Pre-fight Analysis

Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall – UFC Fight Night 204 Preview

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After a pandemic-long hiatus, the UFC is finally back in the land of fish and chips. UFC London (Fight Night 204) is full of absolute bangers, featuring some of the best talents that the UK has to offer. This includes the heavyweight main event bout between Alexander Volkov and Britain’s own Tom Aspinall.

Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall — The next heavyweight contender?

Two heavyweights battle it out in the O2 Arena this Saturday, and it is definitely not one to be missed. A win either way would shake up the rankings within the heavyweight division, as 11th Aspinall eyes for the sixth spot of “Drago”.

Both Volkov and Aspinall have contendership dreams. Here, similar to the fight between Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis, one of the two heavyweights fighting in London may very well get that chance. Since Francis Ngannou recently defended his belt against number one contender Ciryl Gane, the rest of the top-five ranked fighters have a fair shot at contention.

Aspinall’s Home-Ground Advantage

The 11th-ranked Tom Aspinall has a lot more riding on this bout than his opponent may have. Beating Volkov shoots him through the top 10 and puts him in the line of sight of current heavyweight king Ngannou.

The Liverpudlian comes into Saturday riding a 7-fight win streak, including that of his tenure at Cage Warriors. Since his debut in the UFC, Aspinall has been scoring incredible knockout wins, a majority of them landing in the first round. In fact, 82% of his fights have finished via KO/TKO.

However, neither of his amateur or professional fights, win or lose, have gone past the second round. This puts his cardio into question, as Volkov has had the experience and the training to run through five whole rounds. Will the 28-year-old be able to keep up the pace, or will he manage to hand just the right shot early in the rounds? We will find out soon enough.

Do Not Sleep on Volkov

Alexander Volkov steps into the Octagon for the 12th time this Saturday—and headlining a card for the sixth. The Russian national has quite the record, landing an impressive KO win against former-heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. More recently, he blasted through three rounds against Martin Tybura, proving his cardio and landing him a unanimous decision win.

The 33-year-old’s win statistics are a lot more mixed than his opponent’s. Volkov has won 67% of his fights via KO/TKO compared to the 82% of Aspinall. But, he has a lot more experience going the distance, with 24% of his wins being via decision.

However, Alexander Volkov has not had the best of times with those ranked above him. The sixth-ranked contender has lost to both Gane and Curtis Blaydes by unanimous decision, putting into question whether “Drago”  has the ability to even contend the champion.

UFC London (UFC Fight Night 204) prelims start at 1 PM EST, and the entire card will be available on UFC Fight Pass.

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Jasmin is a writer-photographer who has worked in video games, music, travel, and more recently, MMA. Her fight background is in TKD, Muay Thai and Boxing though she's always wanted to roll with the BJJ crew. Follow her on Twitter @blaise_MMA

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