UFC London was a bit of a slow burn, but the heat turned up as the show progressed. The heavyweight headliner ended in unfortunate fashion, and the middleweight co-headliner saw ‘The Action Man’ get outstruck by ‘The Joker.’
The preliminary portion of the card saw Nicolas Dalby return to the win column with a unanimous decision against Claudio Silva. Victoria Leonardo snapped a two-fight losing streak with a much-needed win over Mandy Böhm. Jai Herbert won a close fight against Kyle Nelson by decision. Muhammad Mokaev improved to 7-0 as a professional with a unanimous decision over Charles Johnson. The ‘Punisher’ utilized a wrestling-heavy approach en route to his second UFC win. Jonathan Pearce scored a second-round TKO of Makwan Amirkhani (the first finish of the night!). ‘JSP’ had ‘Mr. Finland’ pressed against the cage and unleashed some serious ground-and-pound before the referee waived off the fight. Nathaniel Wood fought for the first time in over a year and a half and turned in quite a performance. The bantamweight-turned-featherweight brutalized Charles Rosa throughout three rounds for a decision. Welcome to the division, Mr. Wood! Marc Diakiese dominated Damir Hadžović on the ground, which saw the ‘Bonecrusher’ notch his second win via unanimous decision this year. L’udovit Klein bested Mason Jones (and nearly got a finish!) for a clean sweep on the judges’ scorecards.
The main portion of the card had Volkan Oezdemir thwart Paul Craig and his grappling attempts for a unanimous decision win. Molly McCann sent shockwaves throughout the O2 Arena with a first-round TKO of Hannah Goldy. ‘Meatball’ stunned ’24K’ with a right hand, followed up with her now-signature spinning elbow and unloaded with punches until her opponent crumbled to the canvas. What a win! Nikita Krylov tore through Alexander Gustafsson in 67 seconds. The No. 11 light heavyweight hurt Gustafsson early and finished him with a brutal uppercut and follow-up punches. And he had a name ready for his next appearance: the aforementioned Oezdemir. Paddy Pimblett promised he would take a chin home, but it was actually a neck he left with. The ‘Baddy’ secured a rear-naked choke on Jordan Leavitt in the second round. Jack Hermansson frustrated Chris Curtis with a calculated performance, resulting in a unanimous decision win. He set his sights on a rebooking with Darren Till, who withdrew from their fight due to injury.
Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall went after it once they met in the center of the Octagon. However, just as soon as the fight started, it was over. During an exchange, Aspinall threw a kick and collapsed when he planted his foot on the canvas. The heavyweight contender clutched his knee in pain as cageside physicians tended to him. Blaydes was declared the winner by TKO.
Performance of the Night: Jonathan Pearce, Molly McCann, Paddy Pimblett and Nikita Krylov
Jonathan Pearce def. Makwan Amirkhani by TKO (strikes) at 4:10 of Round 2
Molly McCann def. Hannah Goldy by TKO (spinning elbow, punches) at 3:52 of Round 1
Nikita Krylov def. Alexander Gustafsson by KO (punches) at 1:07 of Round 1
Paddy Pimblett def. Jordan Leavitt by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:46 of Round 2
Curtis Blaydes def. Tom Aspinall by TKO (injury) at 0:15 of Round 1
Fight of the Night: No Fight of the Night
Nicolas Dalby def. Claudio Silva by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Victoria Leonardo def. Mandy Bohm by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Jai Herbert def. Kyle Nelson by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Muhammad Mokaev def. Charles Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Nathaniel Wood def. Charles Rosa by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Marc Diakiese def. Damir Hadzovic by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
L’udovit Klein def. Mason Jones by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Volkan Oezdemir def. Paul Craig by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Jack Hermansson def. Chris Curtis by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)