After a weekend without UFC the octagon will be in London tomorrow, as we get set for UFC fight night London. The main event will feature former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, and heavyweight contender Alexander Volkov. We move down one weight division for the co-main event, as two light heavyweights are set to face off in the octagon. London native Jimi Manuwa will be fighting Jan Blachowicz. These two matchups will be very competitive and both fights can go either way. Now for my picks for the main and co-main event.
WERDUM vs VOLKOV: Fabricio Werdum will be looking to capture another title shot this weekend when he steps into the octagon Saturday night. Fabricio has won three of his last five fights, and he has not been finished inside the octagon since he lost his championship belt via KO. Werdum is in the conversation for greatest heavyweight of all time, and win Saturday should propel him into the number one contender position. His task will not be easy in the octagon Saturday night, his opponent is the 6,7 Alexander Volkov. Volkov is on a 5 fight win streak and is looking to make that a 6 fight win streak after Saturday. With 19 knockouts on his record Volkov is on the verge of becoming a dark horse in the heavyweight division. This fight could easily go either way in my opinion. Both fighters have their strengths and weaknesses. Werdum’s biggest strength is his jiu jitsu, and if he gets Volkov down I feel Werdum can submit Volkov with ease. At 6,7 Volkov can use his length as the key to victory. Front kicks and jabs from Volkov will make it hard for Werdum to secure a takedown, and Volkov’s reach advantage could help him out point Werdum. If this were a 3 round fight I’d be picking Volkov to win via decision. This is a 5 round fight though, and I feel like the fight will be going to the ground at some point. Once it goes to the ground I have a strong feeling Volkov can’t last with Werdum’s ground game. My prediction for this fight is Werdum winning via submission in round 4.
MANUWA vs BLACHOWICZ For some reason Jimi Manuwa always looks great when he’s fighting in London. At UFC 204 he KO’d OSP, and in 2017 he was the main event for the London fight card against Corey Anderson and knocked him out with a brutal punch. The win against Anderson put Manuwa in the title picture, but a 42 second KO loss to Volkan Oezdemir derailed Manuwa’s title hopes. He’s looking to put his name back into title position with a win over Blachowicz. Blachowicz is no easy win, he is on a 2 fight win streak and has only been finished twice in his MMA career. Jimi Manuwa’s bread and butter is his boxing, he has heavy hands and can knockout almost any light heavyweight. The biggest problem with Manuwa is he has always shown inconsistency throughout his career. Every time he seems to get on a roll, someone always seems to stop him dead in his tracks. I feel Manuwa always performs when he’s under the bright lights in London. I think Manuwa steps into this fight with a vengeance after losing in 42 seconds. I think Manuwa is going to stop the durable Blachowicz in this one. My prediction is Manuwa wins via round 3 TKO.
-Stephen Caloggero (@steveo_calo)