Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed across the pond to stage UFC London: “Aspinall vs. Tybura” later TODAY (Sat., July 22, 2023), which is set to be headlined by a Heavyweight fight between Tom Aspinall and Marcin Tybura. In the co-main event, Molly McCann takes on Julija Stoliarenko, while Andre Fili battles Nathaniel Wood in what is sure-to-be an exciting Featherweight fight.
Jon Jones is set to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at the upcoming UFC 295 fight card inside Madison Square Garden on Nov. 11, 2023. But, that hasn’t stopped company president, Dana White, from salivating at a potential clash between “Bones” and Aspinall, who will headline UFC London later today inside The O2 in London, England, opposite “Tybur,” who has proven to be a formidable foe by quietly going 7-1 in his last eight UFC fights. Tybura is currently ranked No. 10, but is looking for another huge win to spoil Aspinall’s dreams of a title fight.
Aspinall currently sits at the No. 5 spot in the division having won five of his six fights inside the Octagon, but he will be coming into the fight on a year-long layoff after suffering a devastating knee injury that resulted in a loss to Curtis Blaydes in July 2022 in London. Whether or not his injury and layoff will have an impact on his performance, remains to be seen, but Aspinall is ready to get back to his winning ways. On paper, it seems as if Aspinall has Tybura covered when it comes to the standup department. Both men have nine knockouts to their credit, but Aspinall is a bit longer and crisper with his striking, so he will have the slight advantage if the fights stays standing. On the ground, both possess a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so it’s anyone’s game, though Tybura does have three more wins than Aspinall when it comes to submissions.
When it comes to the big men it seems these fights are harder to predict than most because they truly do possess that one-punch, game-changing knockout power that changes fortunes in a split-second. But, Tybura has a big chance here to pull off one of the biggest wins of his career that will remind Dana White that he isn't to be counted out. While a title fight may not be in his immediate future with a win, it surely helps his cause and gets him closer. For Aspinall, it’s his opportunity to get back on track and put that devastating injury and loss that slowed his momentum behind him.
Jonny Parsons won his fight on Contender Series via spit decision way back in 2021, but he hasn’t been seen or heard from since ... until now. He will make his UFC debut coming off a two-year layoff against Danny Roberts, who is on a two-fight skid and coming off a loss to Jack Della Maddalena. Parsons, meanwhile, is on a five-fight win streak. I don’t know but that just seems like weird matchmaking here.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
No changes from the onset.
No injuries reported for this event.
Daniel Barez will make his UFC debut when he takes on Jafel Filho in a men’s Flyweight bout. Barez got an opportunity on Contender Series back in 2021, but dropped a split decision. He then went on to rack up four straight first round stoppage wins, all in Mexico, to get the call up to the big leagues. Filho, meanwhile, is eying his first win under the UFC banner after losing in his debut to Muhammad Mokaev.
After scoring a huge submission win on Contender Series back in late 2022, Michael Parkin now gets his chance to show his stuff on the grandest stage when he battles Jamal Pogues in a Heavyweight fight. Parkin boasts a 100 percent finish rate with five knockouts and one submission. As for Pogues, he is currently on a three-fight win streak and scored big in his UFC debut with a win over Josh Parisian.
After turning professional in 2022, Shauna Bannon has made her way into the big show in pretty rapid fashion after going 5-0, with two of those wins coming under the Invicta FC banner. Her opponent, Bruna Brasil, is hungry for a win after failing to make a splash in her own UFC debut thanks to Denise Gomes putting it on her to earn a technical knockout win, ending her seven-fight win streak. And as we talked about earlier, Parsons will be making his UFC debut against Roberts.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Yanal Ashmouz will put his 7-0 record on the line when he battles Chris Duncan in a Lightweight fight. Ashmouz won his UFC debut by knocking out Sam Patterson in the first round earlier this year. He has finishes six of his seven foes, so “Red Fox” is all about getting in and out as quickly as possible. As for Duncan, he also has a tendency to finish his fights after stopping eight of his 10 opponents. He won a split decision against Omar Morales in his own UFC debut, so he is looking to earn a more convincing win this time around.
Ketlen Vieira is the No. 4 ranked fighter in the women’s Bantamweight division, but she couldn’t earn a main card slot as a result of her loss to Raquel Pennington. She didn’t lose a lot of traction in the rankings, so a win over Pannie Kianzad — who is coming off a win over Lina Lansberg — will help her get back in the thick of it.
Marc Diakiese was at one time considered a legit contender after a perfect (3-0) start to his UFC career, including a pair of thrilling finishes. But, since then he has been all over the place, at one point losing three straight, and then going just 4-3 since that drought. He is coming off a loss to Michael Johnson, but hopes to turn his fortune around when he battles Joel Alvarez, who had his momentum slowed by Arman Tsarukyan, who snapped his four-fight win streak more than 17 months ago. That’s a long time to be sitting on the sidelines.
