Saturday’s UFC London event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in England, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at O2 Arena.
1 – Jorge Masvidal
If last Saturday’s UFC London card proved anything, it’s that there are fighters and there are fighters like Jorge Masvidal. One of the few folks in the game you believe would do this for free if MMA didn’t exist, Miami’s “Gamebred” scored what was arguably the biggest win of his long career when he knocked out Darren Till, and now that the world is watching, it’s time for him to capitalize. The way he does that is fighting the way he did last weekend. Too many times in the past, Masvidal has fought well enough to lose a close decision. Against Till, he took the win by force. And while a post-event altercation with Leon Edwards wasn’t a good luck, it got people to keep talking, and those same people will be tuning in to see what the veteran scrapper does next.
2 – Leon Edwards
It’s unfortunate that a lot of the Monday morning talk is about Leon Edwards’ post-event altercation with Jorge Masvidal and not what “Rocky” did in the Octagon against Gunnar Nelson. Fighting a smart fight from start to finish against one of the most dangerous welterweights in the game, Edwards proved that he’s ready for a big fight next as he extended his winning streak to seven. Edwards can do it all, and while putting together a disciplined 15 minutes against a top-level foe doesn’t make the highlight reels, it could eventually get Edwards to a world title shot.
3 – Marc Diakiese
When Marc Diakiese won his first three UFC bouts in 2016-17, he was the greatest thing since pizza in the lightweight division. A little over a year after that fast start, his UFC record was 3-3 and there were question marks everywhere. Well, on Saturday, the “Bonecrusher” was back, and against one of his toughest tests to date in Joe Duffy, he passed with flying colors. Diakiese may have been more spectacular in the past, but he was never more of a complete fighter than he was in London. Welcome back, Marc.
4 – Molly McCann
Molly McCann already had the best nickname in MMA. But in a loss to Gillian Robertson in her UFC debut last year, she didn’t get to show what she could do in the Octagon. On Saturday, we saw what “Meatball” Molly could do, and what a fun fight it was with Priscila Cachoeira in London. It’s clear that whenever McCann is on the card, a fight will follow, and I know I’ll be watching.
5 – Nathaniel Wood
I know saying that “The Prospect” is smoothly morphing into “The Contender” is pretty easy these days, but it’s true. Nathaniel Wood has quietly built up a 3-0 record in the brutally tough bantamweight division, and he isn’t looking for any easy marks either. Johnny Eduardo, Andre Ewell and Jose Quinonez are all legit tests, and in submitting all three, Wood has proven that he’s the real deal at 135 pounds. Can’t wait to see what’s next.