Nicolas Dalby v. Claudio Silva
The opening round of this event is an all grappling affair. The fighters meet in the middle and Silva wastes no time in quickly reaching for a leg. Dalby does well to keep balance while hopping around on one leg defending the takedown. However, after about a minute of this Silva gets the takedown and is dominant from top control for the remainder of the round. Dalby explodes from bottom on several different occasions but is never able to get free making this a very clear round to score for the judges. In the second round Silva gets right back to the wrestling but some more top control and grappling scrambles, Dalby is eventually able to get back to the feet. As the round progresses it becomes quickly apparent that Silva is in big trouble in the cardio department. Dalby closes in on the feet and stalks a very exhausted Silva. In the final couple minutes Silva is barely able to stay up on his feet and is even wobbling from the fatigue. Dalby throws punches and knees but Silva is able to survive. In the final round Dalby picks back up in the stalking of his exhausted opponent. In this round Dalby spends some time in top control this time and lands some decent shots from top. He eventually walks away and tells Silva to stand back up. Dalby throws some more strikes on the feet but Silva is able to land one last takedown in the final minutes. This makes it a much closer round to score but in the end the judges felt that it was Dalby who had done just enough to get the job done. Dalby by unanimous decision.
Mandy Bohm v. Victoria Leonardo
In the first round the fighters rush across the cage and immediately start exchanging. Leonardo blitzes in with combinations in order to close the distance. She is eventually able to get close enough to clinch and drive Bohn to the cage. From there Leonardo pins her against the fence and controls while landing clinch strikes. Bohn is eventually able to break away and bring it back to the center of the cage. The fighters exchange some more where it is clear that Bohn has the reach and striking advantage. Leonardo eventually clinches and drives Bohn against the fence once more where the remainder of the round takes place. A close opening round and could have gone to either fighter in the judges eyes. In the second round Leonardo utilizes clinches once more and Bohn spends a lot of time with her back on the fence. Leonardo lands clinch strikes while always trying to get the takedown. Bohm defends pretty well and eventually the referee separates them to bring them back to the center. It is another close round and possibly could have gone to Leonardo due to the fence control and clinch strikes. In the final round Leonardo once again frustrates her opponent with clinching along the fence. Leonardo is not landing the hardest of strikes or even that many but she is neutralizing Bohm and keeping her offense to a minimum. As the round progresses the referee begins to get impatient with them as the fight has not been the most exciting and has mostly played out along the fence in a clinch. As the fight comes to an end Leonardo lands one last takedown for good measure. The crowd is fairly unimpressed due to the lack of action but in the end the strategy was still enough for Leonardo to squeak out the win. Leonardo by unanimous decision.
Jai Herbert v. Kyle Nelson
The first two minutes of the opening round the fighters stay on the feet and exchange. It is a nice change of pace after the first two fights were somewhat of lackluster grappling bouts. However, after a couple of minutes of striking, Nelson clinches and drives Herbert to the fence. Nelson controls Herbert from there for about a minute but eventually Herbert is able to reverse and pin Nelson against the cage. Herbert begins landing some decent clinch strikes and the remainder of the round plays out in the clinch. In the second round Herbert comes out with some more pep in his step. He bounces in place and begins to throw a better variety of strikes. He throws good jabs and straight punches as well as coming very close to landing a couple head kicks. Nelson once again clinches and forces Herbert to the fence and the crowd boos as they are starting go get irritated from the somewhat uneventful fights that have played out so far in London. In the final round Nelson once again pursues a takedown but during the scramble Herbert is able to reverse and end up on top. This may be best case scenario for him as Nelson has chewed up his leg pretty good with leg kicks. Herbert peppers shots from top control and stays in control. As the fight comes to a close it’s another somewhat lackluster fight. In the end though, the judges felt that it was Herbert who had done just enough to get the nod. Herbert by unanimous decision.
