What have been the most important moments at UFC Struggle Evening in London? Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi supply up their takeaways from an action-packed occasion in England.
What does the UFC do subsequent with Blaydes, heavyweight division?
Raimondi: The UFC has had a pair of fantastic principal occasions for the final two weeks. Each fights — Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez and Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall — have been designed to carry readability to the highest of their respective divisions, featherweight and heavyweight. Sadly, neither struggle might ship that attributable to regrettable accidents suffered by Ortega and Aspinall within the first rounds.
On Saturday, within the opening seconds, Aspinall suffered a knee harm throughout an change with Blaydes. He went down after throwing a leg kick, clutching the joint and clearly in a number of ache. It appeared to be simply an accident that wasn’t brought on by something specifically. However Blaydes was awarded the TKO win because of the harm.
ESPN had Blaydes ranked No. four at heavyweight and Aspinall No. 6. The headlining struggle in London — Aspinall is from England — was speculated to hash out one of many subsequent prime contenders for the UFC heavyweight title. Francis Ngannou continues to be out attributable to knee surgical procedure. Many imagine former champion Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones might struggle later this 12 months for the interim belt, although it is depending on Ngannou’s restoration.
Blaydes vs. Aspinall might have arrange the following contender after the Miocic vs. Jones winner. A struggle at UFC Paris in September between Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa can be essential within the heavyweight hierarchy. However Ngannou has already overwhelmed Gane and Blaydes. The struggle Saturday was speculated to be an enormous check for the 29-year-old prospect Aspinall to see if he might make that transfer as much as the elite tier of the division. Now, it may be some time to seek out out if he can do this.
Whereas the best way this struggle ended dashed the UFC’s plans, all isn’t misplaced. Miocic vs. Jones is smart for the interim belt, with Ngannou seemingly out till 2023 and nonetheless in a contract dispute with the UFC. Ngannou might very properly depart the promotion subsequent 12 months and go field. Jones is the best gentle heavyweight of all time and Miocic is essentially the most profitable heavyweight of all time. That may be a very marketable matchup with historical past on the road for each males.
In the meantime, the UFC can match Blaydes up with the Gane vs. Tuivasa winner because the scenario with Ngannou, Jones and Miocic will get cleared up. Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov are within the combine, too, a step under. Lewis owns a knockout over Blaydes, whereas Lewis and Blaydes have overwhelmed Volkov.
The end result Saturday is unlucky for Aspinall and Blaydes, too. However Blaydes should not be discredited. He has a terrific résumé, and his solely losses within the UFC going again to 2016 are to Lewis and Ngannou twice. Blaydes ought to nonetheless be in a robust place coming off this not-so-satisfying win with potential recent matchups with Miocic, Jones, Gane or Tuivasa forward of him.
There’s substance behind Paddy Pimblett’s hype
Paddy Pimblett emotionally discusses dedicating his win to 2 associates who died this previous week.
Okamoto: It pays to face out in blended martial arts. Day-after-day, fighters attempt to do it nevertheless they’ll. One of the best are those who do not must attempt. It comes naturally. Pimblett is a improbable instance of that proper now. He is getting a “UFC push,” and constructing some “hype,” however that is not stemming from any concerted effort by Pimblett himself. He is simply doing him.
He is blowing as much as arguably unhealthy weights between his fights as a result of that is what he needs to do. He is dropping his pants to the haters and cameras at a weigh-in as a result of he needs to. Most significantly, his victories within the Octagon are professional, as a result of that is what he actually needs. He is been matchmade appropriately, he is confronted some adversity, and he is Three-Zero with three finishes. Add within the message he delivered on suicide prevention Saturday after the struggle was nothing wanting stunning. In back-to-back fights now, Pimblett has addressed psychological well being (on Saturday) and mentioned no little one in Liverpool will ever go hungry if he ever makes famous person cash in MMA (in March). He did not do both of these issues for consideration.
Sure, Pimblett is turning into a star as a result of he is getting a push. However he is additionally turning right into a star as a result of he is genuine, and that is one thing any model can get behind.
McCann has star potential, let’s give her an actual check
Molly “Meatball” McCann overwhelms Hannah Goldy with a barrage of strikes to take dwelling the first-round knockout.
Raimondi: Molly McCann is without doubt one of the pound-for-pound most entertaining fighters on the UFC roster. She had one other thrilling end on Saturday in London, bludgeoning Hannah Goldy with strikes, together with a spinning again fist. 4 months in the past, the Liverpool-born fighter beat Luana Carolina with a spinning again fist in London. It is clear to everybody that the UFC can put McCann’s title on a card in the UK, she’ll promote tickets and, in opposition to the appropriate opponent, she will create highlights and moments. After her finishes, she typically jumps out of the cage to have fun with the followers. In March, she grabbed a reproduction UFC title from a fan and introduced that again together with her to the Octagon.
Now, it may be time to see if she will go after the precise UFC title. McCann is on a three-fight successful streak within the girls’s flyweight division and it is time for a step up. Possibly earlier than the tip of the 12 months, the UFC can carry McCann to america and provides her an enormous struggle on a pay-per-view card. Nobody is saying for McCann to struggle champion Valentina Shevchenko proper now; McCann misplaced to Lara Procopio simply final 12 months, in spite of everything. However the UFC has one thing in “Meatball Molly.” She has a ton of charisma and all of her fights are thrilling. If she will choose up a win over somebody like Jennifer Maia, Amanda Ribas or Andrea Lee, it might cement her as one of many greatest stars within the girls’s divisions.