With a new welterweight champion at the top of the division, Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal know exactly how big this main event fight could be for their future aspirations to one day battle Kamaru Usman for the title. Till had that opportunity in his last fight but fell short against Tyron Woodley, which was the first loss of his professional career. Prior to that setback, Till was on a blistering run, showcasing his world-class boxing skills and massive knockout power while beating opponents such as Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
As for Masvidal, he’s actually been out since 2017 and he’s anxiously awaiting his opportunity to return to action. The American Top Team-trained fighter has fallen on a two-fight skid in his most recent performances, which means he’s going to be hungrier than ever to get the job done in London. At his best, Masvidal is a gritty competitor with knockout power in his hands and an underrated ground game that could put anybody in trouble if this fight hits the floor. Both Till and Masvidal are known for putting it all on the line whenever they step into the Octagon, so this should be an adrenaline-fueled main event this weekend.
After six wins in a row, Leon Edwards knows he’s climbing into title contention in the deep and dangerous welterweight division, but if he wants to get to his seventh straight victory he has to go through Gunnar Nelson, who is a battle-tested submission specialist looking to make his own climb up the rankings. Nelson had dealt with injuries that kept him sidelined for over a year, but his return last December came with a statement making performance as he finished Alex Oliveira in the second round to move his record to 3-1 over his past four fights. Nelson might need to show his ground expertise again in this fight because Edwards is a powerfully strong striker with a dynamic arsenal on his feet, which makes this a very intriguing co-main event battle of wills.
It was just over a year ago when Volkan Oezdemir was making his attempt to become UFC light heavyweight champion. Unfortunately he fell short in that bid to win the title and then fell to Anthony Smith last October, costing him a second loss in a row. Now Oezdemir looks to rebound while facing one of the brightest young stars at 205 pounds in Dominick Reyes, who comes into the fight with an undefeated record and a reputation for devastating first-round finishes. Oezdemir has shown off his lightning-quick finishing ability as well, so expect the fists to go flying when he clashes with Oezdemir in a potential Fight of the Night showdown.
As the United Kingdom continues looking for the next generation of potential champions, Nathaniel Wood might sit atop that list after an incredibly impressive start to his UFC career. Wood has rattled off back-to-back wins with a pair of submission victories over Johnny Eduardo and Andre Ewell. Now Wood will face former Ultimate Fighter Latin America competitor Jose Quinonez, who is currently riding a four-fight win streak of his own inside the Octagon. Quinonez is a well-rounded competitor with good hands and dangerous ground skills, which means he could be the toughest test yet for Wood since he first arrived in the UFC.
Danny Roberts loves putting on exciting fights and this weekend should be no exception when he faces Claudio Silva, who comes into the contest with an undefeated record in the UFC, including a submission victory over Nordine Taleb in his last appearance. Silva has built a 12-fight win streak overall and he hopes to continue his climb towards the top 15 rankings when he returns to action this weekend. Obviously, Roberts is going to do everything in his power to stop that run as he continues to showcase a non-stop action style that is hard to match by anybody in the welterweight division.
A middleweight slugfest is expected when Jack Marshman meets John Phillips in the lead off bout on the main card. Marshman has always put on exciting fights whenever he competes in the UFC, but off two straight losses, he has to know the importance of this moment for his career as he attempts to stave off three defeats on a row. The exact same could be said for Phillips, who has shown brutal knockout power in his past but has struggled to get the job done in the UFC. Marshman and Phillips both have something to prove and this will be the optimal time to show it.
Arnold Allen has long been considered one of the top prospects out of England and he’ll look to stay undefeated in the UFC when he faces Jordan Rinaldi this weekend. Rinaldi has bounced back and forth between wins and losses through his first four fights in the UFC, but following a strong showing against Jason Knight in his last bout, he would love to finally get the momentum rolling by handling Allen his first defeat in the UFC. It won’t be easy, however, because Allen has shown top 10 potential throughout his career and now he’ll look for his fifth straight win in the UFC when he returns against Rinaldi.
Joe Duffy and Marc Diakiese both know a thing or two about hype and expectations when it comes to their respective careers. Both fighters stormed into the Octagon with highlight reel performances before then dealing with some very tough losses. Now as they meet this weekend in London, Duffy and Diakiese know that if the future holds a top 15 spot for either one of them, a win in this fight is paramount. With Duffy’s boxing matched up against Diakiese’s flashy arsenal of strikes, this should be an absolute crowd-pleasing affair with the winner moving that much closer to the lightweight rankings in 2019.
Undefeated Romanian fighter Nicolae Negumereanu will put his perfect record on the line when he faces Saparbeg Safarov in light heavyweight action on the prelims. Negumereanu comes to the UFC with nine wins on his resume with a 100-percent finishing rate. Meanwhile, Safarov has yet to find the winner’s circle in the UFC following two straight losses to start his career in the Octagon. This could be a make or break moment for Safarov as he looks for his first UFC win while also attempting to hand Negumereanu his first professional loss.
Former welterweight turned middleweight Tom Breese looked outstanding in his debut at 185 pounds as he made quick work of former Olympian Dan Kelly last May via first-round TKO. Breese has long been considered a top prospect in the sport, but to move ahead in his UFC career he’s going to have to walk through a “Hurricane” named Ian Heinisch. The Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series veteran has won his last four fights in a row, including an impressive UFC debut against Cezar Ferreira. Heinisch packs a serious punch and he’s got to be one of the most durable fighters on the entire UFC roster, so look for an all-out war when he meets Breese in London.
Scottish standout Danny Henry has been a welcome addition to the featherweight division after debuting last year with a Fight of the Night performance and then following that up with lightning-quick 39-second submission in his last fight. He will definitely face his toughest test to date when he goes up against Dan Ige, who comes into the fight with wins in his last two fights, including a devastating 50-second TKO of Mike Santiago. This is another underrated matchup as Henry looks to stay undefeated in the UFC and Ige attempts to notch his third win in a row overall.
England’s own Molly McCann did not get the start to her UFC career she wanted after suffering a submission loss in her debut. Now she’s hungrier than ever for her first win as she takes on Brazilian Priscila Cachoeira, who got her own rude welcome to the Octagon with an impossibly tough test against current champion Valentina Shevchenko. They face off in London, with McCann attempting to get a win at home while Cachoeira steps into enemy territory attempting to secure her first UFC victory.
Nad Narimani has gotten off to a good start for his UFC career with a pair of wins in consecutive fights and he now faces fellow British fighter Mike Grundy, who is making his Octagon debut. Grundy comes into the fight off eight wins in a row, including five of those coming by way of submission. Obviously, Narimani will have to be careful of that slick submission arsenal if he wants to move to 3-0 in the UFC.