Pimblett vs Leavitt Over 1.5 Rounds
Hermansson vs Curtis - Hermansson To Win
The summer program of the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues with another event – the UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Aspinall. While the main event draws the most attention, the full card includes some breakthrough names like Paddy Pimblett and a number of UFC legends. Here are our predictions for the UFC Fight Night Full Card.
UFC Fight Night Predictions: Prelims
Jai Herbert vs Kyle Nelson (Lightweight Bout)
We begin our MMA Predictions for the prelims with a fight between Jai Herbert and Kyle Nelson. Kyle Nelson comes out after almost 2 years of inactivity. It is not known what he was doing at this time and in what physical form he will enter the duel. There is a good chance that while Kyle is getting used to the octagon and shaking off the rust, Jay Herbert will crush him with pressure and knock him out after a successful combination.
But we must not forget about the puncher's chance. Jai was already knocked out. In 2016, he was knocked out in the 1st round by Rhys McKee, who was fired from the UFC in 2021. If Nelson still has the same power in his fists, then he can knock out an opponent in the starting five-minute period.
Makwan Amirkhani vs Jonathan Pearce (Featherweight Bout)
This will be an interesting clash of styles. In boxing, Jonathan will interrupt the opponent with speed. Amirkhani is not fast enough and technical enough to compete with Pearce in striking technique. And the Finn falls from the jab. One successful combination of Pearce can send Makwan, if not a blind knockout, then a knockdown.
If the fight goes to the ground as a result of a takedown or knockdown, then both fighters will have a chance to finish the opponent. Makwan can wind up a submission from any position. But when he gets tired in the 2nd round, he will start to make mistakes and give up good positions, which will give Pearce a good opportunity to either break him in the ground and pound or go behind the back and choke him.
Marc Diakiese vs Damir Hadzovic (Lightweight Bout)
Marc Diakiese will stick to the standard game plan: he will shoot the opponent at medium and long distances, and when he gets tired, he will enter the clinch to take a breath and continue to score points through control.
Hadzovic's only chance to win is to knock out his opponent. But the Englishman is not an easy opponent. He was knocked down only once – in a duel against Nasrat Haqparast. Given that the Bosnian is not impressive with his striking technique, I don’t think that he will get his opponent with a tight punch.
UFC Fight Night Predictions: Main Card
Before we get to the main event of the UFC Fight Night: Curtis Blaydes vs Tom Aspinall, the main card includes multiple incredible fights between fighters that are aiming for the championship belts in their divisions.
Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
An interesting clash of styles. If Paul Craig succeeds in dragging Oezdemir to the ground, he will quickly take an advantageous position and enter the submission hold. Volkan can take advantage of the Scot's main weaknesses – a weak jaw and poor defense on his feet. If Paul goes aggressive from the start, Ozdemir will also have a chance to catch him with a tight punch and knock him out.
Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
We believe that Nikita Krylov is the favorite in this case. He is more versatile and in good shape, despite the lousy performances in the last 4 years. Alexander is a decommissioned veteran who has no motivation left after 3 unsuccessful attempts to win the title. And if earlier Alexander had an excellent defense against takedowns, then at UFC London Nikita Krylov will have good chances to make a takedown.
Nikita has a devastating ground and pound. If he is in a position on top, he will not let go of the Swede and will strike him blow after blow. Will Alexander resist? I think no. Most likely, he will close in passive defense and wait for the referee to stop the fight.
On the other hand, Krylov is an unpredictable and stupid fighter. He can make a few mistakes on his feet and fly away from the Swede's signature back fist or I won't be surprised if Nikita launches Gustafsson behind his back and gives himself up for a choke.
Paddy Pimblett vs Jordan Leavitt (Lightweight Bout)
I don't think this fight will be a cakewalk for Paddy. Levitt is a neat and thoughtful fighter. He will avoid the cuts that the Englishman will try to impose, and will try to take the fight to the ground at the first opportunity. Paddy, when he realizes that he will not be able to finish his opponent quickly, will slow down his aggression. He will break into close range and alternate between standing and clinching. This will allow him to save cardio and score points.
If the fighters start to fight, then I don't think we will see the finish line in the early rounds. Both athletes work well on the ground and they are too experienced grapplers to make a mistake and fall for a painful submission.
Jack Hermansson vs Chris Curtis (Middleweight Bout)
We complete our UFC predictions with the co-main event of the evening. Chris Curtis will face the toughest fighter of his career. If Hermansson decides not to box against a dangerous striker, as he did against Strickland but instead tries to play the wrestling card, he will have a good chance of winning.
In the duel against Vieira, Curtis was afraid to miss a takedown and was pinned down. I expect that in this fight he will also be worried and will try not to miss the beginning of the transfer. But Hermansson, unlike Rodolfo, is a versatile fighter. He performs effective takedowns, so I expect the Swede to make the first successful transfer already in the 1st round, repeat the success in the 2nd, and finally consolidate it in the 3rd, when Curtis, who came out on short notice, finally gets tired.
In this case, Jack will not take risks and will not try to perform a submission. He needs to close the loss to Strickland by any means necessary and will prefer a pragmatic victory on points.