Here is what happened on the main card at UFC London.
Curtis Blaydes vs Tom Aspinall
For the second week in a row, the main event ended with an injury. After throwing a leg kick, Tom Aspinall fell back in pain when he put his foot down. It’s a shame that it ended this way. The packed O2 Arena was in for what would have been an exciting fight.
What happens now? Well. Aspinall will have to rest and recoup. After talking to one of the doctors, Michael Bisping said that the Manchester native may have injured his MCL. That is what was said on the broadcast and not the official diagnosis.
Running the fight back is the obvious choice. However, it depends on how long Aspinall is out. If it is a long layoff, then Blaydes should take on the winner of Tuivasa/Gane.
Jack Hermansson vs Chris Curtis
Both fighters threw an insult or two each other’s way, with Hermasson calling Curtis a not very nice name and Curtis flipping the ‘Joker’ the bird. Curtis also imitated his opponent, claiming he was running.
In reality, Hermansson used a good game plan when coming up against a late replacement. Curtis should have pressed a bit more and used level changes and takedowns. Hermansson looked good and got a win back over Xtreme Couture (he lost to Curtis’s teammate Sean Strickland in his last fight).
Post-fight antics aside, Hermansson will likely face Darren Till, his original opponent, next. I’m not sure off is next for Curtis, but it will be good to see him bounce back.
Paddy Pimblett vs Jordan Leavitt
The atmosphere looked electric in the O2 Arena when ‘The Baddy’ made the walk to the Octagon.
The man from Liverpool was put in a few bad spots doing the first round, Leavitt using his grappling to get the fight down. He controlled the first round and won it. Anyone who thought that Pimblett’s ground game wasn’t legit should look at this fight. He was able to land a big knee, take the back and sink in the fight-ending rear-naked choke.
Pimblett will no doubt get a ranked opponent. Next, an exciting match-up would be Jalin Turner. Both fighters are on the up, and it would be a good test to see if Pimblett can take the next level.
Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson
It is always sad to see a former top contender reduced to a shadow of their former selves. That is precisely what has happened to former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
Krylov swarmed ‘The Mauler’ from the opening bell and made him look ordinary. Fans knew that Krylov had some heavy hands; they were reminded about it in this fight.
Dana White no doubt heard who Krylov wants next. In his post-fight interview with Bisping, he called out Volkan Oezdemir. As for Gustafsson, it may be time to hang up the gloves.
Molly McCann vs Hannah Goldy
Like Pimblett’s walkout, to be in the crowd when McCann made the walk would have been fantastic. English fight fans are something else (in a good way, of course).
This fight ended in the first round, and McCann threw a spinning elbow knocking ’24K’ out. It was a good performance for the Liverpudlian, and she has now won three fights in a row. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Goldy’s night, it was a tough ask to go over there and win, but she would have taken plenty out of the fight.
As for what’s next for either woman, it’s hard to say. A good fight for McCann would be Michelle Waterson-Gomez; it would be a fun fight, and it would be interesting to hear people boo if the fight was to take place in the UK.
Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir
The opening bout was a little bit lacklustre. It was very much a classic striker vs grappler fight, and it went exactly that way.
Ozdemir didn’t look comfortable until the final round. He seemed very gun shy early, but that would have been because he didn’t want to get caught in a submission. It was hard to believe that this was the same guy that once fought Daniel Cormier, but a win is a win.
Craig did have some good moments on the feet, tagging Oezdemir a few times. The fans knew exactly what he was going to do, and if he didn’t catch the submission early, it would have been more arduous as the fight went on.
As for what’s next for both fighters? Krylov called out Oezdemir, which is the fight to make next for him. Dominic Reyes would be a good fight for the Scotsman, and it would be good to see him work on his stand-up, as it looked ok in this fight.