The UFC London results on July 23 offered up some impressive finishes, major wins, and disappointing setbacks for several UFC talents.
The card from inside the O2 Arena in London, England was headlined by a major matchup between two fighters in Sportsnaut’s UFC heavyweight rankings top 10. For the second time this year, Tom Aspinall competed in the main event of a UFC London card. This time around he faced perennial top-five competitor Curtis Blaydes.
Unfortunately for all involved, the bout ended after just 16 seconds when Aspinall’s knee gave out after a leg kick. It is a second straight UFC main event that ended with an injury in the first round.
The event in front of a raucous United Kingdom crowd featured a plethora of English and European fighters, including crowd favorites Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann, and Paul Craig. UFC London also featured the long-awaited return of light heavyweight great Alexander Gustafsson.
Let’s take a look at which competitors had nights to remember and evenings to forget at the event on Saturday.
Winner: Paddy Pimblett
The Paddy Pimblett hype train continues to pick up steam following his UFC London results. Despite some solid resistance from Jordan Leavitt in the first round, Pimblett scored his third straight finish in the UFC on Saturday. Outside of Khamzat Chimaev, “The Baddy” is the fast-rising star in the entire promotion. His devoted fanbase in the UK is second to none, and the UFC has a serious cash cow on their hands as long as he continues to perform as impressively has he has thus far. Paddy is for real.
Losers: Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall
Blaydes versus Aspinall was a highly anticipated matchup of two young and ultra-talented heavyweights. Sadly, a freak injury ended it all in just 16 seconds. For all the hard work both put into such a major fight, it all ended up being for naught on Saturday.
For Blaydes, his place in the division remains unchanged and he doesn’t get to prove himself worthy of a title fight soon. For Aspinall, he loses out on a massive career opportunity and could be sidelined for a long-time recovering from an apparent ligament injury in his knee. Everyone lost in this one.
Winner: Molly McCann
Molly McCann did it again. After scoring a wild spinning elbow finish at the London card in March, “Meatball” repeated the technique, but this time her elbow set up a barrage of shots that earned her a second straight knockout win. With three straight victories in the bag and back-to-back highlight reel finishes, it is about time for the Liverpool native to land in the UFC’s flyweight top 15 next week.
Loser: Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson entered the event already on a three-fight losing streak — all finishes. At UFC London that streak was extended to four after being away from the sport for two years. “The Mauler” is one of the best light heavyweights of the last decade. However, at 35, losing four straight, six of his last eight, and having previously retired, it seems like it should be the end of the line for the legendary representative of Swedish MMA.
Winner: Volkan Oezdemir
Despite an extensive UFC resume, with his defeats coming to elite competition, Volkan Oezemir did not get much respect ahead of his matchup with Paul Craig. The fact he was only a slight favorite is the biggest evidence. However, after weathering “Bear Jew’s” grappling storm early, the former light heavyweight title challenger fought smart and tactically to avoid a ground war and completely nullify his opponent’s takedown attempts.
While the victory wasn’t filled with highlights, it was a moment where “No Time” proved he is still a world-class 205-pound fighter as he ended Craig’s six-fight unbeaten streak.
Loser: Paul Craig
The UFC London results for Paul Craig showed he is a tenacious and dangerous grappler, but if his ground game is shut down he can’t offer much else. Once opponent Volkan Oezdemir figured out how to keep the fight standing and avoid Craig’s submission advances, it became evident that he was the better and more well-round fighter. The loss ends the hottest run of the Scottish fighter’s career and showed he still remains a level just below the elites of the division.
Winner: Nathaniel Wood
Nathaniel Wood absolutely chewed up Charles Rosa’s lead leg with calf kicks on Saturday. It had a major effect on the American’s output and allowed for the Englishman to work his strong boxing and piece up his opponent. Furthermore, Wood’s victory returned him to the win column after having been away from the Octagon for the last 21 months. It was an impressive and dominant victory over a tough veteran and moves his record to 5-2 inside the promotion.
Loser: Makwan Amirkhani
Makwan Amirkhani entered the event as an underdog to Jonathan Pearce despite having eight more bouts inside in the Octagon, and a resume filled with worthwhile opposition. But that is the state of “Mr. Finland’s” career at the moment. And his UFC London results further solidified that his future in the UFC is on shaky ground.
In losing to Pearce by technical knockout, Amirkhani suffered his sixth loss in his last eight. While he once seemed like a rising star at featherweight a few years ago, he may see his run in the promotion end after this latest defeat.
UFC London results winner: Muhammad Mokaev
While Muhammad Mokaev is originally from Dagestan, he is now representing Great Britain. And he finally gives the MMA hotbed a rare high-level wrestler that could do some big things in the UFC for years to come. On Saturday he showed how dominant and stifling his wrestling can be by beating Charles Johnson and moving his record to 7-0-1.
At just 21, Moakev’s upside is serious for the UFC since he has English sass along with dominant wrestling, and the potential to be a future star at flyweight.