Paddy Pimblett returns at UFC London to take on Jordan Leavitt

Paddy Pimblett

Of the the biggest English stars for the UFC is once again going to be fighting in front of his home country. Today, the promotion announced that Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (18-3) will return in July when he takes on Jordan Leavitt (10-1).

The fight will take place at UFC London which goes down on July 23rd at the O2 Arena. This is going to be a massive opportunity for Jordan Leavitt to get the biggest win of his career on the biggest stage he’s ever fought on.

Leavitt earned himself a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2020. He made his debut against veteran Matt Winman and delivered one of the nastiest knockout slams you’ll ever see in his debut.

Following that win, he did lose a decision to Claudio Puelles. However, he’s since bounced back strong with back-to-back wins. Overall, Leavitt is 3-1 in the UFC and he will look to really test Paddy The Baddy for the first time inside the octagon.

UFC Homecoming for Paddy The Baddy

After rising to stardom in Cage Warriors, Paddy Pimblett finally made his UFC debut in September of last year. Pimblett didn’t disappoint as he had a beautiful knockout win over Luigi Vendramini.

While he showed his power and his toughness in that matchup, Pimblett is known for his grappling. He showed that part of his game off when the UFC returned to London back in March when he took on Rodrigo Vargas.

When the fight touched the ground, Pimblett was able to secure a dominant position. Once he was there, he got Vargas’ back and he was able to lock up the rear naked choke for the first round submission win.

This fight at the second UFC London card is going to be a big test for Pimblett. Leavitt is very good on the ground and he’s very unorthodox. I’m very intrigued to see the game plans of both fighters and I”m expecting a really solid contest in July.

UFC London adds Darren Till – Jack Hermansson

The UFC‘s return to London in July is starting to shape up and it looks like another banger of a card. We already know that the card is being headlined by a heavyweight battle between Tom Apinall and Curtis Blaydes.

We also know that Alexander Gustafsson – Nikita Krylov is on the main card. However, we also now know that one of England’s most beloved fighters is returning in the co-main event of UFC London.

Darren Till (18-4-1) is back and he’s taking on Sweden’s Jack Hermansson (22-7). MMANytt was the first to report the booking. The UFC has tried to book The Gorilla versus The Joker in the past, but the fight has always fallen through. Now, we are hoping we get to see it in London.

Hermansson will be looking to bounce back after his last fight. He had a headliner against Sean Strickland and lost by split decision. However, it was rather clear to most watching that Hermansson lost the fight clearly.

In his last six fights, Hermansson has gone 3-3 in the UFC. His only three losses have come against top five contenders while his wins came against Jacare Souza, Kelvin Gastelum, and Edmen Shahbazyan. Defeating Till at UFC London would be a huge way to get back on track.

Till Returns at UFC London

Originally, there were talks to have Darren Till fight on the UFC’s first London card back in March. However, injuries kept Till away from a potential fight with Uriah Hall. That has been the theme over the past few years with Darren Till.

When Till first came onto the UFC scene, he was rushed right to the top. After a 5-0-1 start in the octagon, the UFC gave him a title shot with Tyron Woodley. Till was stopped in the second round and then he got knocked out by Jorge Masvidal.

Since the los to Masvidal, Till is 1-2 inside the octagon. Overall, he will enter UFC London 1-4 in his last five fights including a two-fight losing streak.

Till needs a win in the worst way and getting one at home would be a great way to start.

UFC London headlined by Curtis Blaydes – Tom Aspinall

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

The UFC is returning to London for the second time in 2022 in July and a familiar face will be headlining the show. England’s own Tom Aspinall (12-2) faces the toughest test of his career when he takes on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (16-3, 1 NC) in the headliner of UFC London 2.

The news was first reported by Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. UFC London 2 will take place on July 23rd from The O2 Arena. The rise to the top has been pretty remarkable for Tom Aspinall.

Aspinall made his UFC debut back, in 2020 and he’s been nothing short of dominant since debuting in the octagon. In five fights in the UFC, Aspinall is a perfect 5-0 and he’s finished all five of those opponent.

Only former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski has made it out of the first round. With Aspinall, he’s got tremendous boxing, but he also has extremely slick submissions and we saw that in the UFC’s first London card back in March. Aspinall submitted Alexander Volkov in the first round, but he’s got a much tougher task in July.

UFC’s Razor Blaydes

You cannot mention the best heavyweights in the UFC without mentioning the name Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes has been so good since joining the UFC back in 2016 with only two men having bested him inside the octagon.

