For the second time this year, the UFC is headed across the Atlantic Ocean for a Fight Night with UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall. It is a strong card, featuring six ranked fighters, including No.4 Curtis Blaydes and No.6 Tom Aspinall in the main event who are fighting over Blaydes’ ranking in a title eliminator.
In the co-main event, No.8 Jack Hermansson is facing unranked Chris Curtis who will fight on short notice after No.9 Darren Till had to drop out this week with an injury. Curtis is on an eight-fight winning streak and has a big opportunity in front of him. He wisely added Till to his corner upon accepting the fight and will be able to draw upon Till’s knowledge of Hermansson who spent a full camp preparing for his opponent.
Watch UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall
- When: Saturday, July 23, 2022
- Preliminary Start Time: 12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST
- Main Event Start Time: 3 p.m. EST / 12 p.m. PST
- Location: O2 Arena – London, United Kingdom
- How to Watch: ESPN+
Seven English fighters were originally scheduled to be featured at the event, including four of the six main card bouts, but Till’s absence on the card drops those numbers to six and three respectively. Blaydes in the main event, Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann, Nathaniel Wood, Muhammad Mokaev, and Jai Herbert will all enjoy a home-crowd atmosphere, while many other European and eastern athletes may also meet friendly cheers. Pimblett will be particularly interesting to watch, as he is 2-0 in the UFC and looking for a third consecutive first-round victory.
Main Event Preview
Entering Saturday’s card in London, Francis Ngannou is the UFC heavyweight champion. In the near future, however, there’s a chance that he may not even be in the UFC. After defending his title against Cyril Gane in January, Ngannou has remained insistent on not signing new contract with the promotion unless a boxing match against the now-retired heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is a part of the deal. With that muddying up the long-term picture of the UFC heavyweight division, possessing a top-five ranking is that much more important, and that is exactly what is on the line at UFC London.
Blaydes (16-3-0) has won consecutive fights against No.8 Rozenstruik and No.9 Chris Daukas since falling to No.5 Derrick Lewis in February 2021. He hasn’t been this close to a title shot since that Lewis bout when he was ranked second in the division, and he needs to hold onto this spot to finally land his opportunity. Ngannou’s last three fights have been against Gane, No.2 Stipe Miocic, and Rozenstruik, meaning that it is likely No.3 Tai Tuivasa or Blaydes who is next in line, if he can fend off Aspinall.
With an eight-fight winning streak to his name, Aspinall (12-2-0) has the hotter hand heading into Saturday’s fight. He has won all five of his contests in the UFC, ending all of them before the third round by either KO/TKO or submission. Most recently, he forced Alexander Volkov to tap out in the first round at UFC Fight Night in March, earning him a ranking just ahead of Volkov. Blaydes may carry an advantage on Saturday with his fists, but Aspinall is both powerful and versatile enough to pull off a win. He was a betting favorite this week to defeat Blaydes, edging him out -130 to +110 on the money line.
UFC London Fight Card and Odds
- #4 Curtis Blaydes (+110) vs #6 Tom Aspinall (-130) – Heavyweight
- #8 Jack Hermansson (-115) vs Chris Curtis (-105) – Middleweight
- Paddy Pimblett (-245) vs Jordan Leavitt (+205) – Lightweight
- #11 Nikita Krylov (-200) vs Alexander Gustafsson (+170) – Light Heavyweight
- Molly McCann (-390) vs Hannah Goldy (+320) – Women’s Flyweight
- #8 Paul Craig (+135) vs #9 Volkan Oezdemir (-155) – Light Heavyweight
- Mason Jones (-345) vs Ludovit Klein (+285) – Lightweight
- Marc Diakiese (-330) vs Damir Hadzovic (+275) – Lightweight
- Nathaniel Wood (-560) vs Charles Rosa (+430) – Featherweight
- Makwan Amirkhani (+170) vs Jonathan Pearce (-200) – Featherweight
- Muhammad Mokaev (–) vs Charles Johnson (–) – Flyweight
- Jai Herbert (-275) vs Kyle Nelson (+230) – Lightweight
- Mandy Bohm (-130) vs Victoria Leonardo (+110) – Women’s Flyweight
- Claudio Silva (+210) vs Nicolas Dalby (-250) – Welterweight