UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall - Live blog and fight-by-fight reaction as it happened

All the results and reaction from UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall as the Brits looked to create another special night inside the Octagon, exclusively live on BT Sport.

By George Mills Published: 24 July 2022 - 9.50am

What a night! UFC London went down at the O2 Arena last night with a sold out crowd packed into the iconic venue in east London to witness another memorable night.

Click the links below to skip to the bout of your choice for post-fight reports and exclusive reaction from our backstage team throughout the evening.

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Nicolas Dalby def. Claudio Silva via UD (29-28x2, 29-27)

Not a fight that will live long in the memory, in truth.

Silva dominated the opening round, taking Dalby down and smothering the Dane for the remainder of the first chapter.

The Brazilian threatened to do the same in the second before Dalby reversed position during a scramble on the mat - a move which proved pivotal in shifting the momentum of the fight.

From that point on, there only looked like one man interested in hunting for the victory with 37-year-old Dalby applying all the pressure throughout the third without landing anything of real significance. 

Silva's takedown attempts lacked any real pep during the final stanza and it was deserved victory on the scorecards in the end for former Cage Warriors king Dalby.

Victoria Leonardo def. Mandy Bohm via UD (30-27x3)

An evenly contested opening round with Bohm landing a few nice leg kicks from the outside while Leonardo looked to mix in the threat of a takedown with some clean boxing.

More of the same in the second round with Leonardo keen to close the distance, controlling Bohm against the cage looking to secure the level change - but the German stood strong to keep the fight standing.

The tetchy affair continued through the third with SBG Ireland charge Bohm peppering Leonardo with leg kicks as 'Fury' responded with forward pressure and combinations.

There didn't look to be a whole lot to pick through but the judges all saw it comfortably in American visitor Leonardo's favour.

Jai Herbert def. Kyle Nelson via UD (29-28x3)

Nelson hacking at Herbert's lead leg with chopping low kicks in the opening few minutes before shooting for a takedown as those already inside the O2 Arena voiced their displeasure.

Big elbow in the clinch from Nelson looked like the most cleanest shot of the round as the visiting Canadian probably pinched momentum against a slightly hesitant Herbert.

Nelson's lower leg assault continued in the second as the 'Black Country Banger' tried to respond with some kicks of his own but it was during a clinch against the cage that Herbert landed his first significant strike of the fight, catching Nelson clean with a concussive knee in the dying moments of the second stanza.

The contest fizzled out into a rather ugly grappling match in the final round but Herbert controlled the visiting Canadian, shepherding the scorecards to claim a vital - albeit underwhelming - win.

Muhammad Mokaev def. Charles Johnson via UD (30-27x3)

Mokaev's entrance from the bowels of the O2 Arena generated the first big crowd pop of the evening -and the popular flyweight produced a dominant display in the opening round to set the tone against UFC debutant Johnson.

The 21-year-old controlled his veteran rival, chucking a helpless Johnson onto the deck more than once without being able to follow up with any significant offense.

Mokaev continued to assert his authority in the second, smothering Johnson with his wrestling but the American proved tricky to pin down for the Brit to find any real opening to cause damage.

It looked as though that opening finally arrived when Mokaev suplexed Johnson onto his head before scrambling to take the visitor's back in the third but 'Inner G' Johnson quickly restored parity to keep Mokaev at bay.

An underwhelming performance from the young rising star, truth be told, but with the victory never in danger, Mokaev can be happy enough with his evening's work.

Jonathan Pearce def. Makwan Amirkhani via TKO, Round 2

Amirkhani looked to follow up his double-quick victory over Mike Grundy at UFC London in March with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2019 but the 33-year-old encountered early trouble as Pearce opened up a cut on the side of his head within the opening few minutes.

Cracking the Finnish fighter with a barrage of short elbows, Pearce stole the advantage early on as he looked to put the pressure onto Amirkhani.

However, 'Mr Finland' dragged himself back into the contest on the ground, using his wrestling give himself a shout of securing the first round.

The second round was almost role reversal though as 'JSP' controlled the wrestling exchanges but - unlike Amirkhani - took advantage of top position to land some brutal ground and pound that eventually took its toll enough for the referee to call a good stoppage.

