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UFC Fight Night London Odds: Tom Aspinall to KO Blaydes

UFC London: The Brits to take over UFC Fight Night
UFC London: The Brits to take over UFC Fight Night

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UFC is making an emphatic return to London this weekend and what a card they have put on for us. It’s Brits galore in the card as we have four of them fighting on the main card and many more on the prelims. Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes is the main event and elsewhere on the main card we have fighters like Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann and Paul Craig fighting. I’ve had a look at three bets for the main card starting off with the main event.

Tom Aspinall is currently on a massive rise through the UFC Heavyweight rankings and has found himself as the number six ranked fighter in the division. The Brit is undefeated in the UFC and has recently taken out big names such as Andrei Arlovski, Sergey Spivak, and Alexander Volkov. He’s looked nearly faultless in all of his UFC performances, and it’s hard to back against him, he’s won via TKO three times in the UFC and also has two submission victories. The hype train is definitely still rolling but Tom faces his toughest test yet in ranked number five Curtis Blaydes who has fought the best of the best in the division. Blaydes has faced defeat three times in the UFC all coming by way of some fairly brutal KOs, two of them coming from the current heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. 

UFC Odds

Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes Odds

Both of these heavyweights are fairly unorthodox in their style considering their build. Tom Aspinall is very quick on the feet and Curtis Blaydes is more than happy to wrestle and go the distance, two traits you are not really expecting from two heavyweights that are 6’4”. Overall I do consider Aspinall to be the better fighter. Blaydes may be the more experienced fighter, but what we have seen from Aspinall in the UFC has been seriously impressive. When he faced Volkov he put the pressure on the veteran straight away and took him down with ease, which is no easy task considering Volkov’s 6’7” frame, when he had him on the floor he landed some brutal ground strikes and eventually won via a straight armbar. I don’t think Aspinall will be looking to land takedowns against Blaydes whose standout trait is his wrestling. Blaydes has lost three times via KO/TKO and with Aspinall’s impressive speed and stand up, I can see that being a massive problem from Curtis.

Aspinall is incredibly talented on the ground as is Blaydes, but I do not see Curtis landing the takedowns as easily as he has on other opponents. I’m going to go with the KO/TKO victory for Aspinall which is priced at 21/10. Tom is the 4/6 favourite for the fight but with it being a five-round main event, I do think you can get more value out of picking the method of victory. It’s fair to say heavyweight bouts rarely go the distance and considering Blaydes has lost three times via KO/TKO I think it’s a solid bet. Tom is incredibly talented in all areas of MMA whereas I think Blaydes really is limited on the feet, I think Tom is going to outstrike him with ease in the earlier rounds where Blaydes can’t land the takedown. Curtis has said himself that he is going to have to stand up with him for the first two rounds, and I don’t see that ending well for him. Aspinall KO makes up our first bet for the day! 

The next fight I’d like to talk about is Paddy Pimblett’s fight against Jordan Leavitt, a fight that seemed fairly tame at first but has recently developed into quite a spicy one! It’s no secret that Paddy The Baddy is going to be one of the next stars in the UFC not just because of his MMA ability, but his talking outside the octagon really does grab the headlines. Paddy has been all over the MMA media in the build-up to this fight but his opponent Jordan Leavitt is the one that seems to be doing more trash talking. Jordan has well and truly got under Paddy’s skin and it’s going to make for a nasty fight.

Paddy Pimblett vs Jordan Leavitt

Stylistically these two are two high-level grapplers, normally when that happens, neither fighter wants to take the other down as they know they’re both capable, adding to that, Paddy is fired up coming into this fight. He’s said it himself, he’s angry coming into this fight, he wants to inflict some serious damage onto Leavitt and I think he has the capability to do just that. Paddy is normally focused on his grappling game during fights but as we’ve seen in the UFC already, he’s more than happy to fight on the feet which is what he’s saying he’s wanting to do against Jordan. If this is going to be a standup fight, I think Jordan Leavitt has absolutely no chance, he do not possess much power and his striking game is nowhere near as good as Pimblett’s. 

Both fighters have most of their wins coming by way of submission and Jordan Leavitt has only one win via KO/TKO which was a very strange slam KO within 20 seconds against Matt Wiman, I can comfortably say that Paddy won’t get slam KO’d in the first 20 seconds. Judging by what both men have said in the press conferences, this fight won’t be on the ground at all leaving it to a standup fight between Paddy who is fairly solid on the feet and has six knockouts on his record against Jordan who barely has one on his record. Paddy is 12/5 via KO/TKO and I like that price a lot. I just don’t see a world where Jordan takes him down for the submission or Jordan wins on the feet and considering Paddy is a solid 1/3 favourite, I think this should be a walk in the park for him. 

Next up on the main card is in my opinion one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, Paul Craig. This man is insanely good at jiu-jitsu, he has 13 official submissions on his record which is 81% of his wins, the other three are via KO/TKO but one of them was a TKO (submission to punches) and the other was a TKO via elbows because the referee didn't notice Paul Craig snap Jamalah Hill’s arm. He is a dangerous man but no more dangerous than his Volkan Oezdemir who actually comes in as the favourite for this fight despite coming off the back of two losses.

Volkan’s last two fights have been against Magomed Ankalaev and Jiri Prochazka, two seriously talented fighters to who there is no shame in losing to. Before these losses, he had two decent wins against Rakic and Latifi but then before that, it was another three losses in a row. Oezdemir has fought the best of the best and even if he hasn’t been beating them, he has still been in the mix with them and has been getting some valuable experience. On the other hand, Paul Craig hasn’t been fighting the best of the division but has been putting on a clinic in his recent fights. No matter what, this guy just seems to get a submission attempt locked in every fight.

I can’t see how Oezdemir is the favourite in this fight considering a number of things. Volkan has fought three fights since 2019 losing two of the three. He has lost four of his last six fights and has only really one decent performance against Rakic which was a decision win. On the other hand, Paul Craig is on a four-fight win streak, all of which have been incredibly dominant performances. Whilst the opponents haven’t been of the same calibre as Oezdemir, Craig is putting wins on his record, his wins against Jamalah Hill and Magomed Ankalaev are looking more and more impressive as their careers go on and I think Craig is due a top-five opponent if he wins here. 

Considering their two records and recent fights, I think you’d be a brave man to be backing Oezdemir and he doesn’t justify favouritism for me, it also makes sense to be backing Paul Craig via submission which is a much higher price at 11/5. It’s really the only way Craig wins these days and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a cheeky triangle choke come out of nowhere for Bearjew. And that concludes our three bets for the day which works out as a 32/1 acca!

Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir

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