The O2 Arena in London, England was home to a great evening of fights at UFC London: Volkov vs. Aspinall. The card saw four (T)KOs, five submissions and three decisions, including one split-decision.
POTN: EVERY FINISH ON THE CARD RECEIVED A BONUS (per Brett Okamoto and the bonuses WILL be for the full $50K)
Every finish on tonight’s card received a bonus, per UFC officials.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 19, 2022
The early portion of the event opened with a sensational performance from Muhammad Mokaev when he defeated Cody Durden by guillotine choke inside the first minute. What a way to kick off the card and what a way to introduce yourself to UFC fans. That was followed by Elise Reed taking a hard-fought split-decision win over Cory McKenna. Timur Valiev would go home winless after Jack Shore took the unanimous decision, extending his pristine record to 16-0. Nikita Krylov had Paul Craig in serious trouble early in round one, but as he’s proven in the past, Paul is very adept at snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Krylov succumbed to a triangle choke, becoming the eighth man to fall into this particular trap of Craig’s. Sergei Pavlovich would be the man to notch the first knockout of the night when he finished Shamil Abdurakhimov in the first round. Makwan Amirkhani broke a three-fight losing streak when he secured an anaconda choke on Mike Grundy, handing the Englishman his third, straight loss to close out the prelims.
Preliminary Card (ESPN+, 1:30 PM ET)
- Makwan Amirkhani def. Mike Grundy by technical submission (anaconda choke) at :57 of round 1
- Sergei Pavlovich def. Shamil Abdurakhimov by TKO (punches) at 4:03 of round 1
- Paul Craig def. Nikita Krylov by submission (triangle choke) at 3:57 of round 1
- Jack Shore def. Timur Valiev by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Elise Reed def. Cory McKenna by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Muhammad Mokaev def. Cody Durden by submission (guillotine choke) at :58 of round 1
The main card opened with an action-packed fight between Ilia Topuria and Jai Herbert that saw Topuria in trouble early but he managed to turn it around in the second round when he put Herbert away with a series of ferocious punches. Molly McCann, not to be outdone, started off her fight with Luana Carolina like a house afire, lighting the Brazilian up with big punches. By round three, Carolina was doing much better but McCann had one last ace up her sleeve, a massive elbow that stopped Luana cold. MEATBALL! Gunnar Nelson looked none the worse for wear after a two-plus-year absence from action. He and Takashi Sato went toe-to-toe but it would be Gunna enjoying the control on the ground, and there was lots of it. He would take the lopsided unanimous decision easily. Paddy Pimblett survived a big shot and a couple minutes of control on the ground by Kazula Vargas, but managed to reverse his fortunes when he regained his footing, got into a more advantageous position to score his own takedown and then get a rear-naked choke sunk in, forcing the tap.
The co-main event saw Dan Hooker’s return to the division unsuccessful as Arnold Allen entered the cage with exactly one directive: Get this fight over as soon as possible. He did just that, silencing the “but he doesn’t have fun fights” crowd with a big TKO win via a barrage of punches. Please go back to 155, Dan.
The main event was all Tom Aspinall. He quickly got Volkov down, controlled him, and got the armbar easily. The changing of the heavyweight guard is well under way. What a way to end an absolutely stellar card.
Main Card (ESPN+, 4 PM ET)
- Tom Aspinall def. Alexander Volkov by submission (straight armbar) 3:45 of round 1
- Arnold Allen def. Dan Hooker by TKO (punches) 2:33 of round 1
- Paddy Pimblett def. Kazula Vargas by rear-naked choke 3:49 of round 1
- Gunnar Nelson def. Takashi Sato by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
- Molly McCann def. Luana Carolina by KO (spinning elbow) 1:52 of round 3
- Ilian Topuria def. Jai Herbert by KO (punches) 1:07 of round 2
Announced Gate: $4.5M (highest gate in O2 Arena history and in UFC Fight Night history)
Announced Attendance: 17,081
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