Nathaniel Wood def. Charles Rosa via UD (30-26x2, 30-27)

Welcome back to the UFC, Nate Wood! The hometown boy injected some much-needed energy into the O2 Arena with Rosa playing his part too during a hard-fought opening round.

Into the second and Wood began to find his rhythm, peppering Rosa from all angles with vastly superior speed and an increasingly visible grin across his face as he chided and taunted his opponent.

At times you could have mistaken Wood for a high school bully the way he swatted Rosa around the Octagon, shoving the veteran to the floor with ease as Wood's leg kicks eroded Rosa's base.

To give Rosa his due, he kept coming fowards despite his legs being slowly crumbled like a hammer on sandstone by Wood, by now stalking his prey with swagger and confidence of a man who knew he was in total control.

A performance of total dominance by the London fighter on a featherweight debut that will have done his confidence a world of good after such a lengthy absence from competition.

Marc Diakiese def. Damir Hadzovic via UD (30-26x2, 30-27)

Not many inside the O2 would have had a Diakiese grappling masterclass on the cards tonight but the 'Bonecrusher' did exactly that against a grizzled veteran in Hadzovic tonight.

It wasn't pretty and there wasn't much for fans to sink their teeth into to be honest - but the development Diakiese's ground game should be commended given he has been on the wrong end of that very performance himself in years gone by.

The man from Doncaster was wearing two knee supports throughout his fight and might well have been carrying some lower leg trouble in the contest, which would have explained his unusual approach.

Either way, the job got done and we can all move on!

Ludovit Klein def. Mason Jones via UD (30-27x3)

It was even stevens through the first round with both men taking their time to find their range, trading single strikes from the outside.

Slovak Klein probably produced the most eye-catching strike with a flying kick that slapped Jones around the chops without landing flush.

But what had been a cagey opening round all changed in the second when a crushing left hook from Klein landed on the button to level Welshman Jones with a big knockdown.

'The Welsh Dragon' quickly regained his senses on the canvas to survive the ensuing scramble and lock Klein up while he recovered, taking advantage of his size to muscle the contest back to the feet.

Klein was handed back control of the contest in the third though when Jones went for an audacious flying triangle only to end up on his back for the majority of the round.

It was a deserved win for Klein in the end and another setback for former two-weight Cage Warriors king Jones.

Volkan Oezdemir def. Paul Craig via UD (30-27x3)

Now firmly a fan favourite, Paul Craig drew the biggest roar of the night so far when he strode into the arena, promptly galloping around the Octagon to glare at Oezdemir from centrimetres away as he circled the cage.

When the first bell rang Craig immediately went looking to take it to the mat with three attempts to drag Oezdemir into his world.

Like a crocodile on the canvas, Craig went looking for a loose limb and locked in the first submission attempt as he snatched at his rival's leg with an attempted ankle pick.

It was unsuccesful though as Oezdemir wriggled clear of trouble and refused to follow Craig to the mat, despite the Scot playing possum on more than one occasion.

Growing in confidence in the second with a passionate crowd behind him, Craig started mixing in some kickboxing with good success as each strike that touched Oezdemir was greeted with a roar from the O2.

However, Oezdemir began to find a home for his winging, clubbing strikes as the round wore on with both men wearing the impact of a few shots on their rapidly reddening faces.

It felt like a pivotal third round with the contest even after two rounds but there wasn't much to separate the duo with styles not really meshing to make a classic contest.

In the end it was Oezdemir who had his hand raised with the judges scoring a shutout for the one-time light-heavyweight world title challenger.

Molly McCann def. Hannah Goldy via TKO, Round 1

Wow! What can you say about Molly McCann!

This girl is destined for absolute superstardom! The 32-year-old produced the performance of her career to stop Hannah Goldy with a second career knockout in succession.

An athletic McCann looked assured from the off, defending a few trips and clinches against the cage from an aggressive Goldy, managing to keep the contest within her realm on the feet.

In years gone by, McCann might have struggled to fight off Goldy's vicelike grip but with a renewed confidence after her breakout victory at UFC London in March, this new iteration of 'Meatball' stayed calm and found a way to escape the pressure.

