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5 fights We All Want To See At UFC London

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With it finally announced that the UFC Octagon is returning to the O2 London for the first time in 3 years, here are 5 unconfirmed possible bouts we all want to see added to the already stacked card. UFC President, Dana White, recently told BT Sport’s Adam Caterall that ‘big things’ are coming to London, with fans expecting a stellar main card.

5. Jai Herbert vs Thiago Moises

The Black Country Banger has recently teased on his social media accounts that he has signed a bout agreement for the March 19th card making us the matchmakers. The Brummy born banger has had a tough ride in the UFC since his arrival in 2020, facing some veterans along the way, losing his first 2 bouts. Despite his turbulent start, Herbert got back into the winning column in October after KO’ing Khama Worthy in the first round. Herbert is a fighter who loves to get into a scrap with fans being the beneficiaries of his exciting fight style. There are a couple of stylistic matchups that suit Herbert, the likes of Fares Ziam and Nasrat Haqparast, but with those 2 names already booked up, the fight i’d like to see is Herbert vs Moises. This matchup may be a slight stretch considering the recent names Moises has been locked in the cage with, but he’s coming off the back of 2 losses and needs to get back into the win column himself.

4. Danny Roberts vs Daniel Rodriguez

Roberts fought in London the last time the promotion came to town, but unfortunately for the brit, his bout with surrounded by controversy. Roberts fought Brazilian, Claudio Silva and lost the bout due to verbal submission. Roberts was adamant he didn’t submit but it was too late as the bout was already called to a halt. Since then, the Blackzilians fighter has gone on to have a number of bouts cancelled and re-arranged due to COVID-19, but it hasn’t affected him. He has won his last 2 bouts against respectable Welterweight counterparts, Emeev and Imadaev. Daniel Rodriguez is a man who has been on a tare since competing on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019, winning 6 of his 7 bouts, holding an impressive win over former UFC Lightweight, Kevin Lee. Neither of these fighters are scared to get into a scrap with fireworks to be expected if this fight is announced.

(Credit: MMAfighting.com)

3. Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir

Paul Craig was scheduled to fight Alexander Gustafsson back in September but due to injury, Gustafsson pulled out of the fight. BearJew finds himself unbeaten in his last 5 outings, winning performance of the night in 3 of them. The Scotsman confirmed that he thinks the March 19th card will be when he’s next in action giving fans the opportunity to play matchmaker again. The submission specialist also admitted that he plans to retire once he turns 35, giving MMA fans 1 more year to enjoy his unique style. With that being said, Craig currently sits at rank 11 in the Light Heavyweight division making his next fight intriguing. Volkan Oezdemir is a man who has previously fought in London, at a time when he was trying to get back into title contention. Since then, he has fell down the Light Heavyweight ladder but only due to the calibre of opponent he has been fed to, with his last 2 opponents being Jiri Prochazka and Magomed Ankalaev.

2. Darren Till vs Uriah Hall

This is a fight that has been rumoured for months, yet there seems to have been no progress. Darren Till currently stands as the UK’s most marketable UFC fighter, and with it being the first event in the UK for 3 years, you’d assume the promotion are going to try their best to have their most marketable fighter headline. As exciting and intriguing as this fight is, this isn’t many fans preferred headliner as Till is currently on a 2 fight skid. Having said that, Dana has teased at ‘big things’ so the UK MMA world is expecting those promises to be granted and for this fight to possibly be announced with a stellar co-main event too. For Till, this is a matchup that with a win, it will reignite the confidence that he can get himself back into title contention. Not only that, it’s a fight the fans don’t know they want until it’s midway through round 1 and they’re grateful they’re witnessing it. It has the possibility of being an exciting chess match, similar to that of Till vs Whittaker, but this time, Till will enter the possible bout as the favourite to get his hand raised.

(Credit: punditarena.com): Darren Till’s last win over Kelvin Gastelum back in 2019

1. Arnold Allen vs Dan Hooker

This is another bout that has been recently rumoured for the UFC’s return to London and boy, don’t we deserve it. The potential of this fight alone emanates excitement. Dan Hooker made the MMA world clear of his intentions to return to his previous weight class of Featherweight by doing a test cut down after his loss to Islam Makhachev. On the other side of the coin you have Arnold Allen. A growing name at the top of the UK MMA scene. ‘Almighty’ is currently riding an 8 fight win streak, deserving of a step up in opponent and a headline spot. Allen has recently been training with former ONE Championship Muay Thai Flyweight champion, Jonathon Haggerty, leaving fans no doubt that his striking has gone up another level. The possibility of war in this fight makes it a no brainer, but the question is, will it be a 5 round war or will it co-main to a Till vs Hall main event.