Blaydes made his UFC debut against Francis Ngannou back in 2016. The current heavyweight champion won that fight and would also win his rematch with Blaydes in 2018. Ngannou won both of those fights by stoppage.

Taking Francis Ngannou out of the picture, Curtis Blaydes is 11-1, 1 NC in his last thirteen octagon appearances. The lone loss came against Derrick Lewis in a fight that he was winning before getting caught with a massive uppercut.

Since that loss, Blaydes has bounced back strong win wins over Chris Daukaus and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Most impressively was the win against Daukaus at UFC Columbus where Blaydes knocked Daukaus out on the feet in the second round. This is going to be a sensational main event in July.

UFC books Alexander Gustafsson – Nikita Kyrlov

Alexander Gustafsson, UFC

The UFC announced today that they are returning to London in July and we already know one of the fights that will be on the main card. Frontkick Online was the first to report yesterday that Alexander Gustafsson (18-7) is returning to light heavyweight to face Nikita Krylov (29-7).

The fight will take place on July 23rd and as mentioned, it will go down in London. When Krylov makes the walk at the second UFC London show of the year, he’s going to be looking to snap the current funk he’s been in.

Krylov has lost two straight leading up to this fight with Gustafsson. He had a four-fight winning streaking that went to 2018 and led him to a fight with former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

Starting with the fight against Blachowicz, Krylov has gone just 2-4 in his last six UFC fights. Now, he did look good against Paul Craig back at the first UFC London show. However, Craig did what Craig does and he caught Krylov in a triangle choke in the first round handing him his second straight loss.

Gustafsson’s UFC Return

For years, Alexander Gustafsson was one of the best light heavyweights in the world. However, the problem he ran into is the fact that he was competing at the same time as the two greatest light heavyweights arguably of all time in Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

Gustafsson got three cracks at UFC gold and came up short all three times against the two men. He retired briefly after a 2019 loss to Anthony Smith before opting to return at heavyweight where he lost to Fabricio Werdum on Fight Island.

That fight took place in 2020 and we haven’t seen him since. He was supposed to compete against Ben Rothwell at heavyweight, but Rothwell was released by the UFC and Gustafsson was rebooked. Ultimately, he decided to take this fight and return to light heavyweight.

Krylov is currently ranked 11th in the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings. If Gustafsson can win when they fight in London, I would expect him to vault back into the rankings. Another couple of wins after that and The Mauler will be back in title contention.

UFC Match Maker: Anthony Smith – Paul Craig

Anthony Smith

Last weekend on the prelims of UFC London, there was a very intriguing matchup in the light heavyweight division. Top fifteen contenders battled it out as Paul Craig (16-4-1) took on Nikita Krylov (27-9). Craig entered the contest looking to pick up his fourth straight victory.

Paul Craig is such an interesting contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. In a way, he’s a pure specialist, yet, he’s oddly effective. In today’s MMA scene, specialist fighters are becoming less and less effective, yet Paul Craig is surging up the light heavyweight latter purely on his jiu jitsu.

Case and point, let’s take a look at UFC London. The fight was not going well for Craig and Krylov was landing big shots. Craig found himself on his back with shots raining down from Krylov. However, this is a spot that Craig is oddly very comfortable.

Before you could blink, Craig threw up his legs and caught Krylov in a triangle choke. Krylov was forced to tap and Craig got the win at UFC London. It was Craig’s seventh career win via the triangle choke which has become his signature move.

UFC Fight to Make

When Paul Craig joined the UFC, he was 8-0 and he won his first fight. However, Craig would go just 2-4 in his next six fights. Now, he’s on a stretch where he’s gone 5-0-1 in six fights with the lone draw coming against former champion Shogun Rua.

Craig and Shogun rematched in 2020 with Craig scoring the TKO win. After his latest win, there was one guy that Craig wanted to fight and that was former title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (36-16). Lionheart is currently ranked fifth in the division and he’s looking for a fight himself.

Both men are now inside the top eight and they both are looking for opponents. They also have styles that would make for a very compelling matchup and I’d be very interested to see how the fight would go if it touches the ground. Lionheart has incredible jiu jitsu himself.

Smith told Michael Bisping that he would definitely accept the fight if that’s what the UFC wanted. With both men needing a fight and both men interested, I don’t see any reason why this fight won’t be made and I think you’ll see it over the summer.

What’s next for Paddy Pimblett after UFC London victory?

