UFC Fight Night: Aspinall vs Tybura Recap

Photo Credit: ZUFFA LLC

Tom Aspinall defeats Marcin Tybura via TKO at 1:13 of round 1

Tom Aspinall made an emphatic statement in his return to the UFC cage with a massive finish over Marcin Tybura in the first round.

With a UFC London card lacking the regular depth we’ve come to expect at these events, all eyes were on Tom Aspinall. Many wondered how Tom would look in this fight after tearing his MCL in his last bout; would the heavyweight who previously leaned on his superb movement be permanently handicapped moving forward? The answer came rather quickly, an emphatic no.

Aspinall steamed onto Tybura from the opening bell with a flurry of strikes. Tom stepped in with an elbow, then laid a quick 1-2 on Marcin who stiffened up and fell straight on his back. From there Aspinall fed him a healthy serving of ground and pound shots before Marc Goddard waived off the contest. As for the post-fight interview, Tom kept it short and sweet:

“I’ll tell you exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go to Paris, I’m gonna be sat front row for Cyril Gane and Sergei Spivac. I’m gonna beat the winner, and then I’m gonna beat Jon Jones.”

Tom Aspinall post-fight UFC London

Julija Stoliarenko defeats Molly McCann via submission at 1:55 of round 1

While we had one triumphant return in the main event, the co-main slot was the exact opposite.

Molly McCann was given a huge spot in the penultimate fight of the night coming off of a brutal loss to Erin Blanchfield last November. She had a spine-tingling walkout and seemingly had the London crowd in the palm of her hand. As the fight started the difference in power became clear immediately, every shot Molly landed got a huge reaction. With the crowd against her, Stoliarenko found a way to get the fight to the ground to set up her signature finish – the arm bar. McCann was completely neutralized, then forced to tap to prevent Julija from snapping her arm. This represented what is easily the best win of Julija’s career.

Other Results

Nathaniel Wood defeats Andre Fili via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Nathaniel Wood picked up his third consecutive featherweight victory with a unanimous decision over Andre Fili. To the surprise of almost no one, this fight was a striking thriller that was razor close until the final bell. Wood had a clear speed advantage, but that didn’t stop Fili from dropping and hurting him badly in the second round. In typical Nathaniel Wood fashion, he was able to weather the storm to get himself back into the fight and won a third round that honestly could have gone either way.

Paul Craig defeats Andre Muniz via TKO at 4:14 of round 2

Paul Craig looked fantastic in his middleweight debut. After absorbing a blatant headbutt on the ground from Muniz, Craig was able to reverse position to get on top of Andre. It was a quintessential Paul Craig performance, weather the storm then proceeded to lock in a submission out of nowhere for the win. Only this time, Craig finished the fight with brutal elbows from the mounted position. He clearly is enjoying his newfound size advantage in the middleweight division, something to keep an eye on for his 185 matchups going forward. While he’s in this new division Craig is not ducking any challengers and boldly called out uber-prospect Bo Nickal, a fascinating matchup the more it gets thought about.

Bruna Brasil defeats Shauna Bannon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Bruna Brasil defeated Tallaght native Shauna Bannon in the night’s second fight. Shauna became the first Irishwoman to sign with the UFC since Aisling Daley (2014) and immediately gained plenty of hype with it. With a UFC fight kit in her name and a Forged Irish Stout sponsorship to boot, Shauna entered the Octagon in London but in the end came up short on the night. It was a close contest that some would argue Bannon had done enough in to get the victory, but that ultimately was not the case.

This fight represented the first professional loss of Shauna’s career, one she will certainly bounce back from. She’s only six fights into her career thus far, with a bevy of room to grow. As for the state of Irish MMA in the UFC; we have Ian Garry fighting one of the best in the world next month, Rhys McKee making his UFC return in early September, and Caolan Loughran debuting for the promotion the week after. Irish MMA hasn’t looked this good since 2014; stay tuned for the takeover part two.

Massachusetts native currently writing for Severe MMA. Former writer for Neutral Zone LLC. Follow me on Twitter @lander_theo, LinkedIn and Youtube @ Theo Lander for articles and event coverage.

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