(Credit: UFC.com): Arnold Allen picks up dominant win over Sodiq Yusuff

With Dana White promising UK MMA fans ‘Big things’, can we expect a number of these mentioned fights to be added to the already stacked March 19th comeback card, or are our hopes to high?

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Fight To Watch | Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson

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Fights are being booked fast and furiously for July 23rd as the UFC’s anticipated return to London approaches. With fireworks expected throughout the whole event, MMAPlay365 and VMTV have scoured through the card and selected Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson as our ‘Fight To Watch’ on the night.

Muhammad Mokaev returns to the octagon following a successful debut back at UFC London in March against Cody Durden. ‘The Punisher’ made light work of his American counter-part, submitting him in the first round via guillotine choke with very little problems. His upcoming opponent, Charles Johnson, signs with the UFC after an impressive four-fight winning streak on LFA, which saw him capture and defend flyweight gold.

His ability to mix it up on the feet and in grappling scenarios make this a much more dangerous bout for Mokaev stylistically, but it’s still nothing the 21 year old won’t be able to handle in the eyes of MMAPlay365 Founder, Adam Newsome:

“At this stage of Muhammad Mokaev’s UFC career every fight is going to be a test. And just because you haven’t heard of Charles Johnson doesn’t mean he isn’t a good fighter. Johnson was the Flyweight Champion in LFA. If you aren’t familiar with LFA it’s basically the American equivalent of Cage Warriors. You are battle tested in LFA and if you become a Champion the chances are the UFC are going to sign you.

So this is a very interesting match-up but still right now I don’t think that Mokaev gets tested enough to the point he loses. This is going to be another fight I see him doing extremely well in and I don’t see Mokaev losing a fight until he hits the top 20 of the division. But even when that time comes, he is going to have improved and developed so much that he could run through that pool of fighters at that time. If a fighter is going to beat Mokaev outside the best fighters in the division then now is the time to do it whilst he’s still developing. But even though he’s still developing he’s still a problem. I’m not sure Mokaev finds another finish here so I am predicting a dominant three round decision victory for Muhammad Mokaev.”

Cauley Quilty, Editor for VMTV, had this to say on the fight: “Muhammad Mokaev is always a treat to watch in action and his UFC debut back in March was nothing short of spectacular! He came to fight and did exactly that getting the first round finish and I see him doing the same thing when he steps back out there against Charles Johnson. His extensive amateur career and impressive run of professional performances make it almost impossible to not side with Mokaev in this bout, especially with the way he defeated Durden on his debut.

However, Charles Johnson isn’t an opponent anyone should underestimate as his resume and recent performances speak for themselves! His fight vs Carlos ‘Mota’ Tizil was a barnburner and with 8 of his 11 wins coming by way of finish you know he can get the job done when needed. Both fighters are highly touted and respected so expect the winner of this to receive a bump up in competition on their next outing.”

Who do you think leaves the ‘Fight To Watch’ with their hand raised? Be sure to let us know your predictions below!

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Sumo | Summer Tournament wide open after 10 days

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The Sumo Summer Tournament has a surprise joint-leader after 10 days, but many Rikishi are in with a shout of glory with only 5 days to go.

So far, only two have managed to achieve a guaranteed winning record, with M15 ranked Ichiyamamoto and M4 Takanosho posting 8-2 records 10 days in to the basho. It remains to be seen if he can keep up his championship challenge, but Ichiyamamoto is bringing back memories of the January 2020 basho when the M17 ranked Tokushoryu took home the title in a huge surprise. Whatever happens, Ichiyamamoto should see himself catapulted up the rankings for the next tournament if he can keep up this form. It is a welcome return to form for Takanosho who has previously been a Sekiwake.

Sumo: Summer Tournament – M15 ranked Ichiyamamoto finds himself in the joint-lead after 10 days of action.

