The UFC Fight Night 208 mixed martial arts tournament was held in London, within which it became clear that it was time for Alexander Gustafsson to end his career, Paddy Pimblett is not just considered a rising star, and Tom Aspinall will not fight for the heavyweight belt. MK-Sport talks about the main points of the past show.

UFC London Highlights
CURTIS BLAYDES AND HERB DEAN, PHOTO: UFC

Crazy atmosphere

This is not the first time the O2 Arena has hosted a UFC tournament. In March , Alexander Volkov fought here , who was mercilessly beaten by Tom Aspinall already in the first round. The Briton knocked the Russian on the floor and quickly made a submission.

It’s only been four months and the UFC is back in London. Why not? It is likely that the American promotion could fight here every month and always be in the black.

The arena was full. And not by anyone, but by real sports fans who support their fighters so fiercely that it becomes envious. During the athletes’ exit, the fans sing songs, just like they do at football matches. Loud, melodic, and so clear that all the words are clear and you want to sing along.

England has a very cool sick culture. Here you can safely come with the whole family and not worry about the fact that some kind of fan collapse will happen. Everything is peaceful and sincere. Here is some fan brandishing a bottle of strong drink – and not touching anyone. Here are UFC fighters Michael Chandler and Joanna Jedrzejczyk , who are in the hall, clink glasses with paper cups, drink, and then smiles on their faces are replaced by terrible grimaces: all the bitterness of what they drank is visible. And it was clearly not tea. Not a single fight. British fans only booed athletes who fought with their pets. So it is necessary.

Mokaev’s second victory

The most interesting confrontation of the undercard was the fight between a native of Dagestan , Muhammad Mokaev , playing for England, and American Charles Johnson , a debutant in the strongest league in the world.

Experts highly appreciated Mokaev’s chances of an early victory, but the UFC newcomer was not as weak as he seemed. The fight lasted all three rounds, as a result of which Muhammad won by unanimous decision. He now has two wins in the league, which means that in the updated rankings (on Tuesday), he can climb into the top 15 of the flyweight division.

And given that this weight category cannot boast of a large number of tough fighters, then Mokaev will very quickly get to the top 5. A couple more victories – and he will be given a chance to fight for the title. Recall that the dream of Muhammad is to become the youngest UFC champion in history. Jon Jones was 23 years old when the title flaunted around his waist. Mokaev is still 21.

Do not write off Krylov

Perhaps the coolest moment in the maincard was Nikita Krylov ‘s uppercut , which cut down once one of the best light heavyweights in the world.

Swedish Alexander Gustafsson tried to finish the sport in 2019, but returned to make his debut in the heavyweight division. The plan failed – the Brazilian Fabricio Werdum dealt with it already in the first round, winning by submission.

Ending a career with three defeats in a row is sad, so “Goose” (nickname of Gustafsson) made another attempt in the octagon. Krylov became the opponent. He probably finally ended his career as a Swede.

The fight was stopped already at the 67th second – a direct knockout performed by Nikita. It seems that it is too early to write off Shakhtar. He is in excellent shape. It would be interesting to see his confrontation with the Swiss Volkan Ozdemir , who at the same tournament defeated the Scot Paul Craig on points.

 

By Peter

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