The UFC octagon finally floats back overseas and sets up in London this week for UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Aspinall aka UFC London. The top of the card hosts a big heavyweight battle, and the rest of the lineup is stuffed full of young, exciting European prospects. Let’s get right down to it and win some money with my UFC London predictions.
UFC London Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Tom Aspinall (-125) vs Alexander Volkov
Saturday should show us a lot about heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall, who has passed all four of his UFC tests to date. Alexander Volkov will be the toughest fighter the Mancunian has faced in his career, and if he gets by him he’ll continue his rise to the tippy top of the UFC’s premier division. I think he gets the job done, as he can nearly match the giant Volkov’s size, should be the quicker man, and is a more well-rounded fighter than his Russian counterpart.
Arnold Allen (-120) vs Dan Hooker
I’m sticking with the hometown Brits and taking Arnold ‘Almighty’ Allen as he faces Dan Hooker, who is dropping down to the featherweight division after a tough recent run at lightweight. The 17-1 overall (8-0 in the UFC) Allen is still flying under a lot of people’s radars at this point, but he’s an elite fighter and should be able to lean on his grappling to get the job done on Saturday.
Paddy Pimblett (-600) vs Kazula Vargas
Three Brits in a row for me. While I don’t think Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett is living up to his vast hype at this point in his career, the UFC are serving him up a layup this weekend in Kazula Vargas. Pimblett, 10 years his junior, outclasses him wherever this fight takes place.
Gunnar Nelson (-500) vs Takashi Sato
After three and a half years away from the game, top grappler Gunner Nelson steps back into the UFC octagon on Saturday to face late notice replacement Takashi Sato. The Icelander’s grappling is otherworldly, so as long as he doesn’t catch one of the hard-hitting Sato’s blows to the mush, he’ll get this fight to the mat and finish it soon after.
Luana Carolina (+112) vs Molly McCann
Time for an underdog, as well as my first non-European pick. ‘Meatball’ Molly McCann may have issues utilizing her boxing against the larger Brazilian, Luana Carolina, who has a seven-inch reach advantage on her. ‘Dread’ has also been on a nice run, going 3-1 in the UFC, including two straight wins. I think she hands an L to the Liverpudlian on Saturday.
Ilia Topuria (-550) vs Jai Herbert
The UFC has served up nothing but killers to Jai Herbert since he entered the UFC, and Saturday is no different as he faces the 11-0 Ilia Topuria. Topuria is superior in striking and grappling and runs his record to 12 straight wins come Saturday.
Mike Grundy (-185) vs Makwan Amirkhani
Former top featherweight prospect Makwan Amirkhani’s career has really fallen off a cliff, with three straight losses (the last a knockout) and only one win in his last five. A strong wrestler, he’s going up against a former Olympic-level one in Mike Grundy this week. Could this be the end of ‘Mr. Finland’ in the UFC?
Sergei Pavlovich (-325) vs Shamil Abdurakhimov
Heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich is another fighter making his long-awaited return to the octagon on Saturday, having last fought in October of 2019. Still with only one loss in 12 pro fights, he’s 11 years younger than Shamil Abdurakhimov, has eight inches of reach on him, and is the more powerful and active striker.
Paul Craig (+155) vs Nikita Krylov
I’m grabbing a couple of underdogs back-to-back here starting with Scottish submission specialist Paul Craig. He’s undefeated in his last five, with all four wins coming via finish. And Nikita Krylov has been submitted five times in his career.
Jack Shore (+100) vs Timur Valiev
Next, I’ll take Jack ‘Tank’ Shore at even money against Timur Valiev. While Valiev is a tough out, Shore is bigger, younger, and a perfect 15-0 as a pro. Grappling is probably the path to victory here, although Shore is likely the better striker as well.
Cory McKenna (-270) vs Elise Reed
After a triumphant UFC debut in October 2020, 22-year-old Cory McKenna finally makes her sophomore octagon appearance. She’s better than Elise Reed in every aspect of the sport, so this should be UFC win #2 for the one known as ‘Poppins’.
Muhammad Mokaev (-400) vs Cody Durden
In Saturday’s curtain jerker we see the debut of top flyweight prospect Muhammad Mokaev. He’s nine years younger than Cody Durden and just too well-rounded, athletic, and explosive for the veteran to handle.
Overall Record: 671-489
Return on Investment: 1.9%
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