The biggest fight promotion in the world the UFC returns to London this Saturday night the 22nd of July for an action-packed fight night. As usual, this card is littered with some of the best talent the United Kingdom has to offer, with the card being headlined by the returning heavyweight Tom Aspinall who looks to bounce back from last year’s devastating knee injury in the very same arena, when he takes on Marcin Tybura who’s won 7 of his last 8.
Other British fighters featuring on the main card include British fight fan favourite the ‘Meatball’ Molly McCann, Paul Craig, Jai Herbert and Nathaniel Wood who will be looking to get the O2 rocking as soon as the main card kicks off. With all that being said time to get into some of my predictions for this London card, I haven’t had a bad time with my previous prediction pieces, so fingers crossed that continues. I’m gonna make five predictions for the event as a whole.
Lerone Murphy (12-0-1) vs. Joshua Culibao (11-1-1)
Official Prediction – Murphy Rd 3 TKO
One of the tougher fights to call on the main card, two elite prospects in the Featherweight division that will be looking to make their way smoothly on up to the top 15 with a win here. I believe that Murphy is the more dangerous on the feet in this matchup, I see the first couple of rounds being action-packed and very much back and forth (potential fight of the night). I believe the hometown crowd mixed in with Murphy’s slight advantage in the stand-up will lead to a round 3 win for Lerone Murphy via TKO.
Nathaniel Wood (19-5) vs. Andre Fili (22-9)
Official Prediction – Wood Unanimous Decision
Another fight with serious fight-of-the-night potential and my official pick for fight-of-the-night, this one should be fireworks. Wood will look to capitalise on the hometown crowd and pick up a big win, the always game for a scrap Andre Fili will not roll over for him and I can’t wait to see how this one unfolds. Nathaniel Wood seems to be not far off big things within the UFC and I believe that train keeps going this weekend, I’m picking Nathaniel Wood to pick up the unanimous decision victory.
André Muniz (23-5) vs. Paul Craig (16-6-1)
Official Prediction – Paul Craig Rd 3 Submission
Paul Craig against Andre Muniz is another one of this card’s intriguing matchups, with Paul making his fairly unexpected Middleweight debut. Although this will be his first fight within the division I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say these are two of the best grapplers the division has to offer. For that reason, I expect to see the majority of this fight contested on the feet, which worries me about Paul’s chances. That being said I see Paul being down on the scorecards going into the last few minutes and pulling off yet another last-ditch 3rd round submission to steal the victory.
Molly McCann (13-5) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (10-7-2)
Official Prediction – McCann Rd 2 TKO
The ‘Meatball’ had won three straight and looked to be on fire heading into her last bout where she ran into a dominant rising star Erin Blanchfield and got outclassed on the night. She looks to bounce back this weekend and has been given a favourable matchup as she looks to get back into the win column. Julija Stoliarenko is 1-4 in the UFC and you could argue she’s lucky to have held on to her roster spot, a loss here could be the end for her and that’s exactly what I’m predicting, I’m picking Molly to get the win in the second round via TKO.
Tom Aspinall (12-3) vs. Marcin Tybura (24-7)
Official Prediction – Aspinall Rd 4 Submission
Before his devastating knee injury last year, the big man Tom Aspinall was within touching distance of a heavyweight title shot. The Englishman is quite possibly the best heavyweight the British Isles have ever produced and was on a 8 fight win streak before his injury led to defeat against Curtis Blaydes last year. Tybura is no easy task for Toms’s return, a man that as previously mentioned has won 7 of his last 8 fights and looks to be putting his game together nicely, an established veteran who’s solid in all aspects of MMA. I believe if Aspinall is fully recovered he gets the job done here in a good competitive fight that he ends up finishing in the 4th round via submission.
Looking forward to a fun night of fights in London, not the most exciting or fan-friendly fight card without the likes of Leon Edwards, Paddy Pimblett or the Welshman Jack Shore. Still, plenty to get the crowd going in the 02 on what promises to be an action-packed night, with the potential for stars to be made in front of our very eyes.