After The Fights: UFC London

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.

 

 

Wanting to be the Aussie Bill Simmons

One journalist I look up to is Bill Simmons. (Photo Credit Variety.com)

I often set loft goal and have high expectations for myself, what can I say I am a dreamer. Over the years I have wanted to be some many things in my life, from a pro wrestler to an MMA fighter to an actor (my dream was crushed in year 10 when I missed out on a part in lunch time play). As I have touched on a few time on this blog, I got into writing during an injury and things took off me leading me to wanting a career in sports journalism and as always I have set myself some lofty expectations.

 

Two of my favourite sports writers in the world at the moment are Bill Simmons and Shea Serrano, who funnily enough have worked together at Grantland and now at The Ringer, the site that was founded by Simmons. While I didn’t read much of his early stuff as the ‘Boston Sports Guys’ I have read plenty of Simmons’ work when he had his page 2 column on ESPN (which is still available) and I have always wanted to be just as good as he is.

 

Instead of concentrating on the ‘now’ I have always dreamt of what my future success would look like. Because of this I have jumped around wanting to different things in my sports journalism career, even though I am still currently doing my degree (almost done). One thing that I would love to do down the road is start my own website, at first I wanted it to be only sports, but since pop culture has always been something I’ve been knowledgeable about. Also there are not many Australian sites that I know of that are exclusively sport and pop culture sites (if you know of any comment with a link) that are not part of news sites.

 

But as always I am getting way ahead of myself here, I still have a loooooong way to go before I can do anything like that but isn’t it nice to dream!

 

Until next time peeps, take care.

 

Merce