Muhammad Mokaev v. Charles Johnson
This fight finally brings some exciting action to the event. Mokaev rushes across in the opening round and immediately starts applying his suffocating pressure. Johnson is being backed up constantly and Mokaev is throwing wild shots until he eventually clinches and starts the grappling. Once the grappling starts Johnson is never able to break away. Johnson does a good job getting back up instantly but he is taken down about 5 different times. Mokaev keeps the body lock the entire time and Johnson has almost zero offense for the entire round. A very easy round for the judges to score as it clearly goes to Mokaev. In the second round Johnson does a better job to stay in the center of the cage for the first minute. But once again he is slowly backed up to the fence where Mokaev once again gets a takedown. Johnson gets right back up but Mokaev now has the body lock which is once again neutralizing any offense from Johnson. Mokaev spends a majority of the round in complete control via his suffocating grappling. Johnson does well to display his competence in defending any possible submissions but he has zero offense and the first two rounds both go to Mokaev without any question. Johnson will now need a finish if he wants to pick up the win here. In the final round Mokaev wastes no time in quickly initiating the grappling sequences again. Mokaev stays glued to Johnson once again while constantly threatening the back and repeatedly taking Johnson down. Johnson again shows his ability to not be easily finished or ran through but he just can’t get Mokaev off of him. It is a frustrating fight for Johnson but another impressive show of dominance by Mokaev as he continues his rise through the division. Mokaev by unanimous decision.
Makwan Amirkhani v. Jonathan Pearce
The opening round of this bout is all action. Amirkhani quickly initiates the grappling but before he can complete his first takedown he is taking repeated elbows to the side of the head. The elbows open up a bad cut and blood quickly begins to stain the Octagon canvas. Amirkhani stays persistent though and is glued to Pearce the entire time. Pearce demonstrates a very good BJJ competence as he is always able to reverse any bad positions and continues to make Amirkhani work. The whole round is a constant scramble between the two but the damage caused by Pearce was likely enough to win him the round. In the second round the intense grappling scrambles continue and during each of them Pearce continues to sneak in heavy elbows to the side of the head of Amirkhani. As the round continues to play out Pearce is now in the driver seat and is constantly in offense mode. Amirkhani is forced to constantly defend which takes away any chances of offense or momentum on his side. As the round continues to play out Amirkhani is starting to melt under the pressure. Eventually the onslaught from top control is just too much for Amirkhani to endure any more. The referee warns him to improve his position but he no longer has anything left in the tank. A very impressive win for Pearce who is able to give the crowd the first finish of the night. Pearce by second round TKO.
Nathaniel Wood v. Charles Rosa
This fight is another one that provides a great amount of action. In the opening round Wood looks absolutely flawless in the striking exchanges. He lands at will and is giving Rosa all kinds of problems with the speed, precision and distance control. Rosa is rocked on several occasions and is simultaneously getting his leg chewed up as well. In the final minute Rosa finally gets a takedown which is a good confidence boost for him. In the final ten seconds he locks up a choke and the crowd erupts but Wood survives. Despite the takedown and choke attempt the round is still a clear cut winning round for Wood. In the second round Wood continues to show his dominance in the striking department. He continues to blast the head, body and legs of Rosa. The toughness of Rosa is on full display and he never backs down or gives in. The main story of this fight though is how great Wood looks after coming back from a two year absence. In the final round Wood continues to display his striking prowess which all stems from his brilliant control of the distance. He enters the pocket to strike and is immediately back outside with lightning speed. Rosa wants to grapple but he just can’t ever seem to catch Wood. The domination is very impressive to watch. Rosa is a very game opponent but Wood just outclasses him at every turn. This results in a very emphatic win for Wood and allows him to make quite a statement in his return. Wood by unanimous decision.
Marc Diakiese v. Damir Hadzovic
Diakiese shows up to this bout with a new wrinkle in his game. Prior to this fight he has been known to be a very lethal striker. However, in this fight he had basically a one hundred percent wrestling approach. In the opening round Diakiese takes Hadzovic down with relative ease. From there he dominates in top control and lands occasional strikes from top control in order to appear busy. The round doesn’t have a lot of action but Diakiese is in top control for almost the entire round which will win him the round. In the second round it’s more of the same. Diakiese once again takes down Hadzovic down with ease. He continues to dominate from top control but he is not really landing much damage. This approach does neutralize the offense of his opponent though and wins the round for him via top control and occasional ground strikes. In the final round Hadzovic attempts a takedown of his own but is denied. Diakiese lands yet another takedown. By this point the announcers are offering some constructive criticism and recommending that in the future he just try to land some more damage. Regardless, the final round is once again a dominant round for Diakiese from top control. This allows him to coast to a fairly easy win. Diakiese by unanimous decision.
