander Volkov, we have a new title contender in the Heavyweight division. Anytime you have a fighter that wins a main event in front of their hometown, that’s a recipe for success.
Paddy Pimblett has only had one fight in the UFC and he’s already become one of the most popular prospects in the sport. He’s charismatic outside the Octagon and has a killer instinct when he competes. He made his successful UFC debut last September, finishing Luigi Vendramini by knockout. Pimblett is already a big star in the UK, as he’s a former Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion. Pimblett is a big favorite, with 86% of the Verdict Community predicting him to defeat Rodrigo Vargas. The world’s most common pick is Paddy Pimblett to win by 1st round knockout.
Since making his UFC debut in 2015, Arnold Allen has defeated everyone is in his path by winning 8 consecutive fights. Allen entered the UFC at the age of 21 and has evolved his game ever since. He’ll get the opportunity to make a big name for himself when he takes on Dan Hooker this weekend. After losing his last 3 out of 4 fights, Hooker will make his return to the Featherweight division for the first time since November of 2016. A win against Allen would immediately propel Hooker to the top 10 of the Featherweight division. This is a close fight, with 53% predicting Hooker to defeat Allen.
This is the lone Heavyweight fight on the card. Shamil Abdurakhimov is coming off back to back knockout losses while Sergei Pavlovich is coming off back to back knockout wins. Pavlovich has suffered only 1 loss in his professional career, dating back to December of 2014. As it stands, 39% of the Verdict Community are predicting Pavlovich to finish Abdurakhimov by knockout.
After a 9 month absence from the Octagon, Paul Craig will return to action when he takes on Nikita Krylov. Craig earned performance of the night honors in his last fight when he viciously finished Jamahal Hill with elbows while in a triangle choke. Since he made his professional debut in 2013, 100% of Craig’s wins have come by stoppage. He’ll be fighting a fellow finisher in Nikita Krylov, who’s finished 96% of his wins. Given the backgrounds of both fighters, it’s likely we’ll see a finish in this fight with 71% of the Verdict Community predicting the fight to end by stoppage.
Gunnar Nelson will compete inside the Octagon for the first time in nearly 2 years when he takes on Takashi Sato. Nelson fought the best of the Welterweight division in his last 2 fights, losing against Gilbert Burns and Leon Edwards. Though Nelson has been away from the Octagon for a long time, the Verdict Community hasn’t forgotten about him with 80% predicting him to win. If Sato manages to defeat Nelson, this will be the biggest win of his career.
Liverpool’s Molly McCann will compete in her home country this weekend when she takes on Luana Carolina. McCann is a former Cage Warriors Flyweight Champion and is hoping to replicate this accomplishment in the UFC. She’ll be taking on Luana Carolina who’s coming off back to back wins in the UFC. McCann’s last 6 fights have gone to a decision and 83% are predicting her fight against Carolina to go to the scorecards.
This UFC London main card will kick off with a Lightweight fight between Jai Herbert and the undefeated Ilia Topuria. In his last fight, Topuria became the first fighter in history to finish Ryan Hall by knockout. Topuria is well rounded and can finish a fight in a variety of ways as he has a 90% finishing rate. Topuria is a massive favorite, with 90% of the Verdict Community predicting him to win. On the Tuesday of fight week, Topuria and Paddy Pimblett got into an altercation. If they both win their fights this weekend, they could be matched up against each other next.
Makhwan Amirkhani is in a must-win situation this weekend, as he’s in danger of losing his 4th consecutive fight against Mike Grundy. Grundy finds himself in a similar position, as he’s lost 2 consecutive fights headed into UFC London. The Verdict Community is split on who they think will win the fight, as the fight is currently dead even at a 50/50.