UFC will present a load of European prospects and veterans on Saturday night for their first event in the continent since 2019. In the headlining bout of a card from The O2 Arena in London, England, rising heavyweight Tom Aspinall will face experienced fighter Alexander Volkov. Their fight is the last to make the walk of all 12 fights scheduled for the evening.
Follow along for updates on the event.
Prelims (1:30PM EDT / 5:30PM GMT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Main Card (4:00PM EDT / 8:00PM GMT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Bout 12: Alexander Volkov (34-9) vs. Tom Aspinall (11-2) (Heavyweight)
Rising Prospect Aspinall Submits Volkov In The First Round
Tom Aspinall won his first-ever UFC main event appearance within a round, submitting veteran Alexander Volkov with a straight armlock.
Aspinall’s submission win came after a grappling performance that mostly went his way. He got the fight down in the opening minute, using that takedown to land punches from a dominant position. He scored another takedown later that allowed him to get the submission finish in front of a supportive crowd.
Aspinall has now scored five consecutive finish wins since making his UFC debut only two years ago. His two previous fights saw him stop Serghei Spivac and submit Andrei Arlovski.
Aspinall, who is expected to crash the UFC rankings next week, called out rising heavyweight Tai Tuivasa in his post-fight interview.
Volkov was put in the main event spot after a busy 2021 that saw him score two wins and one loss. Of those appearances was a decision victory over Marcin Tybura and a main event victory against Alistair Overeem.
Bout 11: Arnold Allen (17-1) vs. Dan Hooker (21-11) (Featherweight)
Allen Stops Hooker, Keeps Undefeated UFC Run Going
Arnold Allen kept his extensive winning streak alive in the co-main event, stopping Dan Hooker in the first round with strikes.
Allen prevailed in a hectic one-round battle that turned into a brawl at times. The fighters exchanged wild combinations of shots early on, with Allen connecting with the better blows. Hooker’s toughness kept him on his feet, although the constant flurry of shots made the referee eventually step in to end the bout.
Allen’s undefeated UFC run now has nine wins in total. His previous fight was last year, beating Sodiq Yusuff via unanimous decision. After the fight, Allen called for a fight against Calvin Kattar.
Hooker was making his return to the featherweight class after spending the past few years competing at lightweight.
Bout 10: Paddy Pimblett (17-3) vs. Kazula Vargas (12-4) (Lightweight)
Pimblett Submits Vargas In Front of London crowd
Paddy Pimblett scored a win in front of a rowdy supportive crowd on Saturday night, submitting Kazula Vargas in the first round with a rear naked choke.
Pimblett took the back of Vargas late in the round for the choke after scoring a takedown. This came after some struggles earlier in the fight, getting taken down early by Vargas.
Pimblett, the former Cage Warriors Champion, now has two wins in the UFC. His debut last year came against Luigi Vendramini, who he stopped in the first round with strikes.
Vargas beat Rongzhu in his previous appearance, winning via unanimous decision.
Bout 9: Gunnar Nelson (17-5-1) vs. Takashi Sato (16-4) (Welterweight)
Nelson Defeats Sato In Return
Gunnar Nelson had a successful return to the cage on Saturday night, defeating short-notice opponent Takashi Sato via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26 & 30-26).
Nelson’s grappling skills allowed him to take all three rounds, getting Sato to the ground and taking dominant positions. He often landed punches and attempted chokes while on the ground with Sato.
Nelson was making his first appearance since 2019. He entered the weekend with the goal of snapping a two-fight skid that he developed in previous fights.
Sato stepped into this fight last week, replacing Claudio Silva. He was fighting for the first time in over a year.
Bout 8: Molly McCann (11-4) vs. Luana Carolina (8-2) (Flyweight)
McCann Ends Dominant Performance With Spinning Elbow Knockout
Molly McCann scored a stunning third-round spinning elbow knockout against Luana Carolina to cap off a dominant performance on Saturday night.
McCann’s finishing blow was a walk-off shot, putting an end to a bout that she comfortably would have won on scorecards if it were to go the distance instead.
McCann stunned Carolina on the feet early, connecting cleanly with overhand right punches numerous times in the first round. While avoiding the striking from Carolina, McCann was able to pick up a strong opening round.
McCann followed up on this with a solid second round, out-landing Carolina on the feet and on the ground.
McCann has now earned two consecutive wins. Her previous fight was a decision win over Kim Ji-yeon.
Carolina was down for a long time following the decision and was not able to stand with the referee as the official result was announced. She was coming off a strong 2021 that saw her score two wins via decision.
Bout 7: Jai Herbert (11-3) vs. Ilia Topuria (11-0) (Lightweight)
Topuria Scores Knockout Against Herbert In Lightweight Debut
Undefeated Ilia Topuria scored a brutal knockout victory over Jai Herbert, stopping him early in the second round with a right hook.
Topuria’s knockout punch came from a combination up against the cage where both lightweights were throwing shots. It was clear immediately after the right hook landed that the fight was over.
Topuria battled through a tough first round before he got the win. He was dropped in the opening minute of the fight, as Herbert connected with a clean head kick. Topuria recovered later in the round by utilizing his wrestling.