L’udovit Klein v. Mason Jones
The opening round of this fight is finally an all striking affair. This may have been the first all striking round of the night. The crowd immediately wakes up because they are finally seeing some good exchanges on the feet. Jones presses forward with reckless abandon while Klein stays on the outside and counter strikes like a sniper. Both fighters land some great shots and both fighters continue to stay aggressive despite being caught flush on several occasions. The aggression and toughness is on display and the crowd responds with great appreciation. In the second round the fighters both continue to trade. In the first minute Klein lands a beautiful two punch combo that lands flush and drops Jones immediately. Klein rushes to the ground to get in top control but this may have been a mistake as all it really did was allow Jones the time to recover. Jones eventually works his way back to the feet and Klein clinches him trying to continue his control. Klein attempts a couple more takedowns but Jones defends well. Jones eventually reverses the clinch and forces Klein’s back to the fence. From there Jones starts landing good knees and other clinch strikes. Klein finally breaks away and the fighters meet back in the middle to once again trade. They both land a few final blows and the round comes to a close. Another very nice round with plenty of action to keep the crowd engaged. This was much appreciated after their long wait during the somewhat lackluster fights leading up to this point. In the final round Jones presses forward and initiates the clinch. This ends up backfiring on him as Klein is able to turn it into a takedown of his own. From there Klein stays in top control and lands good ground strikes which further separates himself on the judges score cards. With 90 seconds left in the fight it appears that Klein now has a clear lead and will secure himself a win as long as nothing dramatic happens. Jones finally makes it back to his feet but Klein does a good job at mitigating any damage and appears to have coasted the final seconds to another good win on his record. The judges agree. Klein by unanimous decision.
Paul Craig v. Volkan Oezdemir
The first round of this fight is an interesting one. Craig wastes no time in pursuing the grappling and finds various ways to initiate it without ever shooting any double legs. He grabs ahold of Oezdemir every chance he gets and just pulls him straight down to the ground while holding his arms. Craig pulls guard many times this way and for the most part Oezdemir is able to avoid any real danger. Although there is one moment of danger where Craig has Oezdemir’s leg tied up and is searching for submissions. Oezdemir stays calm and eventually escapes. The round is an exciting back and forth affair with both fighters having their moments. In the second round Craig starts landing some decent strikes as Oezdemir is clearly more focused on defending the grappling attempts. However, late in the round Oezdemir starts finding some rhythm as Craig’s grappling attempts are becoming redundant and more obvious. Another exciting round but this one may have gone to Oezdemir. In the final round Oezdemir continues landing some good flush shots. He even has Craig wobbled at one point. Craig continues to lay on his back and invite Oezdemir to the ground at every chance he gets. Oezdemir is wise and constantly refuses which leads to the referee forcing Craig back to the feet. Oezdemir seems slightly stressed out by the constant submission threat but despite this he is out landing Craig on the feet. As the fight is in the final minutes Craig is running out of tricks and appears to be running out of time as well. Although Craig had his moments it was the strike differential that appears to have been the deciding factor. The judges agreed. Oezdemir by unanimous decision.
Molly McCann v. Hannah Goldy
McCann comes into this fight with a lot of hype and pressure after such an electric performance only months ago here in London. Goldy comes out confident and starts marching forward towards McCann. The fighters begin to exchange and each are looking good with both their offense and defense. Eventually Goldy starts initiating the grappling sequences and McCann is forced into defense mode. She does well to defend despite a couple of close moments where her limbs were in jeopardy. As the round progresses McCann finds a way to make lightning strike yet again. She blitzes Goldy along the fence and during a flurry she spins and lands another elbow flush. This spinning elbow is what got her the electric finish in her last performance and set the crowd into a massive frenzy. She somehow is able to land it again in this fight and wobbles Goldy. McCann then intensifies her flurry with nonstop follow up punches. She lands another flush shot and this now drops Goldy to the canvas. McCann stands over here and continues the onslaught. After several more unanswered shots the referee steps in to stop the fight. McCann sprints across the cage and jumps over the fence. She goes out into the crowd and the arena is roaring as loud as can be. It is another beautiful performance and another beautiful win for Molly McCann as she continues to climb up the ranks in her division. McCann by first round TKO.