Paddy Pimblett

On the main card of UFC London, we saw the second octagon appearance from arguably the biggest prospect from the UK. Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (18-3) was back as he took on Rodrigo Vargas (12-5).

All eyes were on Paddy Pimblett as the UFC is gearing up for a major push of Paddy Pimblett. He already has a sizable following and he’s the first UFC fighter to be sponsored by Barstool Sports.

The promotion has eased him into things by feeding him the first two opponents that he’s had. While Rodrigo Vargas isn’t a pushover, Pimblett had tougher competition during his days with Cage Warriors.

When the UFC London fight started, Pimblett dealt with some adversity. It appeared that an overzealous Pimblett was hurt with a shot from Vargas that caused the two men to go to the ground. Vargas had top position, but it didn’t last long.

Pimblett was able to get to his feet and he ultimately used a throw to take down Vargas. Once on the ground, Pimblett was able to advance and secure the back of Vargas. He locked up the rear naked choke for the win and the UFC London crowd went crazy.

What’s next after UFC London?

Now that he’s won his second fight in the UFC, it’s time for the promotion to amp up the competition. In my opinion, the sexiest fight that can be made is a grudge match with Ilia Topuria.

Topuria was also on the card and scored a second round knockout over Jai Herbert to kick off the main card. Earlier in the week, Pimblett and Topuria had a fight at the hotel and that was caught on tape by Topuria’s camp. 

After Topuria’s win, he called for a matchup with Pimblett. While that’s the fight I would love to see, the UFC won’t make it. These two have a ton of hype and potential, and I think the promotion would like to build them both up a little more before the match happens.

If that fight isn’t an option, I would like the UFC to give Pimblett someone with a name that could really test him. Perhaps a guy like Jim Miller. This would be a big step up and a true test to see how good Pimblett is. Miller looks better than ever and he wouldn’t be intimidated by the English contender.

What’s next for Dan Hooker after UFC London?

This past weekend at UFC London, the co-main event featured a battle between top featherweight. England’s own Arnold Allen (18-1) was looking to stay perfect inside the octagon as he was taking on the tough Dan Hooker (21-12).

Hooker was returning to the UFC’s featherweight division which is where he started his career inside the octagon. However, it was the lightweight division that saw him rise in popularity and stature.

That being said, after a recent 1-3 stretch, The Hangman decided to move back down. He did that at UFC London, but the surging Arnold Allen was waiting for him. Whoever won this fight was poised to enter the title picture at 145 pounds.

Well, the fight didn’t last long on Saturday. Immediately, Arnold Allen pushed forward and landed big shots on Hooker. At one point, Hooker hurt Allen back, but the fight was all Arnold Allen. Allen would go on to get the standing TKO win at UFC London.

What’s next after UFC London?

You always wonder how fighters are going to do whenever they move down a weight class after having a solid run in the weight class above. Cody Garbrandt recently moved to flyweight from bantamweight where he became a UFC champion.

Garbrandt was knocked out in his first flyweight fight. Hooker suffered the same fait and now he’s looking at a stretch where he’s 1-4 in his last five fights. What’s even worse is the fact that he’s been finished in his last three losses.

That being said, Hooker is far from done and Dana White said that after UFC London. This isn’t a situation like Marlon Moraes where you’re truly wondering if the guy needs to hang it up for good. I think Hooker still has plenty left in the tank, but he needs to win his next one.

I think he’s going to take a big step back in terms of competition. He needs a reset, but he still needs an opponent who is serviceable. A guy like Andre Fili comes to mind especially if he decides to stay in the featherweight division.

What’s next for Alexander Volkov after loss at UFC London?

Alexander Volkov, UFC

This past weekend in the main event of UFC London, we saw a clash in the heavyweight division. England’s Tom Aspinall (12-2) was looking for the biggest win of his career when he took on the tough Alexander Volkov (34-10).

Volkov was looking to get his second straight win while Aspinall was looking to stay perfect in the UFC. This was the biggest test in the career of Tom Aspinall and we were going to learn a lot about the heavyweight contender in that matchup.

Well, we learned that he’s just as good as everyone thinks and says he is. Immediately when the UFC London main event started, we saw Aspinall’s speed bother Volkov. Now, Volkov did have moments where he landed some of his solid rangey strikes.

However, those strikes were few and far between. Aspinall mixed in some beautiful takedowns to get Volkov down to the ground. Once there, the fight was completely one-sided. Aspinall brutalized and bloodied Volkov before submitting him with a straight armlock.

