UFC London went down yesterday (Sat., July 22, 2023) inside The O2 in London, England, with hometown hero, Tom Aspinall, returning with a vengeance to knockout Marcin Tybura in just 73 seconds of the first round (highlights). In further action, Julija Stoliarenko stopped Molly McCann with a slick armbar ... also in the first round (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Tom Aspinall
Exactly one year removed from the devastating knee injury he suffered in his loss to Curtis Blaydes, Aspinall returned to action after undergoing surgery and rehab. And you never would have known that the brawling Brit was coming off a year-long layoff due to injury because he looked as sharp as ever, obliterating Tybura in just 73 seconds. It was a great treat for the rabid British fans who are hoping their hometown Heavyweight gets a bid for a title shot next. That may be a tough ask because while Stipe Miocic has next against Jon Jones, Sergei Pavlovich is also lurking the shadows of the championship picture. For now, Aspinall can enjoy the fruits of the hard work it took him to get back to the win column, but no doubt he is already plotting his next move.
Runner Up: Paul Craig
There were several fighters other than Aspinall who looked great and scored impressive wins last night, but I am going with Craig here simply because he was pretty much in a do-or-die situation coming into his Middleweight debut against Andre Muniz. That’s because “Bearjew” had dropped his previous two fights at Light Heavyweight, prompting him to seek a new lease on his combat life by dropping some pounds. Not only did Craig get back in the win column, he put the 185-pound field on notice with his nasty technical knockout win over Muniz. To sweeten the pot, he took home an extra $50,000 in post-fight bonus cash after collecting his eighth “Performance of the Night” award.
Biggest Loser: Molly McCann
While Tybura could very well take possession of this spot after he was smoked in less than two minutes, the loss is just his first in two years, so he will be just fine moving forward. But, the same cannot be said for McCann. Sure, she seems to be a fan-favorite thanks to her over-the-top personality and energy, which — when paired with Paddy Pimblett — is sometimes too much to handle, but the fact remains she has now lost two straight. And to make matters worse for “Meatball,” she has been stopped in rather quick and dominant fashion in both losses, once again proving that despite having the backing of the promotion and certain media members, you still have to prove yourself inside the cage. And McCann hasn’t looked good at all in her previous two bouts, so she will have to make things right in a hurry before she puts the promotion in a tough spot regarding her fighting future.
For complete UFC London results, coverage and highlights click HERE.