UFC London gambling preview: Best bets, parlays, and long shot of the week

UFC Fight Night: Morono v Zawada

UFC London takes place this Saturday at the O2 Arena and is headlined by a pivotal heavyweight matchup between one-time Bellator champion Alexander Volkov and rising prospect Tom Aspinall. This is the UFC’s third trip to London and it features a lot of British talent looking to impress in their homeland.

Let’s look at the top bets on this card. All odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.


Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Straight Bets

Tom Aspinall to beat Alexander Volkov, -130

Volkov is a big step up in competition for Aspinall but in the end, I expect this fight to look a lot like Volkov’s bout with Ciryl Gane. Aspinall, like Gane, is an athletic, heavyweight and moves very well. I anticipate him to be a strong contender in speed. Volkov is huge and durable and has some craft to his game, but he’s almost certainly going to lose the first two rounds and then have to battle back. Aspinall’s only concern is his inability to fight past round 2. This one is likely to make it through the fourth and fifth rounds. However, that is a minor concern. Aspinall is going to take a smart approach and outwork Volkov for the biggest win of his career.

Molly McCann to beat Luana Carolina, -140

McCann is coming off fighting a similar type and style to Carolina in her most recent bout against Ji Yeon Kim and I like her chances to replicate that success here. Although Carolina is better than Kim in striking, she is also more flat-footed. She can be easily outworked. For all McCann’s flaws, work rate is not one of them. McCann might have to take a few shots, but it’s not the end of her work ethic. I want McCann to win this fight and out-scrape Carolina. Normaly, I would suggest that McCann bet by decision but the hometown crowd makes me nervous. We may not see McCann at her best so let’s just go for it.

Jack Shore to beat Timur Valiev, -105

This is a traditional Striker-vs.-Grappler matchup. I usually favor the grappler in these types of matches, especially when they are the stronger wrestlers. Such is the case here as Shore has proven to be an excellent MMA wrestler, timing his takedowns very well and scoring them at a 41% rate inside the UFC. Valiev can be dangerous on his feet, as he throws poorly but Shore is strong and should be capable of securing the takedowns that he requires.


Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Prop Bets

Arnold Allen to beat Dan Hooker by Decision, +180

Allen gets his toughest test to date as he faces Hooker in The Hangman’s return to the featherweight division. Hooker is going to have a decided size advantage in this fight, but Allen should possess the edge in speed and though Hooker will be physically larger, Allen may still be the stronger man in clinch positions. This is the crucial part of the fight as Allen must win by clinching and taking down the faster striker. That style should fare even better against a Hooker who had to severely diminish himself to make 145. Ultimately, I think this is a 50/50 fight, but Allen isn’t a big finisher so you’re getting some good value on a Decision prop.

Gunnar Nelson to beat Takashi Saito by Submission, -120

It’s been more than two years since Nelson fought, and three years since his last win in the UFC. But “Gunni”, should resolve both those issues this weekend. Nelson, a world-class grappler in the welterweight category, has had great success on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it seems that the UFC is giving him some love for Saito’s return. Saito is a solid fighter but his grappling isn’t to Nelson’s level and Saito’s last three losses have all come by way of submission. I expect this to make it number four.

Paul Craig to beat Nikita Krylov by Submission, +450

The straight odds for this fight have Krylov as a comfortable favorite at -195 and while I think those odds are slightly off, the prop odds for Craig are even more enticing. Krylov is the better athlete and probably the better striker, but he has really fallen in love with his wrestling which plays right into Craig’s hands. Moreover, on the ground, Krylov frequently makes mistakes on the ground, which is what allowed Jan Blachowicz to sweep him from his back and ultimately submit Krylov. Craig is a more aggressive guard dog and can score his own takedowns. Craig seems to be a real live dog and I find the added juice of the prop wager very attractive.


Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Parlay of the Week

Aspinall/Volkov Over 1. 5 Rounds, -330

Volkov is exceedingly durable and I simply don’t envision an early stoppage win in the cards for Aspinall. On the other end of it, Aspinall’s speed advantage means Volkov is swimming upstream, especially early. Barring one perfect shot, this fight is going to make it past the 7 minutes and 30 second mark.

Ilia Topuria to beat Jai Herbert, -590

Topuria is the biggest betting favorite on the card for a reason. One of the brightest prospects in the sport, Topuria is excellent in all facets of MMA and while he probably could win a striking bout against Herbert, he’s more likely to use his grappling skills to outwork the English fighter.

Sergei Pavlovich to beat Shamil Abdurakhimov, -290

A few years ago, Abdurakhimov would have had a good chance of winning this fight with savvy but Abdurakhimov is 40 years old and his chin appears to be fading. Pavlovich can have success with his clinch work and at range, his right hand is good enough to find the kill shot. Add in that Pavlovich is only 29 and still developing and this fight strongly favors him.

Parlay these three bets together for +105 odds.


Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Long Shot of the Week

Molly McCann to defeat Luana Carolina by KO/TKO in Round 3, +3500

This is a long shot, but it’s not a big one. If you want to be a bear be a grizzly. The reason I’m going with this one is in McCann’s pre-fight interviews she has made it clear that she’s looking to get her first stoppage in the UFC, and with the London crowd cheering her on, she can manage it in the final round after putting on a grueling pace for the first two.

Wrap Up

Man, last weekend was a heartbreaker. Terrance McKinney and Alex Pereira were very close to having it all done, but the MMA gods had different plans. It was time to get back on track and chase this London card.

Good luck y’all, and gamble responsibly!

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