England’s best hope for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight gold faces his toughest test to date this Saturday (July 23, 2022) when London, England, hosts a five-round main event between Tom Aspinall and Curtis Blaydes. O2 Arena will also see Chris Curtis look to continue his improbable rise through the Middleweight ranks at Jack Hermansson’s expense and local fan favorite, Paddy Pimblett, squares off with Contender Series graduate, Jordan Leavitt.
UFC returns to pay-per-view (PPV) next week, so let’s beef up those wallets while we can ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Long Island?
Well hey, that worked out. Watching Jack Shore get blasted when I’d touted his durability as a major advantage against Ricky Simon was a bummer, but some nice work from other favorites and Dustin Stoltzfus’ successful upset put us ahead for the evening.
UFC London Odds For The Under Card:
Mason Jones (-320) vs. Ludovit Klein (+265)
Marc Diakiese (-325) vs. Damir Hadzovic (+270)
Nathaniel Wood (-520) vs. Charles Rosa (+410)
Jonathan Pearce (-205) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (+175)
Muhammad Mokaev (-450) vs. Charles Johnson (+360)
Jai Herbert (-265) vs. Kyle Nelson (+225)
Mandy Bohm (-130) vs. Victoria Leonardo (+110)
Nicolas Dalby (-250) vs. Claudio Silva (+210)
Thoughts: There’s not a whole lot here, to be perfectly honest. But, if we must, maybe Marc Diakiese and Jai Herbert, as well as a flyer on Claudio Silva.
If Diakiese’s fight with Damir Hadzovic was guaranteed to be a pure stand up affair, I’d give “Bonecrusher” a decent edge. Considering he’s free to just takedown Hadzovic and grind him into oblivion instead — as he did against Viacheslav Borshchev — this really does look like a wash. “The Bosnian Bomber” is always dangerous, but he doesn’t pack anywhere near enough firepower to overcome the physical, technical and stylistic disparities.
Herbert’s three UFC losses came against Renato Moicano, Francisco Trinaldo and Ilia Topuria, the latter two of whom he nearly finished beforehand. He’s still a darn good striker, one who’s bringing a half-foot reach advantage into a fight with a long-time Featherweight. Standard caveat about betting against someone coming off a long layoff, but the risk is worth it by my reckoning.
I’m not saying Claudio Silva consistently wins his match up against Nicolas Dalby. Heck, it’s probably well less than 50 percent. Thing is, Dalby is so prone to getting into early trouble that it’s very possible Silva just catches him cold. Bulk up the parlay with Nathaniel Wood — who out-classes Charles Rosa everywhere — and roll the dice.
UFC London Odds For The Main Card:
Tom Aspinall (-135) vs. Curtis Blaydes (+115)
Chris Curtis (-110) vs. Jack Hermansson (-110)
Paddy Pimblett (-255) vs. Jordan Leavitt (+215)
Nikita Krylov (-190) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (+160)
Molly McCann (-390) vs. Hannah Goldy (+320)
Volkan Oezdemir (-170) vs. Paul Craig (+145)
Thoughts: I’m liking the looks of the top three fights, specifically Curtis Blaydes, Chris Curtis and Paddy Pimblett.
I’m as high on Aspinall as anyone else, but this match up is a whole heck of a lot of uncharted territory for him. Blaydes is by far the best wrestler he’s ever faced, can hold his own on the feet, is highly difficult to put away for those who aren’t freak punchers, and has actual five-round experience under his belt. Though there’s every possibility that Aspinall’s gas tank is perfectly fine, fighting someone as suffocating as Blaydes is a tall ask for someone who’s never gone past the second round.
There’s enough going “Razor’s” way to merit an underdog investment.
Even with the late notice, this looks like a very favorable match up for “The Action Man.” Having shut down better wrestlers than Jack Hermansson during his Octagon tenure, it’s safe to say that he can take “The Joker’s” ferocious ground game off the table, and his high-volume, meat-and-potatoes boxing offense looks to work a treat in the striking. Plus, if you’re the kind to lean on intangibles, the last guy to beat Hermansson (Sean Strickland lost his passport so Darren Till has actually stepped into help) is in Curtis’ corner.
Not bad for even odds.
While I’m under no delusions about what Paddy Pimblett is and isn’t capable of, UFC brass pitted him against Jordan Leavitt for a reason. Unless “The Monkey King” is a markedly better wrestler than his opponent, he’s deeply underwhelming. Indeed, there’s no power to speak of, no stand up outside of spamming low kicks, and no takedown defense. Pimblett can win this either on the feet or by dragging Leavitt to the mat whenever the opportunity arises, so he’s a safe investment.
If you want to nudge one of those narrow favorites/slight underdogs into more favorable territory, Molly McCann’s a good anchor. Yes, yes, women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) and all that, but like Pimblett, the matchmakers gave “Meatball” this fight for a reason. Hannah Goldy is historically easy to overwhelm on the feet with raw aggression, which McCann offers in spades. Plus, this will be the rare fight where McCann isn’t on the wrong end of a huge height/reach advantage, and she also has the wrestling to take Goldy to the mat when necessary.
UFC London Best Bets:
- Parlay — Marc Diakiese and Curtis Blaydes: Bet $100 to make $181
- Parlay — Molly McCann and Chris Curtis: Bet $100 to make $140
- Parlay — Jai Herbert and Paddy Pimblett: Bet $120 to make $110
- Parlay — Claudo Silva and Nathaniel Wood: Bet $40 to make $108
Even if next week’s UFC 277 is falling apart at the seams, we’ve got some match ups here worth keeping an eye on. See you Saturday, Maniacs
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $670.99
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC London fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 3 p.m. ET.
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