A heavyweight bout headlines as former No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes puts the quickly rising No. 6 Tom Aspinall to the test.
Aspinall is a slight favorite in UFC betting.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall Details
HW – #4 Curtis Blaydes (16-3-0, 1 NC) vs. HW – #6 Tom Aspinall (12-2-0)
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022 | Time: 11:00 a.m. ET
Venue: The O2 Arena – London, England | TV: UFC Fight Pass
Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall Odds
Odds to Win: Blaydes +115 | Aspinall -140
How Will Fight End: KO/TKO/DQ -175 | Submission +400 | Decision +200
Will the fight go the distance? Yes +200 | No -275
Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall Analysis
Curtis Blaydes is probably the best wrestler in the UFC and arguably the best heavyweight outside of Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane.
Blaydes lost his UFC debut against Ngannou (now the UFC Heavyweight Champion) in 2016 and has been 12-2-1 since. The one no contest on his record was originally a TKO win but was overturned due to a positive test for marijuana.
Blaydes has only lost three times, finished twice by Ngannou, and knocked out by the hardest hitter in UFC history, Derrick Lewis. He has UFC wins over Cody East, Daniel Omielanczuk, Alexey Oleynik, Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, Justin Willis, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Junior dos Santos, Alexander Volkov, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Chris Daukaus.
Meanwhile, Tom Aspinall has ascended to the top of the UFC heavyweight rankings in only two years. Undefeated in the UFC, he has wins over Jake Collier, Alan Baudot, Sergey Spivak, Andrei Arlovski, and Volkov. Aspinall has finished every UFC opponent, three by submission and two by TKO. Of his two losses, one was by disqualification and one by submission.
Aspinall will enter the cage with a 1-inch height advantage, but Blaydes will have a 2-inch reach advantage. Most of each fighter’s UFC wins have come by knockout, Blaydes at 69% and Aspinall at 75%. Blaydes has never finished an opponent by submission, and Aspinall has picked up two submission wins in his five UFC fights.
Blaydes will easily have the experience advantage with six more fights in his career and averaging seven minutes and 17 seconds more fight time.
Takedowns will be extremely important in this bout. Blaydes’s best weapon is his wrestling, averaging 6.06 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Aspinall averages 4.07. However, on the mat, Aspinall will have a clear advantage, and it is unclear how Blaydes’s takedown defense will hold up. Aspinall has a 100% takedown defense, while Blaydes only stuff takedowns 33% of the time.
If the fight ends on the ground, Aspinall averages 2.04 submissions per 15 minutes to Blaydes’s zero.
Regarding striking, Aspinall is speedy for a heavyweight and has an unbelievable volume. At 7.33 significant strikes per minute, Aspinall averages 3.81 more than Blaydes. However, the Englishman does absorb 0.97 more significant strikes per minute than the American.
This fight will tell us a lot about where Aspinall is in his career. The second round is the furthest Aspinall has ever gone in a UFC fight, so Blaydes will want to drag this fight into deep water.
Other than that, it looks like this is Aspinall’s fight to lose. There’s an outside chance of submission from Aspinall, but the safer bet would be a straight-up win.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall Prediction
Predictions: Aspinall (-140), Aspinall by Submission (+500)