UFC London 2022: Who Should Paddy The Baddy, Molly McCann And Tom Aspinall Fight Next?

UFC London’s three biggest British stars met a mixed fortune on Saturday night. Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann notched stoppage wins before Tom Aspinall suffered an unusual injury just 15 seconds into the main event.

“Paddy The Baddy” submitted Jordan Leavitt in the second round to make it 3-0 in the UFC, contributing to his first-round victories over Luigi Vendramini and Rodrigo Vargas – the latter falling to Liverpudlian London in March’s UFC edition, which also took place in the O2 Arena.

Earlier in the night, Pimblett’s friend and fellow Scouser McCann almost repeated her spin-back elbow knockout of March’s card, successfully landing the same punch to KO Hannah Goldy in round two.

Meanwhile, Aspinall was competing in his second UFC main event, having headlined the O2 in March when he submitted Alexander Volkov in the first round. The Wigan heavyweight clash with Curtis Blaydes on Saturday ended quickly and abruptly when Aspinall’s knee buckled after a leg kick.

Under, The Independent Sports team plays matchmaker for UFC London protagonists.

Paddy Pimblett against some unranked lightweight

Paddy Pimblett wowed the London crowd after winning with a rear naked choke

(Getty)

Our team has advocated pairing Pimblett (19-3) with every lesser-known lightweight unranked opponent; It’s a pretty surefire way to ensure the Liverpool man keeps winning, which is the most important thing for him and the UFC, who have a real star on their hands.

It’s also not essential that an opponent of Paddy The Baddy have name value, as Pimblett has proven he can carry the setup himself to a fight.

With that in mind, there are numerous valid options here. However, with Pimblett proving some doubters wrong by submitting Leavitt, the UFC could take one easy risked and put the 27-year-old in the octagon Alexander Hernandez. The unranked American (13-5) was touted as a bright prospect at 155 pounds a couple of years ago, but a loss to Donald Cerrone kickstarted a seven-fight run for Hernandez that reads loss, win, loss, win, loss , victory, loss.

Still, the 29-year-old is better known than Leavitt while also presenting a winnable challenge for Pimblett. One to think about…

Curtis Blaydes vs Ciryl Gane vs Tai Tuivasa Winner

Curtis Blaydes (right) reacts in shock to Tom Aspinall’s early injury

(Getty)

Blaydes has said he doesn’t want to risk his fourth-place finish by waiting for an immediate rematch with Aspinall, who poses a real threat to the American on paper. Supporters of the sport thought they would find out on Saturday if that was indeed the case and no one could have predicted the actual outcome of the fight.

Blaydes (17-3, 1 no contest) came close to a title shot twice, only to be knocked out by Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou – the two biggest hitters in UFC heavyweight division, the latter of which actually holds two KOs from Blaydes. Now that Blaydes was once again closer to a shot at the gold, he suffered a notable run of bad luck on Saturday night – albeit not as bad as Aspinall’s, of course – in being unable to show his skills and to prove his credibility as a title contender.

It was likely the 30-year-old would have to face off against the winner of the Ciryl Gane-Tai Tuivasa duel in September before earning a title shot and it still seems reasonable to pair Blaydes with the winner of that bout – regardless of the Way the American’s win over Aspinall.

Tom Aspinall vs Gane vs loser Tuivasa

Aspinall injured his knee just 15 seconds into the main event

(Getty)

Aspinall was obviously hampered by his injury and shouldn’t be hampered further. This means that even if the division moves on in the absence of the Briton, he should be able to look up the rankings after his return.

If sixth-placed Aspinall is fit in time to fight early next year, a fight against the loser of Gane v Tuivasa makes sense and would keep the Wigan fighter at the top of the division, a spot he’s certainly earned.

If he were to win such a contest, Aspinall (12-3) could still find himself in a title shot. Another option after a hypothetical win over Gane or Tuivasa would be a rematch with Blaydes. If the American has won the gold by then, the UFC could kill two birds with one stone and fight Blaydes against Aspinall for the belt.

Molly McCann vs Antonina Shevchenko

Molly McCann celebrates her second emphatic KO at UFC London in four months

(Action Images/Reuters)

After her impressive KO of Goldy, McCann called out the world flyweight champion’s sister, Valentina Shevchenko.

It was a wise decision. McCann (13-4) is unranked, as is Antonina Shevchenko (10-4), but the Liverpudlian has popularity and momentum on her side, so a win over the elder Shevchenko could quickly see McCann in a title shot.

Maybe that’s optimistic, and — with “Meatball Molly” still only 32 — it might even be unnecessary to try to get the Scouser up that fast. McCann vs. Valentina Shevchenko would end up with a lot of hype, however, thanks to the votes of the Brit’s supporters. So the UFC should at least consider the prospect of McCann versus Antonina Shevchenko. Even if it doesn’t get McCann to face the champion, it makes sense from a competitive standpoint.

It’s also worth noting that Pimblett and McCann’s next fights should take place at the same event if possible. The friends have grown into an intriguing duo that fans will likely appreciate even on a map outside of the UK.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/ufc/paddy-pimblett-next-fight-ufc-london-2022-b2130461.html UFC London 2022: Who Should Paddy The Baddy, Molly McCann And Tom Aspinall Fight Next?

Fry Electronics Team

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