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The main event comes in the Heavyweight division, as Curtis Blaydes takes on Tom Aspinall. Looking to cement his name as the next title challenger, Blaydes comes into this fight looking to halt the hype train that is Aspinall. A winner of of two straight and six of his last seven fights, Blaydes has proven that he is mainstay at the top of the division. Despite that though, he has yet to even be recognized as a legitimate challenger to the throne. Perhaps a victory here will change that notion. Meanwhile, Aspinall enters this fight on an eight-fight win streak. With five of those wins coming in the UFC, Aspinall, in two years, has elevated himself up to sixth in the Heavyweight rankings. Knocking on the door of potentially challenging for the title, the Brit will have to get past his toughest test to date in Blaydes.
An expectational main event, this fight should in essence produce a title challenger. Clamoring for one for quite some time is Blaydes. A well rounded fighter, who is the best wrestler in the division. Arguably all-time, as Blaydes is the Heavyweight’s leader in control time, top position time and takedown’s landed. The most impressive being takedown’s landed, as his 62 almost double’s the second place Cain Velasquez’s 32. With some pop in his hands too, Blaydes isn’t just a one-trick pony. Neither though is Aspinall, who has shown that he is just as dangerous on the feet, as on the ground. However, make no mistake about it, Aspinall’s grappling is what has led to the majority of his victories. With excellent ground-and-pound and submissions, the last place you’d want Aspinall is in top position.
In what I anticipate to be a frantic fight with lots of energy expended, I’m going to side with Aspinall. While Blaydes is known to have a good gas tank and has gone five rounds before, he has never faced someone as dangerous as Aspinall. In most of Blaydes fights, he has fought strikers, who he can neutralize on the ground. Aspinall though, with his grappling and submissions, presents a real threat on the mat. One that will make Blaydes work and fend off several submission attempts. On the feet, Blaydes has power, but Aspinall has a boxing background and is quick and powerful. In other words, either way you shake it, Blaydes will be uncomfortable. With that said, I predict that Aspinall wins via TKO.