UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall results - What next for the winners and losers?

BTSport.com picks through the bones of the results at UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall to predict the next fight for tonight's winners and losers.

By George Mills Published: 25 July 2022 - 10.41am

Well, well, well! There goes another eventful evening at the O2 Arena as UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall comes to an end with plenty to chew over from Saturday night's results.

From the prelims through to the main event, we'll take a look at each bout to see what might be next for the fighters who triumphed as well as some of those defeated.

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

Arguably the very worst outcome for both men manifested on Saturday evening as Tom Aspinall suffered a serious knee injury just 15 seconds into the main event, handing Curtis Blaydes a rather unsatisfactory TKO victory.

The two looked set to put on an absolute cracker if the opening moments were anything to go by with both Blaydes and Aspinall swinging hell for leather during a pretty frenetic sequence.

But as Aspinall withdrew and planted his leg after slamming Blaydes with a powerful body kick, his knee appeared to give way before the heavyweight contender hit the deck, writhing around in agony forcing the referee wave the contest off.

A shellshocked Blaydes could only apologise to the crowd during a classy post-fight chat with Michael Bisping while Aspinall was stretchered out of the Octagon a few feet away - but in many ways, the American is as much a victim of circumstance as his British rival.

Short of the statement victory he probably needed to force the UFC's hand in pushing him towards a heavyweight title challenge, the 31-year-old looks like he might be left in limbo while waiting to see how the rest of the division shakes out.

Speaking at the post-fight press conference, a disgruntled Blaydes batted away suggestions he might fancy a quick return to action, saying he refused to risk his position in the rankings with little to gain.

Fellow heavyweight contenders Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa will go toe-to-toe at the first ever UFC Paris in September - and Blaydes believes he will be positioned to face the winner of that fight, with the victor then going on to challenge for the heavyweight title.

As for Aspinall, the injury really is a sucker-pucker after such a blazing ascent up the heavyweight rankings and the first major setback of his UFC career.

The exact injury he suffered remains unclear but it's hard to imagine he'll return within the next 12 months if damage to his knee ligaments is confirmed.

However at 29, the Salford man still has his best years ahead of him and, although the road to recovery will be tough, the future remains bright for Britain's big heavyweight title hopeful.

Jack Hermansson def. Chris Curtis via UD

Middleweight contender Jack Hermansson outpointed Chris Curtis in a tactical affair that wasn't the easiest on the eye in the co-main event.

However, the Swede surprised many with as competent a display on the feet as we've ever seen from him in 14 UFC fights previously.

It didn't go down well with many inside the O2 Arena - including Curtis himself who reacted with pure frustration and needed separating from charging at Hermansson after the final bell - but the victor will not care a jot having navigated a potentially tricky late change in opponent with Curtis stepping in for Darren Till earlier this month.

As for what is next for Hermansson, it's tough to say.

When pressed on whether he would accept Till as an opponent for a third time, the 35-year-old didn't sound too keen having seen the fight fall through twice previously.

A rematch with Sean Strickland may appeal instead with 'The Joker' probably keen to avenge his February defeat against the American.

Paddy Pimblett def. Jordan Leavitt via submission, Round 2

Takeoff for Paddy Pimblett! Three wins, three finishes, an army of fans. The boy has the world at his feet right now.

"You'll see me before the end of the year," the 27-year-old told Michael Bisping on the mic after his second-round submission of Leavitt.

It's become customary for Pimblett to downplay his own performance in spite of victory and he did the same here, decrying his lack of control against an opponent he considered vastly inferior.

In truth, Jordan Leavitt was a decent foil for Pimblett at this stage in his UFC career and certainly posed the Scouse fighter a different look than he has had to face under the UFC banner yet.

Pimblett's problem though is the depth of the lightweight division leaves little room for learning on the job any more; those operating in the top 25 of the 155lb class are levels above anyone he has faced before.

The UFC must be savvy in allowing Pimblett to develop at a serene pace - after all, what is there to be gained from seeking match-ups to kill the golden goose.

Pimblett has his technical deficiencies - but his charisma and emotional authenticity have already made him a superstar well beyond his ability. Let's enjoy the ride for a few more fights before dragging him into deeper waters.

Whoever he faces next, it's likely British fans have seen the last of Pimblett on home soil for a little while now anyway with the UFC set to give him a starring role on a big pay-per-view before the end of the year.

Should we start preparing for a Scouse invasion of Las Vegas already?

Nikita Krylov def. Alexander Gustafsson via TKO, Round 1

A great name for Nikita Krylov to end his current rotten run of form and one that should fill the Ukrainian with a huge amount of confidence after a truly dominant showing.

It was brief and it was brutal as Krylov clobbered three-time world title challenger Alexander Gustafsson into an early bath with the decisive blow delivered by a short chopping uppercut to send Gus down to the canvas after just 61 seconds.

What next for Krylov? Maybe Volkan Oezdemir, who also saw his hand raised earlier on at UFC London. It's not likely to be anyone much higher in the rankings quite yet though.

As for Gustafsson, maybe it's time for the big man to save himself from himself and call it a day for the second time. 

Molly McCann def. Hannah Goldy via TKO, Round 1

British combat sports has a new queen! Arise Dame Molly McCann!

What a performance from 'Meatball' Molly McCann on a night that desperately needed an injection of energy that Liverpool's most famous fighting princess provided in abundance.

Cracking Goldy with a spinning back elbow that is fast becoming a signature of McCann's fights, she got the job done in explosive fashion for the second fight in succession, sending the O2 Arena bonkers.