Nikita Krylov v. Alexander Gustafsson
This fight had a good deal of anticipation as the legend Alexander Gustafsson once again comes back from retirement. Unfortunately for him he never really got to get settled into the fight. From the opening bell Krylov comes out and is in full attack mode. He lands a good flush shot that wobbles Gustafsson. From there Krylov just goes on an absolute blitz to follow up on the wounded Gustafsson. He lands more shots and the flurry has Gustafsson overwhelmed as he fights for survival. Gustafsson is able to clinch briefly in order to buy himself some time. Krylov breaks away from the clinch and once again goes to work. He lands another flush shot that drops Gustafsson. Krylov stands over him and blasts follow up shots one after another. After a few unanswered shots the referee has no choice but to step in and stop the fight. A dissappointing comeback for Gustafsson but a very good win for Krylov to add to his resume. Krylov by first round TKO.
Paddy Pimblett v. Jordan Leavitt
The opening round of this bout is all action. Leavitt comes into very hostile territory to face the crowd favorite in Pimblett. As the opening round begins Pimblett walks forward and is looking to land big shots. Leavitt stays poised in his defense and waits for the perfect moment to duck under and lunge for the clinch in pursuit of a takedown. Pimblett defends briefly but Leavitt is tenacious and eventually is able to complete the takedown. From there Leavitt controls and is constantly pressuring Pimblett from top control. Leavitt lands a few ground strikes and is searching for submission opportunities. Pimblett never gets in too much trouble and in the last 30 seconds he is able to reverse and end up in top control. As the round comes to a close he has Leavitt in submission trouble but time expires. A nice round of back and forth but was likely edged out by the control of Leavitt. In the second round Leavitt initiates the grappling once again. He starts accruing more control time but Pimblett is never accepting of any positions and is constantly searching for escapes. Pimblett eventually forces a scramble and during this he is able to reverse the control to lock up one of Leavitt’s arms with a body triangle. It is all downhill from there for Leavitt. With only one arm to defend Pimblett has the back of Leavitt and is threatening rear naked chokes. Eventually Pimblett gets under the chin fully with a choke. Leavitt has only one arm to defend which is not enough. The pressure is tight and eventually Leavitt has no choice but to tap out. Pimblett by second round submission.
Jack Hermansson v. Chris Curtis
The opening round of this fight is surprisingly an all striking affair. Hermansson is usually very aggressive with the wrestling approach but instead he chooses to trade strikes in the opening round of this bout. Curtis gets somewhat picked apart from the outside as he is hesitant to ever really sit down on any strikes due to the fear of the wrestling. Hermansson appears to win the first round with a good display of footwork and a wide variety of punches and kicks that keep Curtis guessing. In the second round Hermansson keeps it up with the same approach. He bounces around from the outside and is careful to never get into boxing range where Curtis is most dangerous. Hermansson keeps landing kicks from distance and even rocks Curtis at one point. By the end of the round Curtis is showing very clear signs of frustration. Hermansson is not fighting in the style that Curtis wants and he is having trouble adapting. Another round that was likely won by Hermansson. In the final round Curtis increases his forward pressure but Hermansson stays elusive on the outside which only furthers the frustration of Curtis. In the final seconds Curtis just flips the bird to Hermansson as he is completely tired of chasing him. The two fighters exchange some words but it doesn’t matter. The fight is over and Hermansson has found a way to out strike the striker. He did it without using even a single takedown from his usually heavy wrestling approach. Hermansson by unanimous decision.
Curtis Blaydes v. Tom Aspinall
Well it almost seems fitting that this event would end the way that it did. From start to finish the entire event was failing to measure up to the iconic event that took place in this very arena only months ago. As the main event starts the two fighters waste no time feeling each other out. They immediately begin exchanging. Aspinall sprints across the cage and starts throwing with no hesitation. We have never seen this approach from him. He was almost throwing without caution and Blaydes was countering with just about as much ferocity. The crowd erupts but before either fighter can really land flush, Aspinall takes a step back and his knee buckles out from under him. He immediately clinches onto his knee and is no longer interested in the fight. The referee rushes in to stop the fight and the crowd is dead silent. Their local hero who had been surging through the division since his debut was now on the ground with what appears to be an agonizing injury. Not only did the crowd not get the main event they paid for, but their local hero is likely out for a long time with a terrible knee injury. A terrible ending to a somewhat lackluster event overall. Blaydes by first round TKO (due to knee injury of Aspinall).