UFC London Fight Night: Odds, Predictions, and Picks
Location: O2 Arena (ENG), London, England
Prelims -12:00 PM EST - ESPN+
Main Card - 3:00 PM EST - ESPN+
The UFC returns to Europe this weekend for UFC London as each of the 14 fights on deck feature at least one fighter from Europe, with eight Englishmen (+ Molly McCann) on the card. Sitting atop that list (and this card) is 29-year-old Tom Aspinall (#6) who would enter the top five in the heavyweight rankings with a win over Curtis Blaydes (#4).
Let’s jump into it.
Victoria Leonardo vs. Mandy Bohm
In the second fight of the day, I don’t expect fireworks from either of these two but I do think there’s an edge on Leonardo who comes into this fight holding the advantages in striking and grappling. I give them an even bigger weighting considering she’s fighting on average one fewer round per fight than Bohm.
A known risk taker, four of Leonardo’s last five fights have ended inside the distance, with the last two resulting in second-round losses. In Bohm’s UFC debut in September, she lost a unanimous decision to Ariane Lipski in a fight she was out of her depth from the start.
With just three combined fights under the UFC banner between these two, neither has picked up a win yet, and I expect conservative starts from both with another loss putting their futures here in trouble. I do think, however, Leonardo’s striking and takedown ability reign supreme in this fight and while we’ve missed the best number, still like it at + money.
Pick: Victoria Leonardo (+110 at Fanduel) to risk .5 units
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Jonathan Pierce
These odds have also moved on us a bit since their opener, but I don’t think nearly enough and plenty of value remains. Pearce enters the octagon Saturday with significant advantages in striking and grappling, having won eight of his past nine fights with seven coming inside the distance.
As for Amirkhani, while he trails nearly across the board, his fight history does show a propensity for risk-taking with 67% of his results (won or lose) coming inside the distance. The numbers here, however, fall just outside of my threshold for inside the distance, but I do think there’s a ton of value on Pearce here to get it done.
Pick: Jonathan Pearce (-190 at DraftKings) to win 1 unit
Molly McCann vs. Hanna Goldy
Our first Brit on the card features a women’s flyweight bout between two fighters right on the edge of breaking into the division’s top 15. Since McCann opened around -200, her odds have taken off as she’ll get this fight on her home turf as she increasingly becomes a bigger draw for the company.
While I’d love to fade her given I have these two relatively even on paper, her edge on the ground is just too big and Goldy’s edges in striking are just too small for me.
I think we see McCann take this fight to the mat early and turn this into a boring ground and pound en route to her third straight win. Add in 80% of these two’s combined last 10 fights have gone the distance; expect a similar result here.
Pick: Molly McCann by Points (-130 at Fanduel) to risk 1 unit
Nikita Krylov vs. Alexander Gustafsson
This light heavyweight bout has the potential to be one of the best fights on this entire card, as Krylov sits just outside of the top 10 and draws a UFC legend making his return in Gustafsson. While you’ll see above these two are relatively even on paper, Krylov holds the biggest edge (on the ground), as well as being in the prime of his career.
I also am a big believer in ring rust, and with it having been 2+ years since we saw Gustafsson in the octagon, this is a hell of a return fight. With 88% of the combined wins in this fight coming inside the distance, the nod to Krylov inside the distance is where I’m heading with this bet.
Pick: Nikita Krylov to Win By KO, TKO, DQ/Submission (+130 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to win 1 unit
Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall
Probably one of the most played and cliche bets of the week, but I can’t disregard my numbers here and am playing it anyway. Winner of eight straight (five since joining the UFC), Englishman Tom Aspinall has ended seven of them in the first round, with the eighth being a second-round submission. With recent wins over Volkov and Spivac, you can no longer say they’ve been against scrubs, either.
Even still, Blaydes’ professional losses have only come against guys named Francis Ngannou (2) and Derrick Lewis, and he remains one of the toughest outs in the heavyweight division. With Aspinall having never been out of the second round in his career, Blaydes’ best chance is to take drag this one out and take him into deep waters in the later rounds.
Unfortunately for Blaydes, however, he pales in comparison to Aspinall’s ability on the ground, so should he take it there; look for the submission from the favorite. Jump on this at plus money while you can.
Pick: Tom Aspinall by KO/TKO or Submission (+120 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to win 1 unit
BMP of the Week (Beer Money Parlay)**
Volkan Oezdemir to Win by KO,TKO, DQ/Submission + Ludovit Klein + Molly McCann + Tom Aspinall (+1724 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Victoria Leonardo (+110 at Fanduel) to risk .5 units
Jonathan Pearce (-190 at DraftKings) to win 1 unit
Molly McCann by Points (-130 at Fanduel) to win 1 unit
Nikita Krylov to Win By KO, TKO, DQ/Submission (+130 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
Tom Aspinall by KO/TKO or Submission (+120 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
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*All odds as of the day of posting.
**Parlays are the fastest way to lose money in sports betting. That said there is nothing more fun. Have at it, but only with our weekly drinking (High Noons at JC HQ) money.
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