UFC London

A markedly different atmosphere met fights fans at The O2 as the UFC once again graced London. Last time was a title fight. Fans flocked around retired fighters and merchandise was on display everywhere. This time hen dos and office parties dominated the O2. Nevertheless, on the octagonal canvass some beautiful fighting was on display. 

Heralded as a new force to reckon with – even by the likes of Conor McGregor – Irish straw-weight Shauna Bannon talked the talk but didn’t live up to expectations, losing to Brazilian Bruna Brasil by unanimous decision. 

Shortly after that, our own Swedish Pannie Kianzad fought Ketlen Viera and lost by unanimous decision as well. The Swedish bantamweight now has a record of 17-7. 

Moradov has had a slump since moving back to his native Uzbekistan and being received as a national hero. His early days training in Prague were dominant, and his performance against Bryan Barbarena last evening has brought him back to the winning ways we remember him for. Never a wrestler, gassing out early, this time he stayed the course and showed some first class wrestling. No surprise that the UD went in his favour. 

A UK fighter fighting on home ground last night but who trains in Sweden is Jason Diakiese. This time he fought Spanish Joel Alvarez. The All Star Fighter Diakiese ended up in an arm-and-head lock and losing by submission. There aren’t a many Spanish Fighter, but this card had two. They go home with a record of 1-1 after last night fights and hopefully a prospect to grow the sport in he Hispanic peninsula. 


Undefeated Manchurian Lerone Murphy opened the main card against Australian Joshua Culibao. A slow fight which took off after a kick grazed Culibao on what seemed to be the solar plexus, dropping him to the ground. Murphy capitalised and controlled him without getting a submission. At that point it was clear who would win and the UD went to Manchester. 

Next up was another UK local – Jai Herbert – who faced Frenchman Fares Ziam. A huge upset was felt amongst the crowd as Herbert lost the decision. Ziam looks forward to fighting in his home country in Paris later but to impress Dana he will surely have to do more. 

A homegrown talent who didn’t disappoint was Scotsman Paul Craig who after a few losses is back with a W with a decisive TKO win against Andre Muniz. Craig struggles with the grappling and has often been seen on the receiving end of a submission. This time he took his opponent to the ground and finished with a solid ground and pound.

The upset of the evening came when Molly McCann – a huge favourite both with the fans and the bookmakers – was submitted by Julia Stoliarenko already in the first round. 1 minutes 55 seconds is all it took, and the hype may have been overplayed when it comes to the Scouser. I believe she will come back with a strong statement again soon, but her dreams of a title seem to be slipping away rapidly with each submission loss.

The final fight saw a phenomenal performance from Tom Aspinall who fought Marcin Tybura. Tybura is a veteran who has fought in the Russian promotion M-1, amongst other places, and is no easy fight. Aspinall made it look easy, however, and has called out Jon Jones. Jones is facing Stipe next, but with a win it would certainly be a match-up to get excited about.

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