For Werdum, this contest gives him a chance to leapfrog Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou in the rankings. Overeem and Ngannou both lost their most recent bouts. For Volkov, this fight represents an opportunity to rocket toward the top of the division. There are six UFC newcomers on the card. Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.
Going down from London, the event aired Saturday afternoon in the U. But what it lacked in wattage it attempted to recoup in sheer action. In the main event, two fan favorites in Liverpudlian knockout artist Darren Till and legendary Miami-based badass Jorge Masvidal squared off. The winner might not be ready for a welterweight title shot, but it would surely be a large line item on an application for that job.
In the co-main event, fast-rising British sensation Leon Edwards tried to make it seven straight against grappling sensation Gunnar Nelson. Those were only two fights on the bout slate. What else stood out? As always, the final stat lines do not reveal all. For the literal-minded among us, full card results appear at the end.
We'll get to more of that in a minute. But in the main event, Brits found disappointment. One of the biggest cult favorites in the UFC, Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal, flattened Darren Till in the second round, taking the full voice of the crowd with it.
Till was getting the better of Masvidal early, landing cleaner shots and using his size and strength to overpower the Miami native and absorb even his nastier shots.
More than once, Till's power snapped Masvidal's head backward, prompting Masvidal to smile in approval. It all changed in an instant in the second frame. Masvidal switched stances and darted inside with a right jab, apparently looking to confuse Till.
It worked, as Till shaded backward and exposed himself to an overhand left—a strike Masvidal said afterward was not part of his regular arsenal. No way he was practicing for that.
I train these things a thousand times a day. After prolonged criticism over his tendency toward inactivity, Masvidal needed a high-octane win like this one. Although it wasn't the outcome London wanted, afterward Masvidal showed the heartfeltness, if that's a word, that has helped endear him to fans.
I was a little bit out in that first round. Damn, he's f--king good, man. He's only 24, England. He's got so much more to go. I'm He's gonna be a tiger one day.
Right now, he's a young bull. He's gonna be a tiger, so pick him up. Fair play to all involved. Masvidal did predict he would fight for a title shot this year. With this being his first win after two straight losses, that may be a long shot.
Then again, Till was No. For now, how about someone who ranked one spot above Masvidal before this bout at No.
More on him right now. He battered Gunnar Nelson and weathered takedown attempts and grappling exchanges to take a split-decision win that didn't deserve to be split.
The definitive move of the fight was a hellacious Edwards elbow off the clinch break late in the second round. It sent the tough-chinned Nelson directly to the floor and raised a serious hematoma at the corner of his eye.
Edwards controlled most of the bout from there. Would I watch him fight Masvidal? Darn right. I'm really pleased with my progress," the year-old Edwards said in a statement the UFC emailed to reporters after the fight.
I want to take on the winner of the next fight Till vs. Masvidal and make a statement. He may have to take a number on that, but there are plenty of interesting matchups to place while he waits. No matter who he faces next, Edwards has definitively earned the respect he believes he's yet to receive from UFC matchmakers and fans.
This is a good fighter who is some kind of fun to watch. Bring him out of the shadows. The Prospect took advantage.
The year-old ran his pro record to , choking out Quinonez in the second round for his 14th stoppage win. That's a pretty good stoppage rate, if you care about such things, which you do, and it also ran him to under the UFC banner.
This London card meant everything to me and I delivered, honestly, I love the fans here.
If not, how about a bout next with Ricky Simon? No reason we can't have a little fun here. But he's listed as a loser here for his repeated rules violation—including one that forced the referee to deduct a point—and just being a part of the absolute worst fight on this card.
Negumereanu wrested the advantage during multiple grappling sequences along the fence, only for Safarov to sap that momentum by grabbing the chain link at critical moments.
The ref didn't step in until the outcome of the fight was probably not in question. I mean, it's up to the referees to handle warnings and point deductions as they believe their training dictates, and every referee and fighter and situation is different.
Personally, and bear with me here, if the goal is to protect the fighters at all times, why is it the perpetrators who always seem to receive that protection?
I don't know.
Safarov won on the judges' scorecards, but I watched him grab the fence a bunch of times in a way that may have swung the fight in his favor. So in this space, he takes the L. Darren Till by KO, , Rd. Gunnar Nelson by split decision , , Dominick Reyes def.