A hugely promising heavyweight looks to go from prospect to contender this Saturday (March 19, 2022) when Tom Aspinall puts his undefeated record in the Octagon on the line against veteran Alexander Volkov in the UFC main event in London. The O2 Arena in London, England will also host a pivotal featherweight bout between Arnold Allen and Dan Hooker, with the latter returning to the division for the first time in five years. Plus, Paddy Pimblett takes on Kazula Vargas, while Gunnar Nelson makes his long-awaited return to the cage against Takashi Sato.
We’re getting closer to the next pay-per-view (PPV), so let’s raise some funds…
What was wrong with UFC Vegas 50?
I’m not going to lie, I massively underrated both JJ Aldrich and Damon Jackson, whose wrestling far exceeded my expectations. Fortunately, the heroism of Azamat Murzakanov and Cody Brundage – combined with the hard work of Javid Basharat and Sodiq Yusuff – ensured another profitable weekend.
UFC London Odds for bottom board:
Mike Grundy (-165) against Makwan Amirkhani (+145)
Sergei Pavlovich (-300) against Shamil Abdurakhimov (+260)
Nikita Krylov (-180) against Paul Craig (+155)
Timur Valiev (-120) vs. Jack Shore (PAIR)
Cory McKenna (-260) vs. Elise Reed (+210)
Nathaniel Wood (-290) vs. Vince Morales (+230)
Muhammad Mokaev (-350) vs Cody Durden (+270)
Thoughts: Makwan Amirkhani and Paul Craig look like decent underdogs, while Timur Valiev and Nathaniel Wood are underrated favorites.
It’s clear at this point that Amirkhani is out of cardio and miserable on his feet, but he’s got enough to carry it past another wrestling enthusiast in Grundy. Grundy will voluntarily jump into Amirkhani’s wheelhouse, and like his compatriot Chris Fishgold, things will end badly for him. Amirkhani seems like the best wrestler and is definitely the best submission artist, so he’s worth a look.
Put him with Nathaniel Wood, whose kickboxing and wrestling make him a huge problem for Vince Morales.
I’ve been guilty of underestimating Nikita Krylov and Paul Craig on several occasions, so take any analysis of the two with a grain of salt. Still, it seems very winnable for “Bearjew.” Krylov’s submission defense has long been his Achilles heel (he’s prone to gassing) and Craig’s striking has looked pretty powerful lately.
It’s a pick-’em fight at worst, which makes those +155 odds very tempting.
Even acknowledging that Valiev’s chin is a problem, he’s a good enough striker and wrestler to give his co-workers some versatile Shore outfits. His speed and footwork are a handful even for elite forwards, and he has the offense and defense to defuse Shore’s deadly ground game. There is of course a chance that Shore will melt him with a stray punch, but surviving a killer like Raoni Barcelos makes me confident in Valiev’s chances.
Vince Morales has a great right hand, but there isn’t much else for him. He’s extremely vulnerable to leg kicks and solid wrestling, which Nathaniel Wood offers in spades. Although Wood has already been cut, he is difficult enough to finish that I trust him.
UFC London odds for the main card:
Tom Aspinall (-120) vs. Alexander Volkov (PAIR)
Arnold Allen (-115) vs. Daniel Hooker (-105)
Paddy Pimblett (-490) against Rodrigo Vargas (+360)
Gunnar Nelson (-450) vs. Takashi Sato (+340)
Molly McCann (-130) vs. Luana Carolina (+110)
Ilia Topuria (-475) against Jai Herbert (+350)
Thoughts: Honestly not a ton to work with here. I suppose you could use Gunnar Nelson and Ilia Topuria to slightly bolster some parlays – their two opponents are constantly struggling on the mat. And, a little about Molly McCann could also work, as her aggression and wrestling attack could give Luana Carolina tons of trouble.
Best UFC London Bets:
- Parlay – Ilia Topuria and Timur Valiev: Bet $80 to win $97.60
- Parlay – Nathaniel Wood and Molly McCann: Bet $80 to win $110.40
- Parlay – Gunnar Nelson and Makwan Amirkhani: Bet $60 to win $119.40
- Single bet – Paul Craig: Bet $60 to win $93
UFC London is full of rising talent…and worth watching. See you Saturday afternoon, Maniacs.
Initial investment for 2022: $600
Current total: $1,278.46
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 start at 1 p.m. ET, and then the remaining balance on the main card (also on ESPN+) at 4 p.m. ET.
For all the latest and greatest news and notes from UFC London: ‘Volkov vs Aspinall’, be sure to check out our full event archive here.