UFC London “Blaydes vs. Aspinall” went down last night (Sat., July 23, 2022) inside O2 Arena in London, England, which saw the fight end in disappointing fashion early on after Tom Aspinall suffered a knee injury during the first exchange with Curtis Blaydes, resulting in a technical knockout win for “Razor.” In further action, Nikita Krylov knocked out Alexander Gustafsson early in the first round (see it again here). Also, Paddy Pimblett returned to action with a submission win over Jordan Leavitt (highlights).
Winner: Curtis Blaydes
Who He Should Face Next: Tai Tuivasa vs. Ciryl Gane winner
It was a tough way for the fight to end, especially when it seemed that we were in for a treat between Blaydes and Aspinall, but “Razor” has to move on, as does the division. As for what’s next for the big man, facing the winner of the upcoming bout between Tuivasa and Gane — which is set to go down on Sept. 3, 2022, in Paris, France — makes sense. Gane is ranked No. 1 at the moment, while Tuivasa is holding firm at No. 3. While I am sure that whoever wins that match up would love a title shot, it is unlikely to happen for them given the fact that division kingpin, Francis Ngannou, is out for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the winner of this suggest bout could very well solidify his position as the next title contender. Of course, that’s assuming Jon Jones doesn’t come in and cash in on Dana White’s promise.
Winner: Paddy Pimblett
Who He Should Face Next: Ilia Topuria
Most are going to hate this suggestion, as is the case with two streaking contenders with the usual, “Why knock off a contender so early before a title shot?” Uh, because it’s the fight game, that’s why. Pimblett is a former champion with Cage Warriors and Topuria is an undefeated rising star in the 155-pound division with a perfect (12-0) record (4-0 inside the Octagon). He is also a former Cage Warriors Bantamweight title contender, so he has the experience, as well. The two men share a history after they got into a scuffle in London earlier this year after Topuria took exception to Pimblett’s words toward him and his country. Topuria wants this fight and Pimblett is always game. If you don’t care for this suggestion, offer up your best one in the comments section below.
Winner: Jack Hermansson
Who He Should Face Next: Darren Till
Hermansson was set to face Till at this event before he was forced out of the fight with an injury. Curtis agreed to step in on short notice, but despite a valiant effort came up short in his bid to take down “The Joker.” I still want to see that match up between Hermansson and Till because I think it’s a great fight for both men. There is no telling how bad the extent of Till’s injury is, but if he can return in 2022, this is the fight I want to see.
Winners: Nikita Krylov and Volkan Oezdemir
Who They Should Face Next: Each other
Oezdemir snapped his two-fight losing streak after winning a unanimous decision win over Paul Craig in a hard-fought bout. As for Krylov, he snapped his two-fight losing streak with an impressive first-round technical knockout win over former title contender and current Hall of Famer, Alexander Gustafsson, in the first round. “The Mauler” also happens to be one of Oezdemir’s training partners. Krylov called for a fight against Oezdemir at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, and it’s a clash that makes sense since they are only two spots apart on the rankings, with Oezdemir holding the No. 9 spot and Krylov holding strong at No. 11.
Winner: Molly McCann
Who She Should Face Next: Antonina Shevchenko
McCann picked up her third straight win, defeating Hannah Goldy via technical knockout in the opening frame, making huge strides in her efforts to crack the Top 15. A fight against Shevchenko would definitely be a nice step in helping her get there. Shevchenko has been unable to get a lot of consistency during her UFC career, but did get back on track with a split decision win over Cortney Casey a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, Nevada. For “Meatball,” defeating Shevchenko ups her win streak to four, while Shevchenko can build on her momentum by scoring a nice win over a fan-favorite.
For complete UFC London results and coverage click here.