Davey Grant lost a lot of his momentum when he lost two straight fights in 2021, but he bounced back nicely by scoring a pair of wins over Louis Smolka and Raphael Assuncao via inverted triangle choke. Getting his third straight win will not be a walk in the park because he will be taking on surging contender, Daniel Marcos, who is perfect at 14-0 with eight finishes on his resume. He knocked out Saimon Oliveira in his UFC debut earlier this year, and a win over Grant could be huge for his progression moving forward.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Both Bryan Barberena and Makhmud Muradov are looking to avoid three-fight losing streaks ahead of their Middleweight match because the loser here has a strong likelihood of getting their walking papers. But, in all honesty, that applies a bit more to Muradov since Barberena — who will be making his debut at 185 pounds — has a little name value due to his time with the promotion. Nevertheless, both men are in desperate need of a win here in what should be a scrappy contest.
Interest Level: 6.5/10
Molly McCann had her momentum halted by Erin Blanchfield, who absolutely steamrolled “Meatball” before submitting her in the first round last November (see it here). McCann is exciting as they come and her aura of energy just rubs off on anyone around her, but the loss to Blanchfield really showed that she has a long way to go. She hopes to be able to pick up the pieces and get back in the win column with a strong outing over the aforementioned Stoliarenko in the co-main event. Stoliarenko has seen better days herself, having gone just 1-4 in her first five fights in the promotion. A loss to “Meatball” will likely get her cut from the promotion, but a win gets her a new lease on her combat life in a new division. All that said, I don’t see how this fight was pegged as the co-main event.
Nathaniel Wood was never really able to capitalize on the quick momentum he picked up for himself by starting off his UFC career at 3-0, going just 3-2 since. He needs to be a bit more consistent with the wins if he wants to make some noise in the Featherweight division. As for Andre Fili, the long-time UFC veteran is still chugging along, but has been unable to gain much traction himself because he is just 2-3-1 in his last six fights. This exciting matchup could catapult the winner a bit further up the 145-pound ladder, where they both currently are unranked. This is my pick for potential “Fight of the Night” winner.
It doesn’t feel like it was too long ago that Paul Craig was on an impressive five-fight win streak, which included big wins over the likes of Mauricio Rua and now-former Light Heavyweight kingpin, Jamahal Hill. But, “Bearjew” currently finds himself on a two-fight losing streak and will need a big performance to get back on track in his first fight at 185 pounds against Andre Muniz, who is coming off a submission at the hands of Brendan Allen (see it here). That loss snapped his nine-fight win streak, forcing him to go back to the drawing board.
In further 155-pound action, Jai Herbert will attempt to get back into the win column after fighting to a draw against Ludovit Klein in his previous bout three months ago. Prior to that, he defeated Kyle Nelson, which was preceded by a loss at the hands of Ilia Topuria. His opponent, Farez Ziam, has also been a bit inconsistent so far in his young UFC career going just 3-2. Ziam was last seen in action taking out Michal Figlak in Sept. 2022.
Kicking off the main card will be a 145-pound tilt between Josh Culibao and Lerone Murphy. Culibao is on a three-fight win streak and is 3-1-1 so far in his young UFC career. Murphy, however, has yet to taste defeat and holds an impressive 12-0-1 record, including going 4-0-1 under the UFC umbrella, with his lone blemish being a draw against Zubaira Tukhugov in his UFC debut back in Sept. 2019.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC London Main Event On ESPN+:
265 lbs.: Tom Aspinall vs. Marcin Tybura
UFC London Main Card On ESPN+ (3 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Molly McCann vs. Julija Stoliarenko
145 lbs.: Andre Fili vs. Nathaniel Wood
185 lbs.: Paul Craig vs. Andre Muniz
155 lbs.: Jai Herbert vs. Fares Ziam
145 lbs.: Josh Culibao vs. Lerone Murphy
UFC London ‘Prelims’ Card On ESPN+ (12 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Davey Grant vs. Daniel Marcos
170 lbs.: Jonny Parsons vs. Danny Roberts
155 lbs.: Joel Alvarez vs. Marc Diakiese
265 lbs.: Mick Parkin vs. Jamal Pogues
185 lbs.: Makhmud Muradov vs. Bryan Barberena
135 lbs.: Pannie Kianzad vs. Ketlen Vieira
155 lbs.: Yanal Ashmouz vs. Chris Duncan
115 lbs.: Shauna Bannon vs. Bruna Brasil
125 lbs.: Daniel Barez vs. Jafel Filho
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*
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+ preliminary card bouts at 12 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 3 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC London news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive here. For the updated and finalized “Aspinall vs. Tybura” fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.