UFC Fight Night London is going down for the UK fans after so long and a heavyweight clash between the home favourite Tom Aspinall and Alexander Volkov couldn’t have nailed the hype for a main event amongst the English fans any better. The entire fight card takes place in the O2 Arena, the home of some of the most entertaining fights such as Michael Bisping vs Anderson Silva, Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal and many more.
Other than the main event of Fight Night London, the co-main event comprises the return of #8 UFC lightweight Dan Hooker back to the featherweight division, as he is welcomed to the 145 lbs division by strong upcoming title contender in Arnold Allen, who’s on an unstoppable 8-fight winning streak. The fight before the co-main marks the second fight for Liverpool’s favourite Paddy Pimblett who’s considered one of the most promising prospects from the UK, as he faces Rodrigo Vargas.
Breakdown of Tom Aspinall vs Alexander Volkov heavyweight main-event
Tom Aspinall is the #11 fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division and also the first English heavyweight to headline a UFC event or even grab as much media attention as he is getting now. Aspinall is on a 4 fight win streak in the UFC since his debut and his second last win comes as the biggest of his career as he finished a former UFC champion in Andrei Arlovski.
Aspinall is a fierce knockout artist, who’s got professional boxing experience and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so more or less, he has got the complete game of a mixed martial artist intact with him. One thing on the feet, he is extremely fast. Aspinall’s hands go like a fighter from a lighter weight class and throw those combinations of one-two like a flash, he really keeps himself light on his feet so that he can move in and out easily of the offence range.
To put it simply, Aspinall shows dexterity in his strikes like that of former interim-UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane, but unlike Gane Aspinall so far has put less emphasis on diversifying his strikes and sticking to his basics of throwing well-executed punches, with low kicks and elbows in his secret arsenal. Also, do not miss him out on his submission skills as that’s how Aspinall put Arlovski out with, an unpredictable yet perfectly timed rear-naked choke by baiting his opponent to beware of his incredible striking.
While Aspinall brings in a lot of talent and youth on the table, Alexander Volkov on the other hand, by now, is a strong veteran and probably the master of this sport of MMA if it was to be solely based on experiences. Having fought as many as 43 professional fights, before the beginning of Volkov’s stint in the UFC in 2016, he was the heavyweight champion of Bellator MMA.
Volkov is the most dangerous on his feet just like Aspinall and yes, in Volkov’s case as well, that comes from his technical boxing coupled with potential knockout power. Volkov likes to use his range to wear out his opponent in striking with long distanced strikes like jabs and crosses and then likes to find major openings using his close-range strikes he loads the most power on, such as the hooks and uppercuts.
Where the opponents often fall short of is the vicious teep kick Volkov throws, some of which may lead to fighters like Walt Harris succumbing to. The #6 heavyweight Volkov is for sure going to be the toughest test of Aspinall’s career come this weekend. Volkov has secured wins over the likes of Stephan Struve, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Roy Nelson and many more.
Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall odds and final prediction
As per Draft Kings’ sportsbook, Tom Aspinall is -120 favourite going into the toughest fight of his career over Volkov who is +105 underdog.
Official Prediction: Alexander Volkov to def. Tom Aspinall via TKO in the fourth round
Although youth from Aspinall’s side in itself is a valid factor, the age difference is not that much. With the experience of having gone five rounds, reach advantage, and with Aspinall having the pressure to sort of meet his home crowd’s expectations for the first time under a major platform like the UFC, Volkov is going to give Aspinall a bitter learning experience from which Aspinall will bounce back from in future to get back on the winning track but as of now, the pros of taking this fight seems to be on Volkov’s side.