Topuria has now scored four wins in the UFC, with three of those victories coming via stoppage. This was his first appearance up at lightweight after previously appearing at featherweight.
Herbert was coming off his first UFC win, which was against Khama Worthy last year. His UFC record is now one win and three losses.
Bout 6: Mike Grundy (12-3) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (16-7) (Featherweight)
Amirkhani Ends Skid With Quick Sub
Makwan Amirkhani earned a necessary victory in the final prelim, stopping Mike Grundy within a minute with an anaconda choke to end a losing streak.
Amirkhani caught Grundy with the submission as he came in with a takedown attempt in the opening seconds of the fight. This submission eventually put Grundy to sleep, ending the fight.
The victory snapped a three-fight losing streak with the victory, putting him back into the win column for the first time since 2020.
Grundy had an emotional backstory heading into this fight. It was mentioned on the broadcast that his father, who is suffering from a terminal illness, was present to watch the fight.
Grundy has now lost three consecutive losses in the UFC.
Bout 5: Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-6) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (14-1) (Heavyweight)
Pavlovich Finishes Abdurakhimov In Return
Sergei Pavlovich scored a win in his return, stopping Shamil Abdurakhimov in the first round with punches.
Pavlovich caused a bang in an otherwise quiet opening round, flooring Abdurakhimov with a lunging right cross. Shortly thereafter, ground and pound punches from Pavlovich called an end to the bout.
Pavlovich was making his first appearance since 2019. When accounting for his previous performances, he is now on a three-fight winning streak.
Abdurakhimov is now on a three-fight losing streak. Previous defeats came against Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus.
Bout 4: Nikita Krylov (27-8) vs. Paul Craig (15-4-1) (Light Heavyweight)
Craig Earns Sudden Submission Win Against Krylov
Paul Craig found an opening for an early win against Nikita Krylov, catching him in the opening round with a triangle choke for a win.
Craig threw up a triangle choke while on his back, causing Krylov to tap shortly after. This came after Krylov succeeded earlier in the fight, landing ground and pound shots from full guard for most of the round.
Craig is now on a strong four-fight winning streak, with all of those wins coming via stoppage. His previous fight saw him hand Jamahal Hill his first pro loss due to a first-round injury.
After the fight, Craig called for a five-round fight against fellow ranked light heavyweight Anthony Smith.
Krylov took a loss to Magomed Ankalaev via unanimous decision in his previous fight.
Bout 3: Jack Shore (15-0) vs. Timur Valiev (18-2) (Bantamweight)
Undefeated Shore Takes Close Win Over Valiev
Jack Shore moved his undefeated record to an impressive 16 consecutive wins on Saturday night, earning a close decision win over Timur Valiev (29-28, 29-28 & 29-27).
Valiev gave Shore trouble, holding his own on the feet and proving to be a threat on the ground.
The fight started with a close opening round that saw both fighters show off their skills. Shore especially was able to succeed in this frame.
Valiev’s best round was the second, as he was able to get Shore to the mat numerous times with takedowns. It was assumed heading into the final round that the fight was tied on scorecards.
Shore opened the final round with a knockdown, dropping Valiev with a two-punch combination. Valiev threatened with a guillotine choke later in the round, but Shore later escaped the choke and returned to his feet.
Another knockdown emerged in the final minute of the fight, as Valiev dropped again but was quick to prop back up to his feet. Shore then capped off his performance with a takedown.
Shore now has five wins since joining the UFC in 2019. His previous victory came in September 2021 over Liudvik Sholinian.
Valiev entered the weekend on a two-fight winning streak.
Bout 2: Elise Reed (4-1) vs. Cory McKenna (6-1) (Strawweight)
Redd Out-Lands McKenna For First UFC Win
Former CFFC Strawweight Champion Elise Reed earned her first UFC victory on Saturday, using her striking to defeat Cory McKenna via split decision (30-27 McKenna, 29-28 Reed & 29-28 Reed).
Reed’s boxing skills mixed with frequent leg kicks allowed her to out-land McKenna in all three rounds. McKenna was able to land her own strikes at times and also use her wrestling to get Reed to the ground, but the striking of Reed was the most successful part of every round.
Reed lost her UFC debut last year, getting stopped in a fight up at flyweight against Sijara Eubanks. She now has five pro wins through six fights.
McKenna was coming off a UFC debut win from last year, defeating Kay Hansen via unanimous decision.
Bout 1: Muhammad Mokaev (5-0) vs. Cody Durden (12-3-1) (Flyweight)
Mokaev Wins UFC Debut In Under A Minute
Highly touted prospect Muhammad Mokaev won his UFC debut in under a minute, securing a guillotine choke against Cody Durden.
Mokaev hurt Durden in the opening seconds of the fight, dropping him with a flying switch knee to the head. Durden was quick to return to his feet, but was thrown back to the ground moments later as Mokaev looked for a guillotine choke. After some adjustments, Durden tapped to the choke to end the fight in 58 seconds.
Mokaev entered the UFC after an incredibly successful amateur and pro run. He turned pro just a few years ago after attaining an undefeated amateur record of 23 victories.
Durden earned his first UFC win in his previous appearance, defeating Aoriqileng via unanimous decision.