Despite his patchy form, Terunofuji has scrapped himself to a 7-3 record, which puts him 1 behind the leaders in a large chasing pack. On day 10 he managed to get by a spirited Hoshoryu who is improving all the time. The Mongolian giant will be hopeful of taking home his first championship of the year. Others in the pack on 7-3 are Kiribayama, Ura, Sadanoumi and Aoiyama. With NINE more wrestlers on 6-4, only two behind the leaders and with an outside shot, there will be an amazing 16 Rikishi who may be dreaming of lifting the Emperor’s Cup come Sunday 22nd May. The chances of there being a playoff for the win for the second tournament running are looking pretty high.

Down at the other end of the table, it has been another tournament to forget for March’s playoff runner-up, Takayasu, who has posted a losing record of 2-8 so far. After doing so well to get himself back to M1 rank, he will find himself going down the rankings ahead of the July tournament. Ozeki Shodai has continued his poor form and one more defeat will once again see him staring down the possibility of losing his rank come July. March winner Wakatakakage, alongside fellow Sanyaku ranked competitors Abi, Takakeisho and Mitakeumi, are all fighting for winning records having gone 5-5 so far.

Keep an eye out for the next update after Saturday’s day 14 when I will be recapping the standings and looking ahead to what promises to be a very exciting final-day’s action.

Remember to check out the VMTV Sumo introduction and guide here if you need a refresher of the rules and some of the words used in these articles.

You can find the full rankings and results of the tournament so far at the Japan Sumo Association’s page here.

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UFC London | Aspinall vs Blaydes Staff Predictions

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The UFC will take centre stage once again in London as they return to UK shores for a second time this year on July 23rd. Following the immense success of the previous show in March, the O2 Arena will again play host to another stacked night of fights.

Headlining the card is surging heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall who will be looking to cement his name amongst the top ranked in the division with a win over #4 ranked Curtis Blaydes. It’s do or die for Darren Till when he faces Jack Hermansson in the co-main event as he aims to get his first win since 2019.

Leading up to the event, VMTV have teamed up with MMAPlay365 and our writing staff will be giving their predictions for each fight on the card as there announced. You can view details on the partnership between VMTV and MMAPlay365 here.

Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes

  • Cauley – Curtis Blaydes via KO/TKO, R4
  • Matt – Tom Aspinall via decision
  • Jamie -Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
  • Jake – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
  • Darragh – Curtis Blaydes via KO/TKO, R3
  • Harry – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
  • Colin – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R2

Darren Till vs Jack Hermansson

  • Cauley – Jack Hermansson via decision
  • Matt – Darren Till via KO/TKO, R2
  • Jamie – Darren Till via decision
  • Jake – Darren Till via decision
  • Darragh – Jack Hermansson via submission, R3
  • Harry – Jack Hermansson via decision
  • Colin – Darren Till via decision

Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson

  • Cauley – Nikita Krylov via decision
  • Matt – Nikita Krylov via KO/TKO, R1
  • Jamie – Alexander Gustafsson via decision
  • Jake – Nikita Krylov via submission, R1
  • Darragh – Nikita Krylov via decision
  • Harry – Alexander Gustafsson via decision
  • Colin – Nikita Krylov via decision

Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir

  • Cauley – Paul Craig via submission, R1
  • Matt – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Jamie – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Jake – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Darragh – Paul Craig via submission, R1
  • Harry – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Colin – Paul Craig via submission, R2

Muhammed Mokaev vs Charles Johnson

  • Cauley – Muhammed Mokaev via KO/TKO, R2
  • Matt – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R1
  • Jamie – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R2
  • Jake – Muhammed Mokaev via decision
  • Darragh – Muhammed Mokaev via KO/TKO, R1
  • Harry – Muhammed Mokaev via decision
  • Colin – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R1

Molly McCann vs Hannah Goldy

  • Cauley – Molly McCann via KO/TKO, R3
  • Matt – Molly McCann via decision
  • Jamie – Molly McCann via KO/TKO, R2
  • Jake – Molly McCann via decision
  • Darragh – Molly McCann via decision
  • Harry – Molly McCann via decision
  • Colin – Molly McCann via decision

Mandy Bohm vs Victoria Leonardo

  • Cauley – Victoria Leonardo via KO/TKO, R2
  • Matt – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Jamie – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Jake – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Darragh – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Harry – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Colin – Mandy Bohm via decision
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