What’s next after UFC London?

After this latest loss, Volkov is now just 4-4 in his last eight UFC fights. Granted, all four of the losses have come against top competition. The losses have come against the likes of Derrick Lewis, Curtis Blaydes, Ciryl Gane, and now Tom Aspinall.

Four guys who make up the top five or six in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Anyone else that’s been put in front of Volkov has fallen inside the octagon. Outside of those four men, Volkov is 8-0 inside the octagon.

So, with this latest loss at UFC London, what’s next for Volkov. Well, I think it’s the perfect time to run one of those losses back. The loss I’m referring to is the loss that came against Derrick Lewis.

Like Volkov, Lewis is coming off of a loss in his latest bout. Volkov was winning their first fight handily before a late rally KO from Lewis. I think it’s a great fight and it makes sense given the landscape of the UFC’s heavyweight division currently.

After devastating finish at UFC London, what’s next for Arnold Allen?

This past weekend in the co-main event of UFC London, we saw a pivotal matchup in the featherweight division. Former top lightweight contender Dan Hooker (21-12) was returning to featherweight to take on the surging English contender Arnold Allen (18-1).

Arnold Allen has been looked at as a top prospect in the UFC for some time. However, he hasn’t been the most active featherweight in the world and that has limited his shine thus far. UFC London was his chance to really show the world just how good he is.

Dan Hooker was returning to featherweight and was figuring to go right into the title mix after a nice run at lightweight. However, Arnold Allen wasn’t going to let him have a comfortable debut. In fact, Hooker never even got a chance to get comfortable inside the octagon.

From the opening bell at UFC London, Arnold Allen furiously attacked Dan Hooker. Hooker tried to fight back, but Allen was all over him. Hooker did land one good counter, but that was about it. The fight was completely one-sided and Allen got the standing TKO finish halfway through the first round.

What’s next after UFC London?

This was a huge fight for Arnold Allen and it showed UFC fans just how good he is. There’s no doubt about it that Arnold Allen in squarely in the title conversation at 145 pounds. After the fight was over, there was one man that Allen was interested in fighting and it’s a fight that makes sense.

Allen called for a fight with “The Boston Finisher” Calvin Kattar. Kattar is coming off of a dominant main event win over Giga Chikadze back in January. Kattar and his camp have told the UFC that they are wanting to return over the summer and they’ve already expressed interest in fighting Allen.

If Allen is willing to fight again over the summer, it’s time to strike while the iron is hot. The UFC should absolutely book Kattar and Allen with the winner potentially getting a shot at the featherweight title. Allen proved he’s special on Saturday, now it’s time to see if he’s title-ready.

After dominating at UFC London, what’s next for Tom Aspinall?

This past weekend at UFC London, the main event featured a battle of top heavyweights. England’s own Tom Aspinall (12-2) was looking to continue his surge towards the top as he took on the very tough veteran Alexander Volkov (34-10).

Many people, for obvious reasons, are very high on Tom Aspinall. However, this was going to be the fight where we really learned a lot about how good Tom Aspinall was. He came into UFC London 4-0 inside the octagon and he finished all four of those opponents.

Immediately when the fight started on Saturday, you could see Aspinall’s speed advantage on the feet. His hands looked loose and he landed some good shots on Volkov. However, the thing that makes Aspinall so good is how well-rounded he is.

Aspinall timed a takedown beautifully early on and got Volkov to the ground. Once the fight was there, he opened up Volkov with some brutal elbows. Volkov was able to get back to his feet, but Aspinall got him right back down. This time, he didn’t let him back up.

Aspinall was able to secure an arm-lock from side control and Volkov was forced to tap. A perfect ending for UFC fans who were rooting for their hometown guy.

What’s next after UFC London?

Make no mistake about it, Tom Aspinall is a serious contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division. After his win on Saturday, he’s only fighting top contenders from here on out. After the fight was over, he had a top contender on his mind and that top contender was Tai Tuivasa.

Personally, I love the idea of the UFC making a fight between Tuivasa and Aspinall. However, there’s another fight that also really interest me for Aspinall that would be a big fight for Europe. That fight would be pairing Aspinall up against former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane.

This could be a massive fight and Dana White already said the UFC is planning on coming to France in 2022. It would be huge for Europe to have a fight in Paris headlined by the two best European heavyweights on the roster. This is the direction I would go in depending on the timing.