And while she was star in her own right already on this side of the pond, McCann's success in tandem with close friend Paddy Pimblett has transformed her into a truly global athlete.

But where to next for the 32-year-old? A spot in the 125lb rankings cannot be too far away - and she'll be keen to begin climbing the ladder quickly too while in her athletic prime.

Speaking at the post-fight press conference, McCann named her dream next opponent as Antonina Shevchenko, sister of the flyweight queen Valentina.

Sign us up!

Volkan Oezdemir def. Paul Craig via UD

Volkan Oezdemir fought a sensible fight if one that lacked a little action as he wisely refused to play Paul Craig's game by staying well clear of trouble on the canvas.

The one-time light heavyweight title challenger badly needed a win too, coming into the contest on a two-fight losing skid.

Defeating Craig might not do much for his ranking given the pair sat next to one another in eighth and ninth - but the Swiss fighter will be happy to have consolidated his place in the top ten heading into the second half of the year.

The recently-numbered Dustin Jacoby would make a cracking dance partner for Oezdemir in a shootout bound to entertain. Keep your eyes peeled.

Ludovit Klein def. Mason Jones via UD

Former two-weight Cage Warriors champion Mason Jones' road in the UFC hit another speed bump as Ludovit Klein deservedly triumphed on the scorecards following an intriguing battle.

The pair exchanged strikes during an even first round but the Slovak lit up the contest in the second with a heavy knockdown of Jones that the Welshman did well to survive.

From there the die was cast with Klein proving to be the better man in almost every facet of the game, having his hand raised to secure successive finishes in the UFC for the first time ever.

The 27-year-old is now 3-2 in the promotion and after arguably the best performance of his UFC tenure yet. Klein will be a formidable force among the legion of unranked featherweights.

Marc Diakiese def. Damir Hadzovic via UD

Sometimes a win is more important than the performance and Marc Diakiese will be happy to have secured consecutive wins for the first time in three years.

However for a man who used to guarantee dynamism on the feet, the 29-year-old's performance looked nothing like the Diakiese we've come to know in the UFC.

His wrestling has clearly come on leaps and bounds but on his next assignment, the matchmakers will want to see much more activity on the feet if he's to continue on his journey through the 145lb division.

Nathaniel Wood def. Charles Rosa via UD

I'll never need a second invitation to watch Nate Wood fight and the London boy was on top form during his featherweight debut against a game opponent in Charles Rosa.

Wood pieced up the 35-year-old during a display of almost total dominance that only missed a finish that would have truly confirmed 'The Prospect's return to the big time in the UFC.

It looks as though featherweight could be a good home for Wood, whose speed and striking caused Rosa problems all night.

UFC matchmakers will have been watching on with intrigue with Wood's all-action style making him an attractive prospect to get back into action again quickly.

Wood wouldn't say no to a quick turnaround either after more than 18 months out of action - a domestic showdown against Lerone Murphy in Paris this September anyone?

Yes please.

Jonathan Pearce def. Makwan Amirkhani via TKO

Jonathan Pearce secured the first stoppage of the evening at the O2 Arena as he mixed some sharp elbows with relentless ground-and-pound in a deserved win against the experienced Makwan Amirkhani.

That was Pearce's second win of 2022 and a fourth in a row for the Contender Series alumni, who'll be eyeing a ranked opponent in the not-too-distant future.

Standing at 6ft tall, the rising 145lb star could be a problem for a few of those above him and is certainly one to watch for the rest of the year.

Muhammad Mokaev def. Charles Johnson via UD

Another one in the books for amateur MMA standout Muhammad Mokaev - although the 21-year-old Brit had promised something far more spectacular than he produced against Charles Johnson.

The American veteran was second best all night but good enough to frustrate Mokaev by keeping the Brit at bay during a contest that was a wrestling match in all but name.

Regardless, Mokaev will move on to bigger and better things even if tonight's laboured victory may have extended his tenure outside the rankings for a little longer than hoped for.

Jai Herbert def. Kyle Nelson via UD

Not the performance Jai Herbert will have wanted in front of a packed-out O2 Arena - but a result the 'Black Country Banger' desperately needed off the back of March's devastating defeat to Ilia Topuria.

It may not have been pretty but Herbert showed a maturity and composure against Kyle Nelson probably lacking when he rushed in to his detriment against Topuria.

Now 2-2 from his last four fights, the 34-year-old is at a crossroads in his UFC career that presents him with the opportunity of demonstrating he truly belongs on the big stage.

Victoria Leonardo def. Mandy Bohm via UD

A vital win for Victoria Leonardo that put a halt to her two-fight losing skid in the women's flyweight division - and probably saved her UFC career.

The 32-year-old looked emotional as Bruce Buffer read the judges scorecards - and although 'Fury' remains some way off securing a number next to her name, the fluidity of the 125lb division should give her hope she can reach the rankings by piecing together back-to-back wins next time out.

Nicolas Dalby def. Claudio Silva via UD

Not a fight that will have done a great deal to boost the trajectory of either man's career, to be honest.

However, Nicolas Dalby was the man who had his hand raised and will live to fight another day, even if the 37-year-old looks a long way from troubling the rankings any time soon.

The Danish star's run of nine UFC appearances without a knockout - either winning or losing - continues and Dalby may feel like he missed an opportunity to end that run against a fatigued Claudio Silva in the second.

Don't be surprised to see both of these men back on the early prelims during their next excursion under the UFC banner.