England’s top hope for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight gold faces his toughest test yet this Saturday (July 23, 2022) when London, England hosts an event main in five rounds between Tom Aspinall and Curtis Blaydes. O2 Arena will also see Chris Curtis looking to continue his unlikely rise through the middleweight ranks at the expense of Jack Hermansson and hometown fan favorite Paddy Pimblett takes on Competitor Series graduate, Jordan Leavitt.
The UFC returns to pay-per-view (PPV) next week, so let’s beef up those wallets while we can…
What was wrong with UFC Long Island?
Well, it worked. Watching Jack Shore get blasted when I had touted his durability as a major advantage against Ricky Simon was a bummer, but some good work from other favorites and Dustin Stoltzfus’ successful upset gave us a head start for the evening.
UFC London Odds for bottom board:
Mason Jones (-320) against Ludovit Klein (+265)
Marc Diakiese (-325) against Damir Hadzovic (+270)
Nathaniel Wood (-520) against Charles Rosa (+410)
Jonathan Pearce (-205) against Makwan Amirkhani (+175)
Muhammad Mokaev (-450) vs. Charles Johnson (+360)
Jai Herbert (-265) vs. Kyle Nelson (+225)
Mandy Bohm (-130) against Victoria Leonardo (+110)
Nicolas Dalby (-250) against Claudio Silva (+210)
Thoughts: There’s not much here, to be perfectly honest. But, if necessary, maybe Marc Diakiese and Jai Herbert, as well as a flyer on Claudio Silva.
If Diakiese’s fight with Damir Hadzovic was guaranteed to be a pure stand-up affair, I’d give “Bonecrusher” a decent advantage. Considering he’s free to just knock out Hadzovic and blast him into oblivion instead – like he did against Viacheslav Borshchev – that really feels like a washout. “The Bosnian Bomber” is still dangerous, but he doesn’t have enough firepower to overcome the physical, technical and stylistic disparities.
Herbert’s three UFC losses have come against Renato Moicano, Francisco Trinaldo and Ilia Topuria, the last two of which he nearly finished before. He’s still a damn good forward, one who brings a half-foot range advantage into a fight with a longtime featherweight. Standard caveat on betting against someone coming off a long layoff, but the risk is worth it in my opinion.
I’m not saying that Claudio Silva systematically wins his match against Nicolas Dalby. Heck, it’s probably well under 50%. Thing is, Dalby is so prone to getting into trouble early on that it’s very possible that Silva will catch him cold. Raise the bet with Nathaniel Wood – who outclasses Charles Rosa everywhere – and roll the dice.
UFC London odds for the main card:
Tom Aspinall (-135) vs. Curtis Blaydes (+115)
Chris Curtis (-110) vs. Jack Hermansson (-110)
Paddy Pimblett (-255) vs. Jordan Leavitt (+215)
Nikita Krylov (-190) against Alexander Gustafsson (+160)
Molly McCann (-390) vs. Hannah Goldy (+320)
Volkan Oezdemir (-170) vs. Paul Craig (+145)
Thoughts: I love how the top three fights look, especially Curtis Blaydes, Chris Curtis and Paddy Pimblett.
I’m as high on Aspinall as anyone else, but this game is a hell of a lot of uncharted territory for him. Blaydes is hands down the best wrestler he’s ever faced, can stand his ground, is very hard to put away for those who aren’t monster punchers, and has five real rounds of experience under his belt. While there’s every chance Aspinall’s gas tank is perfectly fine, fighting someone as suffocating as Blaydes is a big ask for someone who’s never made it past the second round.
There’s enough of a ‘Razor’ path to merit an underdog investment.
Even with the late notice, this looks like a very favorable match for “The Action Man.” Having stopped better wrestlers than Jack Hermansson during his tenure in the Octagon, it’s safe to say he can take the “Joker’s” ferocious ground game off the table, and his high-volume boxing offense of meat and potato seems to work a treat in the hit. Plus, if you’re the type to lean on the intangibles, the last guy to beat Hermansson (Sean Strickland) is in Curtis’ corner.
Not bad for even odds.
While I have no illusions about what Paddy Pimblett is and isn’t capable of, the UFC brass pitted him against Jordan Leavitt for a reason. Unless “The Monkey King” is a significantly better wrestler than his opponent, he’s deeply underwhelming. Indeed, there is no power to speak of, no stand up outside of low kick spamming, and no takedown defense. Pimblett can earn this either on the feet or by dragging Leavitt to the mat whenever the opportunity arises, so it’s a safe investment.
If you want to push one of those narrow favorites/light underdogs into more favorable territory, Molly McCann is a good anchor. Yes, yes, women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) and all that, but like Pimblett, the matchmakers gave this fight to “Meatball” for a reason. Hannah Goldy is historically easy to overwhelm on her feet with raw aggression, which McCann delivers in spades. Plus, this will be the rare fight where McCann isn’t on the wrong end of a massive height/reach advantage, and she also has the struggle to get Goldy to the mat if necessary.
Best UFC London Bets:
- Parlay – Marc Diakiese and Curtis Blaydes: Bet $100 to win $181
- Parlay – Molly McCann and Chris Curtis: Bet $100 to Win $140
- Parlay – Jai Herbert and Paddy Pimblett: Bet $120 to Win $110
- Parlay – Claudo Silva and Nathaniel Wood: bet $40 to win $108
Even if next week’s UFC 277 falls apart, we have some matches here worth watching. See you Saturday, the crazy
Initial investment for 2022: $600
Current total: $670.99
remember that MMAmania.com will provide live, round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC London fight card right herestarting with the ESPN+ “Preliminary” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, and then the remaining balance on the main card (also on ESPN+) at 3 p.m. ET.
For the latest and greatest news and notes from UFC London: ‘Aspinall vs Blaydes’, be sure to check out our comprehensive event archive here.