UFC London Preview, Prediction, Tips & Offers

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Grant McQuillan

Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall

The big guys will headline the card as we witness one of the biggest events the heavyweight division has seen in the past few months with one of the brightest up-and-coming talents taking on a veteran looking to get into title contention once more as Alexander Volkov meets Tom Aspinall.

Aspinall is fighting in his fifth UFC fight after dismantling Jake Collier, Alan Baudot, Andrei Arlovski, and Sergey Spivak inside the first two rounds. Arlovski has been the only man to go into the second round with the Brit, as he was submitted by a rear-naked choke, with the other three men being taken out by a sensational array of striking ability you'd expect from a middleweight inside round one.

Aspinall has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has been a practitioner in this discipline since he was a child, and standing at 6ft 5 with a background in boxing, the Wigan man is part of this new wave of heavyweights we're seeing who move like smaller men but with an exceptional amount of mixed martial arts ability.

Volkov, however, has been excelling as a rangy fighter with incredible striking talent way before Aspinall hit the scene. What will give Aspinall great confidence, however, is Volkov's loss to Ciryl Gane two fights ago. The Frenchman was able to pick apart the Russian for five rounds and comfortably beat him in every five-minute battle. However, the front kick of Volkov and his range could be of great concern for Aspinall, and his TKO over Walt Harris is great evidence of how much this weapon can be utilised for him.

Aspinall's kicking game, as well, isn't as strong as his hand movement, but with the chance to takedown a BJJ purple belt focused on karate, the rising star can really shine in this fight. Moreover, his hand speed will be greatly superior too, and his fresh yet pivotal wrestling game will be very important if this fight goes past two rounds in order to start racking up the points on the scorecards.

It's going to be a close one, but Aspinall seems to have much more in the locker.

UFC London Request A Bets

skybet betting tip

ALLEN/HOOKER & SHORE/VALIEV BOTH TO GO THE DISTANCE, I.TOPURIA & P.PIMBLETT BOTH TO WIN BY SUBMISSION OR DECISION @ 7/1

Arnold Allen v Dan Hooker

With the heavyweight main event having a great impact on the rankings and future of the division, this featherweight clash with Arnold Allen and Dan Hooker could see either man get right into title contention with a win, especially should it come with great confidence.

Hooker has a topsy-turvy record at featherweight, and there was a reason why he moved up to 155. As he came into the UFC, the New Zealand man immediately returned to 145 lbs, where he beat Ian Entwistle in the first round. However, three defeats and two more wins would come to make it 3-3 for Hooker at featherweight in the UFC, and in reality, he couldn't have asked for a tougher fight in what will be his first at featherweight for six years.

This does come after a loss to Islam Makhachev all but reminded Hooker of just how far away he was from a title shot at lightweight too, and heading into this one, sadly, much of the attention has been on how 'healthy' he feels at 145. At the same time though, the weight cut seems to be going well, and Hooker is well equipped as a man standing at 6ft to battle it out with guys at this weight class.

On the other hand, Allen is no small featherweight at 5ft 8, as he is built with the physical stature of a lightweight and has a dad with a background as a strongman forcing him into the weights room every now and then since he was a kid. Allen is also on an absolute tear, and with only one defeat from 19 bouts, the Englishman is on a run of eight in the UFC and hasn't tasted defeat since losing to Marcin Wrzosek back in 2014 in Cage Warriors.

Paddy Pimblett v Rodrigo Vargas

Paddy Pimblett has quickly become a superstar in the UFC after his excellent KO win over Luigi Vendramini. It puts the Liverpool star on a three-fight win streak and within all three bouts, the Englishman has finished his opponent in the first round. This has sort of changed the outlook for Pimblett ahead of this one, though, as he is otherwise a man who excels on the ground, as he has seven of his 17 wins through submission.

Vargas has seven TKO/KO victories and three submissions in his 12 wins and following on from his decent performance against Rong Zhu that got the unanimous decision win, he is back in the win column after a two-fight losing run.

"The Baddy" is the clear favourite here at 1/4, and the pressure he is set to put on Vargas on Saturday will be the difference. Pimblett has only seen the final bell once in his past five fights, and in truth, we expected him to head into this bout in a similar vein to which he fought Vendramini: go out swinging and take out his opponent even if he gets hit again.

Fighters to Watch elsewhere

Paul Craig (oddly enough) is down on the prelims for this London bout as he takes on Nikita Krylov. Craig is on a three-fight winning streak, and with his draw against Shogun Rua in 2019, it does mean Craig hasn't lost since he was KO'd by Alonzo Menifield and is now unbeaten in five fights. The Scot is a finisher and has not seen a single fight go to the judges' scorecards. Now a black belt, Craig has submitted 12 of his 15 wins, and with his most recent win over Jamahal Hill coming via TKO (elbows and punches), it's important to remember that this came following Craig snapping his arm, but Hill was too tough to tap himself. He takes on Krylov who has won just two of his past five fights and even lost to Magomed Ankalaev last time out, don't forget that Craig is the only man to beat Ankalaev in his career.

Unbeaten Welsh prodigy, Jack Shore, takes on Timur Valiev who hasn't lost since a defeat to Chris Gutiérrez back in 2016, which he turned around into a win just five months later in a rematch. Shore heads into this one as an underdog for a change, and with a mix of eight submission wins, four TKO/KO victories and three wins via decisions, the 27-year-old has an almighty record of 15-0. Shore has been a pro since 2016 and with his dad getting him into MMA since he was six, this is the man catching the eyes of many on the local scene ahead of UFC London, as the Brits could well have a bantamweight contender on their hands if he wins here.

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