UFC Fight Night Odds: Volkov Vs Aspinall Tops London Card

Tom Aspinall of England (right) looks to land a punch with his right hand against Serghei Spivak of the Ukraine in their welterweight fight during UFC Fight Night
Image Credit: by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

When the UFC graces the UK with a London event — as it will Saturday night — fans in the O2 Arena roar with gratitude. Because they understand what they’re going to witness each time one of their own steps into the octagon: an exciting, brawling style that’s long been a hallmark of England’s mixed-martial arts fighters.

From the beginning of the UFC’s prime in the mid aughts through the middle of the last decade, it was Manchester’s Michael Bisping stringing together knockouts in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. Later came Leon Edwards — a Brit by way of Jamaica — and Liverpool’s Darren Till, both of whom haunted top contenders in their respective welterweight and middleweight classes.  

Today, those same fighters remain involved in the game. And they’ve been joined by a trio of elite British prospects who will showcase their skills in the top three bouts on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event card. 

All three fighters are certain to have 20,000 full-throated countrymen in their corner. Will that be enough to lift each to victory?

Let’s break down UFC Fight Night odds for this trio of bouts on a full card action that begins at 4 p.m. ET Saturday.

UFC Fight Night Odds

Favorite Odds Underdog Odds Weight Class
Tom Aspinall -125 Alexander Volkov +105 Heavyweight (265 pounds)
Arnold Allen -115 Dan Hooker -105 Lightweight (155 pounds)
Paddy Pimblett -675 Rodrigo “Kazula” Vargas +475 Lightweight (155 pounds)
Gunnar Nelson -525 Takashi Sato +385 Welterweight (170 pounds)
Sergei Pavlovich -350 Shamil Abdurakhimov +270 Heavyweight (265 pounds)
Nikita Krylov -210 Paul Craig +175 Light heavyweight (205 pounds)
Ilia Topuria -600 Jai Herbert +436 Lightweight (155 pounds)
Mike Grundy -210 Makwan Amirkhani +175 Featherweight (135 pounds)

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 12:45 p.m. ET on March 19.

Tom Aspinall vs. Alexander Volkov

Tom Aspinall of England (left) connects with a left hand to the head of Alan Baudot of France (right) in a heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

With a Francis Ngannou-esque entrance to the heavyweight division, Tom Aspinall is arguably the most exciting fighter in the most exciting division in the sport. 

All four of Aspinall’s UFC wins have come by finish: three via first-round KO (with his opponents hardly landing a strike) and one by submission set up by a bull-rushing takedown of former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. That quartet of stoppages is part of Aspinall’s 11-2 professional record, with nine of those victories being KOs.

That kind of raw power always gets fight fans excited about a heavyweight prospect. But it becomes something to truly marvel when coupled with lightning-fast hands, strong grappling ability, and technical footwork. And the 28-year-old native of Atherton, Greater Manchester possesses all those attributes.

That said, Aspinall’s UFC Fight Night opponent, Alexander Volkov, is no pushover. The tallest fighter on the UFC roster at 6-foot-7, Volkov (34-9, 22 KOs professionally) serves almost as the gatekeeper to the top of the heavyweight division. (See Ciryl Gane landing a pay-per-view main event against then No. 3 heavyweight Derrick Lewis after defeating Volkov by unanimous decision last June.)

Unfortunately for Volkov, his superior height does not translate to superior power, as the 33-year-old Moscow native landed a KO every 160 significant strikes over his last five fights. (Compare that with the heavyweight average of 129 significant strikes per KO.)

Volkov does excel at using his reach advantage to execute a high-output, rangy attack. This figures to test Aspinall’s defense and durability, and likely will draw him much deeper into a UFC fight than he has gone to this point.

Aspinall opened the week as a slight favorite overseas at Britain-based sportsbook bet365, but even money here in the U.S. at FanDuel and DraftKings. But his odds have gotten shorter on all platforms since.

Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker

Arnold Allen of England (right) throws a punch with his right hand that misses connecting on opponent Sodiq Yusuff of Nigeria in a featherweight UFC Fight Night bout
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Another British contender who is undefeated in the UFC, featherweight Arnold Allen boasts an 8-0 record in the promotion, part of an overall professional mark of 17-1 (10 KOs).

The 28-year-old Allen, who hails from Ispwich in the UK, fights very technically, holding no knockouts among his eight UFC bouts. But his six decision wins came courtesy of impressive striking and grappling performances, while his other two triumphs were submission wins via guillotine.  

Conversely, Allen’s UFC Fight Night opponent is all about using long limbs to execute power elbow and knee strikes. Dan Hooker actually had a rocky 3-3 start to his UFC career as a featherweight, but he moved up to lightweight and went on a 7-1 run. Then the 6-foot New Zealander ran into a wall of lightweight title contenders that compelled him to drop back to a less-crowded division.  

The grueling weight cut that Hooker had to endure to return featherweight figures to work one of two ways in this bout: It could yield him a comfortable size and range advantage or sap his ability to absorb strikes in a war. 

Hooker (21-11, 10 KOs) does wrestle from time to time, so watch for him to try to use his size advantage in an attempt to execute a takedown — which would leave him vulnerable to falling into Allen’s guillotine. 

Were Allen to take out a top-10 name like Hooker on Saturday, he should immediately be considered for a title shot.

Allen is ranging from a -115 to -120 favorite, so this is essentially a pick ’em contest in the eyes of UFC Fight Night oddsmakers.

Paddy Pimblett vs. Kazula Vargas

Paddy Pimblett of England (left) lands a straight left hand to the nose of Luigi Vendramini of Brazil (right) during their lightweight UFC Fight Night event
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Both these lightweight fighters prefer a chin-up, stand-in-the-middle, see-who-is-tougher style fight. So this should be a fun one.

The self-proclaimed “scouser,” Paddy Pimblett is 17-3 (6 KOs) over his pro career, but only one of those bouts came in the UFC: In September, the 27-year-old from Liverpool delivered a first-round knockout of Luigi Vendramini. 

Kazula Vargas comes in off his first UFC win in three tries, a unanimous decision over Rong Zhu 11 months ago. The 36-year-old Vargas (12-4, 7 KOs) graduated to UFC after a storied career in Mexican MMA leagues.

Although Pimblett and Vargas have similar professional records — and neither has been knocked out — the hometown kid is a massive betting favorite, anywhere from -400 to -500.

For data-backed win probabilities and key stats on fight day, follow @STNGRMMA on Twitter.