UFC London is the showcase and coming of age for the Golden Generation of Brit MMA fighters poised to take over

AFTER what looks as if an eternity, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is again on British soil tonight.

It’s been three years since blended martial arts’ premier promotion final touched down on these shores – and loads has occurred since their final go to to London.

The UFC makes its grand return to London on Saturday night with a stacked card at the O2 Arena
The UFC makes its grand return to London on Saturday evening with a stacked card at the O2 ArenaCredit: UFC
Brit Tom Aspinall will bid to catapult himself into title contention with a win over Alexander Volkov
Brit Tom Aspinall will bid to catapult himself into title rivalry with a win over Alexander VolkovCredit: GETTY
And Arnold Allen will look to do the same in the featherweight division against Dan Hooker
And Arnold Allen will look to do the similar in the featherweight division towards Dan HookerCredit: GETTY
Fan favourite Molly McCann will also be in action at The O2.
Fan favorite Molly McCann can even be in motion at The O2.Credit: Getty

But in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, a brand new crop of British prospects have emerged and are poised to make critical assaults on their respective divisions.

And the bulk of the nation’s “Golden Generation” can be on show at the O2 Arena tonight in the promotion’s first enterprise to Europe since November 2019.

Ten Brits will make the stroll to the world’s final proving floor tonight – all of whom can be cheered on by a raucous O2 crowd crammed with their adoring followers and family members.

Such a situation would’ve been unfathomable throughout the UFC’s first forays to the UK, which had been by and massive playing cards sprinkled with a handful of Brits.

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Watch Aspinall and Volkov finalise heavyweight showdown

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Watch Aspinall and Volkov finalise heavyweight showdown

Mokaev hopes to inspire fellow refugees with his incredible journey to the UFC
‘GEE WHIZZ

Mokaev hopes to encourage fellow refugees along with his unimaginable journey to the UFC

But the growth in blended martial arts foreseen by the promotion after they first visited England practically 20 years has effectively and actually bore fruit.

Epitomising the rise of the Brits throughout the pandemic is primary eventer Tom Aspinall, who will look to catapult himself into heavyweight title rivalry with a victory over former Bellator champ Alexander Volkov.

The Wigan warrior made his octagon debut 4 months into the pandemic and hasn’t seemed again since – racking up three TKO wins and a solitary submission victory.

And whether or not he likes it or not, a fifth win on the bounce will put the 28-year-old on the cusp of a crack at UFC gold.

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A world title shot may be in the future plans of soft-spoken Suffolk star Arnold Allen, supplied he provides fan favorite Dan Hooker a impolite welcome again to the featherweight division.

Allen has been quietly going about his enterprise over the years and has amassed a powerful eight-fight win streak – which is solely lacking a marquee identify to propel himself into the higher echelons of the division.

Title rivalry may be on the horizon for Scottish submission specialist Paul Craig ought to he proceed his wealthy vein of kind towards Russian Nikita Krylov.

The Airdrie Assassin is undefeated in his final 5 outings to the octagon and most lately scored an emphatic first-round TKO victory over prospect Jamahal Hill at UFC 263 final June.

UFC London’s most distinguished Welsh consultant, Jack Shore, can even be poised to combine it with the bantamweight division’s elite ought to he get previous Russian Timur Valiev.

The Abertillery Tank has breezed via all the competitors he’s confronted throughout his two-and-half-year stint in the promotion and his well-roundedness has drawn plaudits from some huge names in the sport.

The unofficial star of the UFC London present is undoubtedly Liverpudlian Paddy Pimblett, who made a spectacular debut at the promotion’s Apex facility final September.

Pimblett captivated hardcore and informal followers alike along with his beautiful victory over Luigi Vendramini final September and his brashness, which some have in contrast to future Hall of Famer Conor McGregor.

Paddy Pimblet will look to kick start a surge up the lightweight ranks against Kazula Vargas
Paddy Pimblet will look to kick begin a surge up the light-weight ranks towards Kazula VargasCredit: GETTY
Scot Paul Craig will be hoping to put himself into 205lb title contention with a win over Nikita Krylov
Scot Paul Craig can be hoping to put himself into 205lb title rivalry with a win over Nikita KrylovCredit: REUTERS
Wales' Jack Shore will earn himself a spot in the bantamweight top-15 win a win over Timur Valiev
Wales’ Jack Shore will earn himself a spot in the bantamweight top-15 win a win over Timur ValievCredit: GETTY

Kazula Vargas will look to spoil the Pimblett celebration, though he should first win the battle of nerves that comes with preventing on enemy territory.

Pimblett’s Next Generation team-mate Molly McCann can even look to make a press release towards Brazilian Luana Carolina following victory in her make-or-break conflict with Ji Yeon Kim.

McCann’s steeliness in the face of the UFC axe final September was awe-inspiring, to say the least, and has given new life to her bid to turn into a two-promotion flyweight champion.

The similar could be mentioned for Black Country Jai Herbert, who saved his UFC bacon final October with a surprising stoppage victory over Khama Worthy.

The former Cage Warriors light-weight champion lastly confirmed the expertise European MMA followers have lengthy been accustomed to seeing in his maiden UFC triumph, though he’ll want them and extra to defeat THE fearsome Ilia Topuria.

It wouldn’t be a UFC card if there wasn’t a fighter coming into their bout with their again bodily and metaphorically towards the cage fence.

Birmingham lightweight Jai Herbert will be in action against Ilia Topuria
Birmingham light-weight Jai Herbert can be in motion towards Ilia TopuriaCredit: GETTY
Muhammad Mokaev will make his long-awaited debut on the prelim portion of the card
Muhammad Mokaev will make his long-awaited debut on the prelim portion of the cardCredit: GETTY

And that’s the place 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Mike Grundy finds himself forward of his eagerly-anticipated featherweight showdown with Makwan Amirkhani.

Defeat to Mr Finland may spell the finish of Grundy’s stint in the UFC, however he’ll enter the cage extra motivated than ever following his father’s latest analysis with a terminal sickness.

Wales’ Cory McKenna – who was as soon as the youngester fighter on the roster – can even be champing at the bit to make a press release in her strawweight showdown with Elise Reed following a prolonged hiatus from the cage.

Kicking off the UFC’s eagerly-anticipated can be adorned newbie and former refugee Muhammad Mokaev, who can be welcomed to the octagon by Cody Durden.

Mokaev is maybe the most skilled newbie to ever enter the octagon having had 23 fights earlier than turning professional in 2020.

Such a showcase of up-and-coming and probably title-challenging UK fighters would’ve been unthinkable a mere 5 years in the past.

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Moment Putin has speech mysteriously cut off during rally in Russia

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Moment Putin has speech mysteriously reduce off throughout rally in Russia

Rachael Blackmore makes history to become first female winner of Gold Cup
GOLDEN GIRL

Rachael Blackmore makes historical past to turn into first feminine winner of Gold Cup

But this crop of battling Brits – many of whom got here via Cage Warriors – have lastly been given the alternative to showcase their respective skills on an evening that could possibly be as pivotal for UK MMA as UFC Dublin was for Ireland and the rise of McGregor in 2014.

It’s now down to them to ship and show to the world what I, and many others, suppose: that this is the finest batch of Brits but.

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