UFC Fight Night: Blaydes Vs Aspinall Predictions, Parlays, Best Bets

Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall of England pose for media during the UFC Fight Night media day at Hilton London Canary Wharf on July 20, 2022 in London, England.
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

After a two-year hiatus, the UFC returned to London for a Fight Night event in March. This Saturday, the promotion returns to London’s O2 Arena after just 4 months with an eerily similar card.

Tom Aspinall, Paddy Pimblett, Paul Craig, and Molly McCann are all Brits who make their return Saturday after posting a win at the last London event, and that’s just on the main card. That March event was pay-per-view entertainment without the price tag, and it was a great day for bettors who followed along with our picks here at Props.

Last time I covered UFC London, I featured a trio of elite British prospects who all went on to win their respective fights with a stoppage. Here we’ll do the same, but we’ll swap in a new face. 

Those who read my last article know I usually lean on my predictive model to sniff out high-value props through DraftKings’ same game parlay feature. DraftKings is being much slower than usual in uploading those props since this event is just a Fight Night, so we’ll roll with one straight pick and a two-leg parlay.

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Aspinall Predictions

Curtis Blaydes (16-3) vs Tom Aspinall (12-2)

Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou will turn 36 in September and is still recovering from surgery to repair both the ACL and MCL in his right knee. Stipe Miocic will turn 40 in just one month. With the top heavyweights of the past five years not getting any younger, the path to a title shot looked to be finally clearing for Curtis Blaydes. Born in Naperville, IL just outside of Chicago, Blaydes is as complete as the classic 260-pound heavyweight can be: an athletic wrestler with solid kickboxing and knockout power.

Then, right at the cusp of a new decade in 2020, France’s Ciryl Gane and Greater Manchester, England’s Tom Aspinall emerged. This new breed of heavyweight is 250 pounds with hardly a shred of fat, has the hand-speed and footwork of a middleweight, and has a complete striking and grappling skill set. Aspinall in particular has the ability to do something every UFC Heavyweight Champion has done at least once in their career: secure a finish in the first round.  He has achieved all 12 of his professional wins by finish, up to his most recent first-round submission of top-10 heavyweight Alexander Volkov.

In 15 UFC fights, Curtis Blaydes has plenty of finishes under his belt, but not a single one in the first round. That being said, his losses are few and far between.  2 of them have come at the heavy hands of Ngannou, and his third and most recent loss came via a second-round uppercut from Derrick Lewis, who holds the UFC record for most career knockouts.  Blaydes relies on his elite and persistent takedown game to stifle opponents’ offense until he can knock them out or secure a decision. But his inability to dominate the top heavyweight contenders with his wrestling is precisely the reason he has gotten sent back down each time he reaches the top 3.  

With faster hands, more power, and the grappling ability to defend Blaydes’ takedowns or even convert one into submission, I see the man this card was built around continuing his dominant run.

Prediction: Aspinall by finish

Best Bet: Aspinall moneyline | -140 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Boost Your Bankroll: Get A $1,000 Bonus From DraftKings

These UFC Fight Night predictions and best bets have strong odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.

As it turns out, DraftKings flexes a strong welcome offer too:

New DraftKings users can redeem a $1,000 deposit bonus when clicking on our exclusive affiliate banner below.

UFC Fight Night Parlay

Paddy Pimblett (18-3) vs Jordan Leavitt (10-1)

A self-proclaimed scouser from Liverpool, Paddy Pimblett is now 2-0 in the UFC. Just 2 wins are not enough to believe a fighter is as elite as they claim, but some truth can be extracted from how he achieved those wins. Pimblett is a known loudmouth who predicts a KO nearly every time he steps in the octagon, but it was his grappling ability that shined against Kazula Vargas in their March bout.

The 155-pounder was overwhelmed by the bull rush of Vargas straight out the gate, and Vargas even found himself in a top position on the ground. Yet Paddy maintained a strong guard and was able to get back to his feet and quickly take Vargas down. He then submitted Vargas via rear naked choke not long after. This grappling strength will be key against his next opponent, Jordan Leavitt.

A Las Vegas native, Leavitt is an exciting prospect who relies on intelligent grappling to secure submissions. He does land some creative strikes in the stand-up but without any knockout power behind them. “The Monkey King” is dangerous when he can set things up, but his style does not lend itself well to a dogfight. With a huge advantage in boxing and fairly even grappling ability, Paddy “The Baddy” likely won’t be afraid to get right in the face of Leavitt early and often.  Paddy Pimblett moneyline is the bet here, but it’s too expensive to take straight up at -265.

Prediction: Pimblett by KO

Nathaniel Wood (17-5) vs. Charles Rosa (14-7)

A career bantamweight, London native Nathaniel Wood comes highly touted into this “England vs. New England” matchup with journeyman featherweight Charles Rosa of Peabody, Mass. Movement between 135 and 145 pounds is not unheard of at all, and a glance at the styles of the two men indicates why Wood would be eager to move up for this fight.

Rosa has abysmal striking defense, absorbing more strikes than he’s landed on opponents in his UFC career. Wood on the other hand throws pinpoint long-range straight punches at a fast clip.  The risk for Wood is that Rosa’s size advantage would allow him to wrestle offensively and neutralize the striking threat. Wood is a skilled grappler with multiple submissions under his belt though, and both men had to make 145 pounds after all.

Prediction: Wood by decision

Best Bet: 2-Leg Parlay:

  • Leg 1: Paddy Pimblett moneyline (-265)
  • Leg 2: Nathaniel Wood moneyline (-580)

Parlay Odds: -164 | DraftKings Sportsbook