Goldy's striking defence looked a little iffy throughout if truth be told, walking in straight lines with minimal head movement to avoid what was being sent her way by McCann.

During fight week, the popular Scouser promised BT Sport that a knockout win was inevitable, such was her confidence after an intense training camp sharpening her boxing skills with coach Joe McNally.

And so it proved to be as the pocket rocket unleashed a hellacious spinning elbow to discombobulate 30-year-old Goldy against the Octagon wall, unloading with a killer combination to finish the fight in emphatic fashion.

That win sent the O2 into absolute raptures as she dived out of the Octagon to the adulation of the 18,000-strong throng before walking back through the cage door performing Conor McGregor's Billy Strut.

It's hard to recall a female athlete from any sporting discipline with the backing of a fan base like Molly McCann now has at her fingertips - but where to next? The sky is the limit baby!

Nikita Krylov def. Alexander Gustafsson via TKO, Round 1

Surely the end of a storied career for a legend of the fight game as Nikita Krylov made quick work of Alexander Gustafsson, dropping the giant Swede almost at the first bell with a straight right hand down the pipe.

Gustafsson briefly made it back to his feet but the Ukrainian continued to pile on the pressure before landing the decisive blow, clipping the 35-year-old's chin with a short uppercut reminiscent of the same strike that won Daniel Cormier the UFC heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier.

It was a cracking performance from the no.11 ranked Krylov - and one he needed to produce with just two wins from his six fights previously.

Paddy Pimblett def. Jordan Leavitt via sub, Round 2

Is there a better showman in MMA right now? Probably not.

However, Leavitt took the sting out of the atmosphere in the opening few minutes of the first round as he forced Pimblett to defend multiple takedown attempts and trips against the cage but it was the Scouser who ended the round on top and could have done with a few more seconds to sink in a rear naked choke.

Leavitt continued to look for the single leg trip into the early moments of the second round and had Pimblett held up against the cage when 'The Baddy' rocked him badly with a beautiful knee from the clinch.

It provided just the opening the former Cage Warriors king needed as he took Leavitt's back, and transitioned to a rear naked chokehold within the space of a minute to send the O2 Arena bananas.

Pimblett lived up to his promise of 'teabagging' the defeated Leavitt in the immediate aftermath of the tap before the two shared a sporting embrace to end their fleeting rivalry that has festered throughout the week.

Speaking after securing his third straight UFC win - and third straight finish - an emotional Pimblett paid tribute to four-year-old Baby Lee Hodgson as well as a close friend Pimblett revealed had taken his own life just hours before Friday's weigh-ins.

Pleading the impact of the male mental health crisis, Pimblett drew warm applause and huge support from the sold out O2 before he made his way backstage in floods of tears after what must have been an unimaginably turbulent week.

Jack Hermansson def. Chris Curtis via UD (30-27x3)

Probably not the co-main event that was needed after the energy inejction that came before it as Jack Hermansson executed a tactical yet somewhat unspectacular game plan to defeat Chris Curtis.

Clearly aware of Curtis' 100% takedown defence, the Swede surprised many by opting to keep the fight at range, picking off the shorter man with point-scoring shots in a tetchy kickboxing match.

It riled Curtis as well as many inside the O2 who greeted the final decision with a chorus of boos as Hermansson took the fight uninamously on points.

Curtis Blaydes def. Tom Aspinall via TKO, Round 1 (injury)

It doesn't get much worse than that. With both men throwing everything behind some brutal strikes to get the contest going, Aspinall recoiled from a leg kick in agony, hitting the deck clutching his knee after just 15 seconds.

Clearly in no fit state to continue, the ref was left with no other option than to wave the fight off with Aspinall in need of immediate medical assistance.

UFC doctors surrounded Aspinall within seconds, helping stabilise the injured limb while the crowd chanted the heavyweight contender's name.

A shellshocked Blaydes could only look on as Aspinall was reduced to tears a few feet away.

'Razor' apologised to the crowd during a classy post-fight interview with Michael Bisping as Aspinall was wheeled past the row of journalists cageside, head bowed and chest heaving with emotion.

That freak incident means Blaydes was declared the winner in the most unsatisfactory manner, leaving a dark cloud hovering over what had otherwise been a solid night of fights at the O2 Arena.