UFC London Fight Night: Blaydes vs Aspinall Main Card Betting Preview

UFC

The UFC returns to London for the second time this year! European MMA fans will have a fantastic card to look forward to, including 9 different fighters from the UK. It should turn out to be a violent and enjoyable night of fights, so I’m going to give you a breakdown of the main card so you don’t have to do the research. Let’s make some money!

Paul Craig (16-4-1) vs Volkan Oezdemir (17-6)

Paul Craig is a grappling master. Of his 16 wins, he’s submitted his opponent in 14 of them, and in his fight against Jamahal Hill (10-1, ranked 10th in LHW rankings) Craig snapped Hill’s arm before finishing him via “tko”. My point is, Craig could submit a tree trunk if he wanted to. His grappling is next level and his submissions from bottom position are arguably the best in all of MMA.

Oezdemir comes into this fight with less respect than he deserves from the betting public. Many fans will remember Oezdemir as the man that lost to Jiri Prochazka in his first UFC fight, but Oezdemir is a skilled veteran. He’s only 5-5 in his UFC career, but look at the names that he’s lost to; Daniel Cormier, Dominick Reyes, Jiri Prochazka, Magomed Ankalaev, and Anthony Smith. All of those fighters are former title holders or challengers, except for Ankalaev who is due for a title shot soon.

Basically my point is this; Craig is a phenomenal grappler and Oezdemir has fought the toughest of competition. That being said, I was extremely surprised to see that Oezdemir is the favorite in this fight. I will hammer Paul Craig by submission all day long.

Prediction: Paul Craig wins by submission (Triangle)
Best Bet: Paul Craig wins by submission +250

Molly McCann vs Hannah Goldy

This fight is interesting to me in one similar way to the previous fight; I know the betting line is off. In this fight, Molly McCann sits as a -390 favorite on some sportsbooks such as Draft Kings. Molly “Meatball” McCann is a good fighter, but she should not be almost -400 against anybody in that division. The reason for this huge line, in my eyes, is due to the spectacular finish she had in her last fight.

Her opponent, Hannah Goldy, is 1-2 in the UFC with her only victory coming in her last fight via first round submission. Goldy is certainly fighting for her job at this point and needs a respectable performance to keep her name in the UFC.

I don’t like the line on this fight, however I do think Molly McCann will win. Goldy definitely has the ability to win, but the question is will she piece it all together on saturday night.

Prediction: McCann by decision
Best Bet: Goldy by decision +650

Nikita Krylov (27-9) vs Alexander Gustafsson (18-7)

Nikita Krylov is a skilled veteran in the UFC with over 15 UFC fights. He is 2-3 in his last five fights but has fought skilled opponents like Paul Craig, Magomed Ankalaev, and former champion Glover Teixeira. Krylov is known for his striking and is very passionate about ending the fight with a KO or submission (32 of his 36 professional fights have not gone the distance.)

Alexander Gustafsson on the other hand is a very unique fighter. After being the first fighter to come close to beating Jon Jones in the UFC, Gustafsson slowly started to fall off. He was 8-2 in his first ten UFC fights but is 2-5 in his last seven fights. Gustafsson was known for his striking ability and takedown defense, but now is trying to revamp his name after a tough couple of losses in a row.

I want nothing more than to see Gustafsson come out and take claim to this fight and really show off his abilities, but unfortunately I believe Gustafsson is well past his prime. I believe Krylov will finish Gustafsson in the second round via submission.

Prediction: Krylov Sub
Best Bet: Krylov Sub +330

Jordan Leavitt (10-1) vs Paddy Pimblett (18-3)

Jordan Leavitt, nicknamed The Monkey King, is a 10-1 UFC fighter from Las Vegas. Leavitt is known to be a skilled grappler with very minimal striking ability. Leavitt has a 4-1 record in the UFC (if you include his first round submission on Dana White’s Contender Series) and is an extravagant, over the top celebrator when he wins his fights. He’s already assured everybody of how he will celebrate over Paddy if he is victorious.

Paddy Pimblett is a rising UFC star due to his personality. The Liverpool based fighter is known for his classic Scouser accent, his extensive off-season eating habits, and his overall ridiculous and humorous personality. That being said, Paddy is 2-0 in the UFC with two first round finishes. The first fight however almost ended in a first round finish of Paddy before the Liverpool native found his footing and fought back to victory.

This fight is more fun in the media than it is on paper. These are two grappling heavy fighters that are roughly the same size and both want to avoid extensive striking, at least they should. The line for this fight is -260 for Paddy and +210 on Leavitt. I will hammer Monkey King all day, and if I were you I’d bet him all the way down to +150. I think this will be a very close fight and the start struck fans are hyping Paddy’s line way up. Fade the public.

Prediction: Leavitt by Submission +600
Best Bet: Leavitt Straight Up +210

Chris Curtis (29-8) vs Jack Hermansson (22-7)

Despite being a professional fighter since 2009 and having the most professional fights out of anybody on this card, Chris Curtis will be fighting in his first UFC main event and only his fourth UFC fight. Curtis is a skilled striker who can take damage, wear it, and come back to dominate and finish a fight. Curtis’ power is evident in his hands and he’s a fun guy to watch; He’s been through alot trying to make it as a professional fighter and it’s fun and exciting to see an athlete who’s worked so hard for so long, and has gained so little to finally get his big chance at a payday and new contract.

Hermansson is also a veteran of the sport, but has been in the UFC since 2016. ‘The Joker’ is known for his skilled grappling and submissions, so Curtis will have to be aware of the takedown and submission threats. I feel Hermansson is a good fighter, but somewhat of a gatekeeper. Curtis is going to have to prove to everyone he deserves to be ranked in the top ten of the Middleweight Division.

Prediction: Curtis via decision
Best Bet: Chris Curtis Straight up -110

Tom Aspinall (12-2) vs Curtis Blaydes (16-3)

Tom Aspinall is an exciting and skilled Heavyweight that is relatively new to the division. Including this upcoming fight, he’ll have had six fights in the span of two years, the first five all coming as victories in under 6 minutes. Aspinall is a powerful and accurate striker, but moreover is a skilled submission artist as well. He’ll have to use every tool in his bag to avoid being taken down and finished by Curtis Blaydes.

Blaydes is a UFC veteran for over six years now. His very first UFC fight was a TKO loss to Francis Ngannou, and since then is 11-2-1 in the UFC. Blaydes is widely regarded as the best wrestler in the heavyweight division, but is also precise with his striking. What makes Blaydes such a difficult matchup isn’t his ability to grapple. It’s his ability to seamlessly mix his grappling and striking so that his opponent won’t know which is coming.

I’ve been thoroughly impressed by Aspinall in his UFC fights, and personally I’m a fan of his. I think he’s got a likable personality, he hits really hard, and he knows how to avoid boring fights because of his ability to get up beneath grapplers. That being said, Curtis Blaydes is not just ‘some grappler’. He’s the best heavyweight MMA grappler in the world. I expect Blaydes to do his thing for a few rounds before finishing off a tired Aspinall in the later rounds.

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes Fourth Round TKO
Best Bet: Curtis Blaydes +120

 


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