The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to London this weekend for a massive Fight Night. With a card stacked with British fighters and a sold-out arena, this event promises to be huge. Here are our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions.
UFC Fight Night 224 Predictions: Main Card Has It All
Tom Aspinall vs Marcin Tybura Prediction
Tom Aspinall is fifth in the division rankings. In the last fight in July 2022, the Englishman was defeated by the American Curtis Blades (technical knockout). The Briton holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The 30-year-old Manchester native has 12 wins (eight by knockout, four by submission) and three losses. Before joining the UFC, he performed for the Cage Warriors and several obscure promotions.
Marcin Tybura is a former Russian M-1 promotion heavyweight champion. The Pole has won his last two fights, defeating Blagoy Ivanov (unanimous decision) from Bulgaria in February 2023, and before that Alexander Romanov (unanimous decision) from Moldova. However, before that, he lost to the Russian Alexander Volkov (unanimous decision).
The 37-year-old Polish fighter has 24 wins (nine knockouts, nine decisions, six submissions) and seven losses. Tybura has been with the UFC since 2016.
Bookmakers consider Aspinall the undisputed favorite of the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions. Tybura is no longer so young by the standards for mixed martial arts. He can resist his peers, but not younger athletes.
• Tom Aspinall to win via KO/Submission
— UFC (@ufc) July 21, 2023
Molly McCann vs Julija Stoliarenko Prediction
Molly McCann is a former Cage Warriors champion. She has been performing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2018. She has 13 wins (six by knockout, seven by decision, zero by submission) and five losses in mixed martial arts. The 33-year-old British lost in her last fight in November 2022 to the American Erin Blanchfield (submission).
However, before that, the Liverpool native won three victories in a row. McCann holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Julija Stoliarenko is a former winner of multiple international tournaments in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling. The 30-year-old athlete from Kaunas has ten victories (one decision, nine submissions) and seven losses at the professional level in MMA. Stoliarenko has suffered four defeats in her last five fights.
Bookmakers consider McCann the clear favorite of the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions. It can be seen that Stoliarenko is in abysmal physical shape. And also with a series of defeats and in an unsatisfactory psychological state. The Briton will fight with the support of her fans. McCann will have to achieve an early victory.
• Molly McCann to win via KO/Submission
Nathaniel Wood vs Andre Fili Prediction
Nathaniel Wood is a former Cage Warriors champion. The Englishman joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2018. The 29-year-old British fighter has 19 wins (nine knockouts, five decisions, five submissions) and five losses.
In the last fight in September 2022, he defeated Canadian Charles Jourdain (unanimous decision). And before that, he won over the American Charles Rosa (unanimous decision).
Andre Fili has been performing in the world's strongest mixed martial arts promotion since 2014. The 33-year-old American fighter has 22 wins (nine by knockout, ten by decision, three by submission) and nine losses. Fili won his last fight in September 2022 over American Billy Algio (split decision). However, before that, he lost to the Brazilian Joanderson Brito (technical knockout).
Bookmakers consider Wood a clear favorite for the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions. It can be seen that Fili is clearly tired of MMA already and, most likely, will soon end his professional career. The Briton will fight on his own territory. He should take the chance and please his fans with a beautiful early victory.
• Wood to win via KO/Submission
Paul Craig vs Andre Muniz Prediction
Paul Craig is ninth in the division rankings. He is the British Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion. The fighter has been performing in the UFC since 2016. Before that, he tried his hand at the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) and other British promotions. The 35-year-old Scot has 16 wins (three knockouts and 13 submissions) and six losses.
Craig lost his last two fights, losing to Brazilian Johnny Walker (TKO) and Volkan Oezdemir (unanimous decision) from Switzerland.
Andre Muniz is ranked 14th in the promotion's rankings. The Latin American fighter joined the UFC in 2019. In February 2023, he lost his last fight to the American Brendan Allen and interrupted a streak of nine victories.
Muniz holds a 3rd Dan Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. The 33-year-old fighter has 23 wins (four knockouts, four decisions, 15 submissions) and five losses.
Bookmakers consider Muniz a clear favorite for the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions. The previous two fights have shown that Craig is very bad at fighting high-class opponents. The Brazilian is quite capable of achieving a difficult victory over the Scot. Moreover, the fight is unlikely to go the whole distance.
• Muniz to win via KO/Submission
[ 12pmET Prelims | 3pmET Main Card | Live on ESPN+ ] pic.twitter.com/aXOa3ZjlVM
— UFC (@ufc) July 20, 2023
UFC Fight Night 224 Prelims Predictions: This Early Bout Is Worth Betting On
Makhmud Muradov vs Bryan Barberena Prediction
Makhmud is a 33-year-old fighter from Uzbekistan. He made his UFC debut in September 2019 against Alessio Di Chirico, whom he defeated via unanimous decision. In September of that year, Makhmud knocked out Trevor Smith in the 3rd round and received the award for the best performance of the evening.
Makhmud is a basic kickboxer. He has good footwork, active pressing, dangerous kicks, and knockout power.
Muradov's Achilles' heel is wrestling and especially BJJ. He can hold his own against grapplers thanks to his excellent takedown defense and the physical power to get back to his feet from the ground. But against experienced BJJ specialists, the athlete makes mistakes, because of which he loses via submissions.
Bryan is a 34-year-old American fighter. He joined the UFC in 2014. Barberena established himself in the promotion as a gatekeeper, who weeds out passing fighters. He easily defeats the mediocre opposition but loses to stronger opponents. In total, Barberena has had 17 fights in the UFC: 9 won, 8 lost.
Bryan is a distinct boxer. He tries to demolish the opponent from the first minutes of the battle. Barberena aggressively presses the opponent, depriving him of space, and throws out cannon punches. He invests in almost every hit, but at the same time does not show serious drawdowns in cardio. 11 of 18 victories Barberen got by knockouts. Brian has good takedown defense. He stops 60% of attempts to take him to the ground.
Bookmakers consider Muradov a huge favorite ahead of this bout but we have picked a different market for our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions. We think that this fight will not reach the scorecards. Both fighters are bad on the ground, so we expect a lot of exchanges on their feet and a KO for one of the fighters.
• The fight will not reach the distance
UFC Fight Night 224 Full Card Predictions: The Best of the Rest
After you saw our main UFC Fight Night 224 predictions, we picked one more fight from the main card that deserves your attention. Keep in mind, this is a secondary prediction and should not be considered as solid as the ones above. It is a higher risk.
Jai Herbert vs Fares Ziam Prediction
Jai Herbert is a former Cage Warriors champion. He has been performing in the UFC since 2020. The Black Country Banger has suffered four defeats in his professional career and three of them happened in the UFC. The 35-year-old Englishman has 12 wins (nine by knockout, two by decision, one by submission).
Herbert holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The last match in March 2023 with Ludovit Klein from Slovenia ended in a draw. Before that, the British defeated the Canadian Kyle Nelson (unanimous decision).
Fares Ziam, before joining mixed martial arts, was engaged in boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. However, he did not achieve any significant success. The 26-year-old Frenchman has 13 wins (five by knockout, four by decision, four by submission) and four losses. Smile Killer defeated Michal Figlak from Poland in the last fight in September 2022.
Bookmakers do not believe that Herbert will be able to achieve victory at home. In their opinion, Ziam is the favorite of the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 224 predictions. The Briton lacks the skill to compete on equal terms with UFC fighters. The Frenchman is more confident. He should be able to win here despite the home advantage of his opponent.
• Fares Ziam to Win